Post # 1
We have a new male employee at work. He is a director. Newish, he’s been here maybe 6 months. He tends to address some of the female employees at work as babe or baby etc. Do you bees think this guys behavior needs to be addressed with human resources or let it slide? Or do you see nothing wrong with this?
What if he’s also made comments about female staff’s work attire, you like nice today, I like your new hairdo, I notice your not wearing heels today etc. Now with both behaviors combined should it be addressed with human resources or let it slide? Or do you see nothing wrong with this?
What if word on the street is that he had sexual harrassment issues at his last place of employment….
Now do you have a problem with this?
Please vote in the poll and comment. Thanks!
Post # 3
Name-calling: YES, HR should know. This is not appropriate for the workplace and yes, it is most definitely a harrassment issue, regardless of his age/position/time at company.
Compliments: This is a grey area, IMO. I mean, if he was leering at women and saying things like, “Hey baby, nice outfit” then yes, it’s most likely sexual harrassment. However, if it a generic “I like your outfit” said in a total normal tone, then it’s probably just a guy being nice. I’ve had compliments from male coworkers about shoes and outfits, and it’s the same tone as the compliments about my phone, computer background, car, etc. This is why I’m guessing most men that are cognizant of sexual harrassment laws tend to never compliment their female counterparts.
Rumor: This is all heresay and coupled with the other things, it seems like it would be likely true, but this isn’t confirmed. So IMO, I think HR will look into it if they have a legit source of information, but word on the street is not a legit source.
ETA: If you or your female colleagues want to report this, there should be an 800 number posted somewhere (usually where the employment law posters are) that you can call to complain without fear of repercussion and it is anonymous (as far as I know – I’ve never actually called). This goes to a neutral 3rd party that will assess the situation and look into this, not HR of your company specifically.
Post # 5
Does it feel weird when he says it to you? I know thats a tricky way to judge it, but if it bothered me I would mention something to HR about it. I have male coworkers compliment me on my outfit and I appreciate it because its not done in a sexual manner. Its just a compliment. If it was done in a way which made me uncomfortable I would tell the offender or HR, depending on the relationship. Since he is new and a superior I would probably go straight to HR.
The babe/baby thing would bother me regardless because its not professional and I deserve to be treated like a professional in my place of work (until I stop acting like one).
I would work hard not to judge him based on a rumor though.
Post # 6
the name calling thing should possibly be addressed. do the woman in the office feel uncomfortable by this? if yes, then definitely have hr tend to the matter asap.
Post # 7
He shouldn’t call women “babe” and he shouldn’t comment on people’s appearances, period. The rumor is irrelevant. Tell HR.
Post # 8
All of that is sexual harrassment.
Go to HR if you feel that these comments are unwelcome.
Post # 9
I wouldnt like him calling me babe/baby. Tell him it makes you feel uncomfortable and see if he stops doing it. If he doesnt, then I would call HR.
Unless him commenting on the girls’ appearances make you all feel uncomfortable, I wouldnt mention that. I personally dont care if someone notices my outfit or my hair, but if he’s giving off creep vibes while doing it, then I’d report it.
Post # 10
Complimenting isn’t in poor taste, it’s only in poor taste if he’s got some history to boot. Becuase if HE is forbidden to say “Oh, Jessica- you’ve got a new hairdo, looks good on you!” then that means that any coworker around you can’t say that same thing. Now yeah I get that it might give you the creeper vibe but just think how not good something like that would go in terms of mass office politics.
So I voted only the name calling is unacceptable.
Post # 11
It’s inappropriate. Even if it doesn’t bother you, it will upset someone at some point.
Post # 12
None of the girls at work appreciate being called babe or baby. It’s only happened to me personally two or three times the whole time he’s been here. Once, his first week here too, he touched my elbow in the hallway in brief passing though…cringe. He is only at our office once or twice a week. Most times my interaction with him is minimal.
When I’m at work I am the consummate professional and would appreciate the same in return.
We all heard the rumors first! The actions came afterwards…so it’s hard to not let that color the situation. If the rumor is true, why would he be doing this yet again!
Me personally, I would feel bad, if he got fired over this stuff even if I do feel he is being inappropriate. What do you do tell HR to talk to him and not fire him?
Post # 13
@Happy Hopeful Bee: I wouldn’t worry. I really doubt he will get fired over this; HR will likely just talk to him and issue him a warning. If he does it AGAIN after he’s been warned, then he deserves whatever’s coming…
Post # 14
I would not tell on behalf of other people. They should tell HR their personal experiences, not you. I think telling HR what has happened to you is acceptable.
Post # 15
@Happy Hopeful Bee: I would just state the facts as you’ve presented them in your conversation with HR. That you have experienced New Guy calling you to your faces “Babe” and “Baby” and that you find this to be unprofessional and uncomfortable.
IMO, any good HR department will act on this because this is definitely inappropriate. I don’t know if they would react on the compliments on appearances thing because as other Bees noted, if he can’t say anything about your appearance, then neither can anyone else. Some Bees apparently don’t think anyone should be complimenting appearances in a professional environment, but in my personal experience, 99% of the men I encounter are perfectly nice, normal guys who just wanted to be nice and are sincere when they say “Nice shoes!”
Your HR and legal departments will handle the situation and determine the most appropriate outcome, whether it is firing him or moving him to another department/working from home/etc.
Post # 16
Thanks bees for your input!!!
Our office is kinda small and I can’t say I trust the confidentiality of HR or even their ability to resolve this, they seem to in my opinion have ignored other issues totally unrelated and not at all similar in the past. I’m not saying there will be any retaliation from him but all the directors (majority male) are pretty tight. Even if he is just issued a written warning, I see the word getting out about what was said and by whom. No one wants to say anything and end up in an akward tense work emvironment but everyone knows its inappropriate
This isn’t his only flaw though eveyone’s mindset is that he’ll dig his own grave eventually.