Page 1 of 4 Employment Law

©2011 Argosy University Online Programs

Sexual Harassment Complaints

One day as you walk through the cubicles of the sales team, you notice that one of the female employees, Amber, has several 8x10 photographs in her cubicle. One of them is the famed statue of David by Michelangelo. The other photographs are the Roman Forum, Pompeii, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

As you look up, Dale, another employee, says with a smile, “We told her we were offended and she should take it down.” Dale winks at Amber. She smiles, and he walks away.

The following week, you receive an e-mail from Dale accusing Amber of sexual harassment and making a reference to the photograph, as well as several comments that Amber made.

You meet Amber to investigate the situation. She explains that she has always wanted to go to Italy and that she had had the pictures up for a month with no complaints.

Later that evening, you receive an e-mail from Amber accusing Dale of sexual harassment. She explains they had been in a relationship that ended badly and that he was sending her inappropriate text messages.

  Page 2 of 4 Employment Law

©2011 Argosy University Online Programs

2 Sexual Harassment Complaints

E-mail from Dale To: Senior Compliance Officer, Beta Technologies From: Dale Good afternoon. I would like to address a concern I have regarding my work environment. As you noticed when walking through our cubicles earlier, a coworker, Amber, has some pictures posted in her workspace. One of these pictures is the picture of a nude male statue, which makes me uncomfortable. On two separate occasions, I have asked Amber to remove this picture and both times she has made inappropriate comments to me and refused to comply. Her statements indicated that she believed the images simply made me jealous and that I would prefer that she have a picture of me up in her cubicle. I believe these unwanted comments constitute sexual harassment. At this point, I feel that Amber’s behavior is negatively affecting my ability to work and I would like to see a change. Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to a resolution. Thank you, Dale

  Page 3 of 4 Employment Law

©2011 Argosy University Online Programs

3 Sexual Harassment Complaints

Notes from Discussion with Amber  Amber and Dale dated for almost a year; Amber ended the relationship last week.  Amber states that Dale did not initially accept the decision she had made and started sending her

inappropriate text messages of a sexual nature, which she has saved and can provide a copy of.  Dale became angry after a few days and apparently started threatening Amber regarding her job

and information he would disclose if she did not continue in a relationship with him.  Amber claims she did not say anything because she did not believe he would actually take action.  Amber does not recall being asked to remove the picture or making any comments that could be

considered sexual harassment, but has now removed the picture.  It is unclear as to whether there are witnesses to any of these issues.

  Page 4 of 4 Employment Law

©2011 Argosy University Online Programs

4 Sexual Harassment Complaints

E-mail from Amber To: Senior Compliance Officer From: Amber Thank you for taking the time to talk to me regarding the situation with Dale. I think that he is making accusations because he is upset with how our relationship ended. At no time did anyone ask me to remove the pictures or tell me that the image was inappropriate. If anyone was upset by the picture, I am truly sorry. The image was of a commonly known piece of art, and I simply did not realize that its meaning could be taken this way. I have removed the picture and will certainly refrain from ever posting anything similar. I continue to feel as though I am being harassed by Dale. As I mentioned to you earlier, our relationship ended badly, and I believe that he is acting out in revenge. I would like to find a way to put this behind us and return to an appropriate work environment. I cannot continue to tolerate Dale’s comments nor his harassing behavior. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Amber