What can I do if my boss keeps making Sexual Comments?
Best Ohio Employment Discrimination Attorney Reply: Can I sue my manager for making sex requests after I asked him to stop? What should I do if my supervisor and manager show pornography at work? What can I do after my boss called me a “cunt” and a “whore”? What is Sexual harassment?
We have all had our share of bad bosses in the past. One of the worst bosses that I dealt with had to be during my first job. I was 14 years old and looking to earn a little spending money over the summer. This was well before LinkedIn or Indeed were a thing. This meant that I had to find a job the old-fashioned way, by checking the bulletin boards at the local restaurants and grocery stores. I grew up in a small town, so really I just had two places to check. Among the ads for used cars, and notices promising a reward for any information about a missing cat I sound the perfect job! A local dog kennel was hiring! Imagine that, getting paid to hang out with dogs all day? What more could I ask for!
Unfortunately, my dream job soon became a nightmare. My
new boss was a ticking time bomb. He would yell, and scream, and throw things
whenever he became upset. It seemed like the smallest things would set him off.
You would think that being around dogs would give him some comfort. But, no.
All of the employees were walking on pins and needles whenever the boss was
around. You could almost feel the tension in the air when the boss was in one
of his moods. My point is that our employment lawyers know what our clients are
talking about when they tell us their boss is a jerk (Of course, we love our
current boss, who bakes us fresh cookies or cupcakes on Fridays. Really). But,
as bad as my old boss was, he had nothing on the owner of Birchez Associates,
and Roundout Properties Management. Believe me when I say, this boss was an
absolute monster even in comparison to some of our past blogs about sexual harassment. (see I’m Being Sexually
Harassed By My Boss; Can I Sue?; Fired In
Retaliation For Reporting Sex Harassment?; Does My Job Have
To Stop Harassment By Customers?; Can I Sue My
Employer For Firing Me For Reporting Sexual Harassment? I Need The Best
Wrongful Termination Lawyer In Ohio!).
Steve Aaron, (the bad guy of our story) was the owner of
two housing development and property management companies in New York. Aaron
had almost exclusive control of Birchez Associates LLC and Rondout Properties
Management LLC. To say Aaron abused his power doesn’t do it justice. Aaron was
a serial sexual harasser of his female employees. As the Complaint that was
recently filed describes, Aaron was the textbook example of a sexual harasser.
According to the Complaint, Aaron frequently engaged in
unwelcome sexual conduct directed at his female employees. This unwelcome
sexual conduct included extremely inappropriate and crude remarks about Aaron’s
sexual interests. Aaron would tell his female employees that his “dick may not
always work but my tongue will”; and that he “knows how to satisfy a woman” and
“likes the way they [women] taste.” When I read that I threw up in my mouth a
little. The only reason that our sex harassment attorneys repeat things like
that in this blog is so that working women that are going through this know
that they are not alone – that other bosses, managers, supervisors, owners and
co-workers are making sexually charged comments and requests just like this. These
comments alone are more than enough to justify a sexual harassment lawsuit, but
Aaron’s disgusting conduct did not end there.
The Complaint also claimed that Aaron would also regularly
make unwelcome and sexualized comments about the bodies of female employees and
would treat these employees “as objects for his sexual gratification in
the workplace.” For instance, Aaron would tell one female employee that
her body was curvy and that her shape reminded him of his wife’s body. I’m sure
that his wife was glad to hear that! On other occasions, Aaron told a different
female employee that he admired her breasts. Finally, when another female
employee bent over within Aaron’s line of sight, he loudly announced that
“he felt like a kid in a candy store.” Again, all of this conduct is
extremely inappropriate, and standing alone is worthy of a lawsuit. However, in
the words of the late Billy Mays, “But wait there is more!”
Aaron has also regularly engaged in nonverbal sexual
conduct. Even though this conduct was not spoken it was still highly offensive
and illegal conduct directed at his female employees. For example, the female
employees claim that Aaron would repeatedly put his hand down his pants and
touch and rub his genitals while speaking to female employees. As if that
wasn’t bad enough on multiple occasions Aaron would show his female employee’s
pornography on his cell phone. How gross can you get!?
Aaron’s mistreatment of his female employees was not
limited to sexual comments. According to the Complaint, Aaron created a hostile
work environment for his female employees by treating them in a hostile,
abusive, and demeaning manner. For example, Aaron frequently loses his temper
and screams at his female employees. Of course, Aaron didn’t just raise his
voice when Aaron got mad, he would call his female employees “cunts.”
