I reported a colleague for sexual harassment

(32 Posts)
NamChangeAgain Sat 26-May-18 09:39:11

I wanted to follow up from a thread I posted a long time ago. If you want to read the full story, you can find it here: https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/employment_issues/3091509-sexually-assaulted-at-work-what-to-do

Yesterday was my last day at work. I applied for an internal transfer and next week I will move to a different country to work at another office in the same company. During my exit interview, I reported the colleague who harassed and assaulted me a few months ago.

Last December I confronted him, and he was very apologetic and seemed sincerely sorry about what he did to me. He said he thought we were joking and that he did not realize he was making me uncomfortable. Then he stopped all inappropriate comments and activities with me, so I thought the problem had been addressed and solved, and that I could let it go and move on.

However, I recently realized he is "grooming" another young female colleague in the same way he did with me. He has been asking her inappropriate sexual questions during work hours (stuff like "When was the last time you sucked a ...?"), asked for her personal phone number and then texted her "you are so hot" and similar stuff. So not quite at the level of harassment that he reached with me yet, but no doubt he is heading there again with this poor woman (who is of course uncomfortable and confused on what to do). I know this stuff because I am close to this female colleague and she has been confiding with me.

So yesterday I reported him to HR durig my exit interview. I told them everything that happened, including what I thought was my "responsibility" at the beginning, which was not being firm enough and getting along with his "jokes" for fear of burning an important professional bridge.

Apparently HR talked to the CEO immediately, who took the situation very seriously and will give this man a formal warning next week. If he is caught doing this again, he will be fired.

I am partially relieved, partially terrified. I know it was the right thing to do. I could not just sit back and watch him harass another woman, the way he did with me.

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NamChangeAgain Sat 26-May-18 10:05:44

Anyone? I think I need some hand-holding confused

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Branleuse Sat 26-May-18 10:07:46

Well done!

AdaTwist Sat 26-May-18 10:07:54

I haven't read your last thread, but just wanted to say "well done" for telling HR. It sounds like they're acting well about it, and your actions have helped prevent anyone else being in as horrible position as he put you in. Well done.

Branleuse Sat 26-May-18 10:08:15

You did the right thing. holds hand

daisychain01 Sat 26-May-18 10:08:52

It must have been awful for you so it is great that you escalated the matter.

I find it depressing and frustrating that, even though the company have compelling evidence, this monster is only on a final warning. It should be dismissal for gross misconduct, why are they allowing a sexual predator to remain employed?? That's a travesty.

SilverHairedCat Sat 26-May-18 10:10:13

Huge well done. You have stood up for yourself, but also for women following behind you. Thank god the company are taking it seriously. Clearly this man is a predator and it's on his records now that he has to be watched.

Good luck in your new role!

NamChangeAgain Sat 26-May-18 10:18:45

Thank you all for your nice comments.

I asked HR to remain anonymous, so the CEO does not even know the complaint comes from me. However I have no doubt this man will know immediately that this comes from me.

He will be in the office where I am transferring to in a few weeks and I think he will confront me about this. I'll have to put my big girl pants on!

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daisychain01 Sat 26-May-18 10:19:17

Clearly this man is a predator and it's on his records now that he has to be watched.

Either that, or the company will turn a blind eye, because he's Male and 'a good worker'

That's not right.

It should be zero tolerance.

They should invite him to a meeting where they give him the option to resign or they'll have to terminate his employment for gross misconduct. They have all the evidence. Why they are keeping him in their company is beyond me, i hope it seriously damages their reputation.

daisychain01 Sat 26-May-18 10:20:10

flowers Nam

NamChangeAgain Sat 26-May-18 10:22:20

I also really hope he won't take it on the second woman he was starting to groom. She is very young and new to the professional world. I am a bit concerned that now that I am leaving the office she will be "alone" with him and I won't be able to step in to help if needed.

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daisychain01 Sat 26-May-18 10:45:18

That's why they should get shot of him once and for all, OP. He's a danger.

SilverHairedCat Sat 26-May-18 10:46:21

You can't suspend for gross misconduct based on a 3rd party report. Unless the most recent victim is willing to make a complaint, it's good news they've done as much as they have, given OP asked for it to be dealt with anonymously.

