sexual harassment conversation overheard.

(18 Posts)
Charis1 Sat 16-May-15 20:17:24

Copied and pasted from AIBU, as users of this forum might have more knowledge of the legal aspect of this. Or might not, as it might be the same posters!?

There was a staff meal last night, and some of us went on to a club after woods. Not really my scene tbh, but I went along anyway.

At one point, after we had all had quite a few drinks, I was standing alone by the wall, and several colleagues standing near by with their back to me, and I listened in on their conversation.

They were laughing and joking about their treatment of several women at work, treatment which I can only describe as bullying and sexual harassment. ( including one man exposing himself to quite an elderly, straight laced female manager)

They were imitating the shocked reactions they could get and laughing about embarrassing and shocking people, and planning who to target next.

I don't know if the people they mention were upset, or traumatised or laughed it off. They mentioned three people, of which I know two quite well, neither have ever said anything to me or in my hearing about this. They might consider it nothing, or they might not want other people to know about it.

But of course, if they want to report it, i now have cooberating evidence, having heard this conversation.

YonicScrewdriver Sat 16-May-15 20:21:10

Do you know one of them better than the other? Can you sound her out?

Charis1 Sat 16-May-15 20:22:57

Actually, the one I know best is the one I'm guessing is most likely to have been distressed at the time, and maybe more distressed to hear it had been laughed about , or even mentioned in public. I'm in two minds about whether it is best to let sleeping dogs lie.

slightlyeggstained Sat 16-May-15 20:30:36

Regardless of what you eventually decide, I would recommend you make detailed factual notes now. If they pick on someone else in six months time, it is far harder to question your recollection of things if you have notes made soon after the event.

If possible, make it so that you can prove they were made at the time. E.g. email them to yourself, print them and post them to yourself & keep the sealed envelope with posting date.

kickassangel Sat 16-May-15 23:28:59

Is there a manager at work that you can go to? This is sexual harassment to quite a high degree. The fact that they are talking about it, laughing about it, and planning it when in public and able to be overheard is also pretty serious. Anyone could have overheard that, and if they could work out which company these people worked at they could easily cause a scandal, let alone the sexual harassment law suit the company could be facing.

I don't think it matters if you know who the victims were. You know that these men are doing this, and passing that info up the line seems like a no brainer.

AskBasil Sun 17-May-15 12:13:40

I definitely wouldn't let sleeping dogs lie.

I'd prob go to the women mentioned and tell them what the men have said.

One of the worst things when being harassed at work, is the isolation. Each victim probably thinks it's just her and that she won't be believed. But if there are several victims, then that's a case.

uglyswan Mon 18-May-15 11:45:07

I think that this:"But of course, if they want to report it, i now have cooberating evidence, having heard this conversation." is the point you'll want to emphasize when you speak to your coworkers. Of course they'll be distressed to hear it has been mentioned in public, but as Basil says, one of the worst things about being harassed at work is the isolation. Talking to you about it may actually be a relief.
If the victims decide they don't want to report it, I would take this up with management yourself (you don't have to name them). This is some serious shit, especially if those scumbags re actually planning on who to target next, and you really should not let it go. I would strongly suggest you write everything you can remember down, as pp have advised, and then contact your union and call the Acas hotline for some backup before you take this to management. Good luck!

LurcioAgain Mon 18-May-15 11:55:23

I posted on your other thread and will repeat what I said there, vis a vis employment law. When I went on my induction course in my present job, it was made absolutely clear to us that when a works social event spills over into another venue (the situation you describe) it still counts as a work event and the behaviour you describe is thus exactly the same as if you'd heard it take place in the photocopier room on work premises.

Personally, I would go to HR about this. It's extremely serious.

zayyele Wed 20-May-15 17:56:16

What did they say?

YonicScrewdriver Wed 20-May-15 18:08:53

Are you on this thread too, zayele?

zayyele Wed 20-May-15 18:15:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

YonicScrewdriver Wed 20-May-15 18:25:20

Ooh, you're even ruder even faster than usual. Trying to outrun your next ban?

LassUnparalleled Wed 20-May-15 18:29:05

it was made absolutely clear to us that when a works social event spills over into another venue (the situation you describe) it still counts as a work event and the behaviour you describe is thus exactly the same as if you'd heard it take place in the photocopier room on work premises

And that is not just your company's policy. Employment Tribunal case law agrees.

Charis1 Wed 20-May-15 19:33:49

some men have been suspended, and I can't really say anything else about it in public. sorry.

YonicScrewdriver Wed 20-May-15 19:40:02

Charis, well done for the part you played. Ignore zayele, he's a recurring Goader.

Good luck flowers

LurcioAgain Thu 21-May-15 13:01:56

Well done, Charis1! More flowers from me.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Thu 21-May-15 13:05:00

Well done, Charris, being harassed in work can be one of the most isolating and awful things. I hope the victims are treated well. You've done a good thing.

AskBasil Thu 21-May-15 15:46:47

Good for you Charis1

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now