Let me take a step aside for a second to say that this is a word that a man
should never utter, and especially not directed at or in reference to a woman.
I would argue that, much like the n-word said by a white boss, a male manager
using the c-word completely alters the work environments and makes it an
instantaneously severely hostile work environment.
It’s bad enough that Aaron was verbally abusive to his
female employees, but he would also on occasion, throw objects at them in an
expression of his anger.
Clearly, there was no point for the female employees to
complain to their supervisor, as their harasser was the majority owner of the
company. Seeking some kind of relief, the female employees complained to
Stephen Fell, a manager of Rondout Properties Management, LLC., and the Chief
Financial Officer of Birchez Associates, LLC. Unfortunately, the employee’s
hope that Fell would speak with Aaron was misplaced. Despite the women’s
serious accusations Fell did nothing to help the employees or put a stop to
Aarons harassing behavior.
As our employment law
attorneys have blogged in the past, there are two categories of unlawful sexual
harassment. Either quid pro quo
sexual harassment or hostile work environment sexual harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when (1)
an employee is subjected to unwanted sexual harassment (think sexual advances
or sexual favors); (2) the harassment is unwelcome; (3) submission to the
harassment is a condition for receiving job benefits; (4) the harasser was a
supervisor or agent of the employer; (5) the employee was harmed; and (6) the
harassment caused the employee’s harm. (See Can My Boss Fire Me If I Refuse His Sexual Advances?; Can I Sue If My Boss Texted A Demand To Have Sex With Him?; and My Boss Forced Me To Have Sex!). Unfortunately, there are
many examples. Our sex harassment attorneys often hear workers tell us stories
that make our skin crawl. We have heard horror stories like “My boss told
me I need to give a blowjob to get a promotion,” or “My supervisor
says that I have to fuck him, or he will fire me.” Sometimes the trade is
sexual favors for better shifts, time off, or being put on better accounts.
A hostile work environment
is a different situation. Hostile work environment occurs when an (1) employee
is subjected to unwanted harassment; (2) the harassment is based on sex; and
(3) the harassment was so severe that it altered the conditions of employment.
(See Can I Sue My Same Sex Boss For Sexual Harassment?; Does My Boss Need To Stop My Sexually Harassing Coworker?; Can I Sue My Job For Sexual Harassment By Customers Or
perfect example of a hostile work environment is the experience of the female
employees of Birchez Associates, LLC, and Rondout Properties Management, LLC.
Unwanted sexual attention rises to the level of illegal
harassment when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment.
Both Ohio and federal law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace.
Importantly, sexually hostile work environments do not require sexual advances
by a boss, manager or another superior. Unfortunately, again, there are many
examples. Employees that face sexually hostile workplaces typically tell our
employment lawyers things like, “my supervisor keeps sending me dick
pics,” “my boss told me to send him nudes,” “guys in the
office keep sharing and showing porn,” “my managers simulates
masturbating in front of me,” “the owner of the business keeps
rubbing up against me, groping me, and grabbing my butt,” “my boss
keeps bragging about and describing sex that he is having,” and “my
supervisor asks me about the type of sex that I have and how do I like to get
it,” among other things. Shockingly, Aaron engaged in almost all of these
In Ohio, employees are protected from the type of
harassment Aaron subjected his female employees too. If you are an employee in
Ohio and have experience behavior or conduct similar to what is contained in
this blog then you may have a claim. Most Ohio employees are protected by
Federal and State laws by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio Revised Code
§ 4112.02(A). These laws are in place to prevent employers from making
critical employment-related decisions based on gender or retaliating against an
employee for engaging in protected activities like reporting sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment (including sexual comments) is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and similar Ohio laws. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. If you feel that you are being sexually harassed or are working in a sexually charged or hostile working environment, you should not wait to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At The Spitz Law Firm, you will meet with a sexual harassment lawyer/hostile work environment attorney to find out what your legal rights are and the best way to protect them. Sexual harrassment is a form of gender discrimination, and employers should be held accountable if they discriminate against female workers in any fashion – but particularly for sexual harrassment. It does not matter if you have been wrongfully fired or are still employed, there is no reason to wait to find out what your legal rights are and how to protect yourself from sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Call our office at 866-797-6040.
The materials available at the top of this page and at this gender discrimination, wrongful termination, and sex harassment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.” “my supervisor grabbed my…”, “my boss is touching…,” “I’ve been wrongfully terminated,” or “how do I …”, your best course is to contact an Ohio sexual harassment attorney/hostile work environment lawyer to obtain advice with respect to sexual harassment/hostile work environment questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this employment law website are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.