DyslexicNotThick Sat 26-May-18 10:47:48

Amazing op, well done!
Might not feel like it now but actions like yours are slowly changing things for women in terms of sexual harassment. I'm sorry I can't hold your hand, I'm too busy clapping for you!

I was sexually harassed by my boss in my late teens many moons ago, and your thread has really made me reflect and question wtf was he doing, why didn't I react stronger etc...when in reality I don't think I even acknowledged it as sexual harassment at the time. It just wasn't spoken about at the time, and I was brought up in a culture of be quiet and do as you're told, like a good girl. It now sends shivers down my spine.

Because of brave women like you, hopefully my daughters will experience a better world, where victims are believed, policies show zero tolerance, and parents are more able to raise their children to recognise and not tolerate harassment.

Best wishes for the new job, don't worry about finding your big girl pants for the impending visit from that vile man, you've already shown him you won't tolerate his sleezy ways and you're both aware his card is marked. I think he'll find the visit more uncomfortable than you.

And thanks for the update.

TooTrueToBeGood Sat 26-May-18 10:53:04

He will be in the office where I am transferring to in a few weeks and I think he will confront me about this

If he does, report him to HR immediately. I can't speak for your employer but I know mine classes harrassment or intimidation of someone who's made a complaint as gross misconduct and summary dismissal would be highly likely.

slightlyglittermaned Sat 26-May-18 10:55:14

Can you talk to the second woman before you leave? Does HR know who she is and will they be planning to talk to her?

Well done OP. It's not unlikely that he's done this before - and nobody has told HR. Now he has a record, and anyone else coming forward will be believed.

NamChangeAgain Sat 26-May-18 10:55:31

Dyslexic thank you so so much for your kind words. I really hope this will scare this man enough for him to stop using the workplace as a sexual playground.

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NamChangeAgain Sat 26-May-18 10:59:47

Slightly I informed the second woman that I reported him as soon as I did it. Now HR and CEO know who she is and what he has been doing to her. I specified that she did not authorize me to report him on her behalf, so I was reporting him for what he did to me.

When I told her what I did, she said it was the right call and that she was proud of me, but of course she was scared that this man is going to take it on her and her career too.

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LoveProsecco Sun 27-May-18 12:27:49

Well done! I remember your last thread & glad you took the brave step. Good luck in your fresh start

mamakoukla Sun 27-May-18 18:35:12

Thank you for doing this. Incredibly brave and ethical. Best of luck in your new position!

aaarrrggghhhh Sun 27-May-18 18:39:41

Excellent work.

NamChangeAgain Sun 27-May-18 19:09:39

Thank you all for your kind comments.

I can't deny that I feel somewhat conflicted about reporting him. I 100% know it was the right and ethical thing to do. But I also feel guilty for the repercussions this will have for him.

He has been horrible to me, but he has also been nice, friendly and supportive of my career. He has been a good mentor when I needed one.

I know that the good stuff does not justify or condone the harassment, but it is enough to make me feel bad for reporting him.

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aaarrrggghhhh Sun 27-May-18 19:34:00

Fuck him. He should have been a good mentor AND not a gross perve. That is NOT too much to ask.

slightlyglittermaned Sun 27-May-18 20:36:41

It's sadly not unknown for some senior men to be really lovely mentors to junior women, and total shits to peers/those same junior women as they advance in their careers. The one does not excuse the other.

I understand the conflict because it's natural to feel gratitude towards a mentor - but it was his choice to be a gross perve to someone with far less power in the organisation than him. And then to fucking well start it up again.

You did absolutely the right thing. You've put him on notice, made sure the company is aware and made it much much easier for your female colleague (and future women!) to get help if he tries anything with her.

NamChangeAgain Tue 29-May-18 12:05:10

Sorry just need to post to keep my mind busy as I am freaking out.

I am home packing for my move and a trusted colleague from previous job (who knows about the harassment and the fact that I reported it) just message me from the office. She said HR and CEO picked up the man from his desk looking dead serious, and they are having a long meeting right now.

I am here sitting at home and feeling absolutely terrified, not sure why shock

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