Author Topic: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story  (Read 13831 times)

Anonymous_UserName

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Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« on: August 24, 2016, 06:31:00 AM »
Started an anonymous username for this one for a variety of reasons, mostly to do with privacy.

My SO (male) works in a very small industry. Most jobs are acquired as much through word of mouth as they are because of applications. He's been working at Company for less than a year, so is considered very junior, and, for a variety of company reasons (rather than personal reasons), was recently told that his contract would not be renewed in a couple of months. However, Manager A (female) has taken a liking to him and has pushed him to apply for a different position within the company, more higher-up than his current position. Not at all guaranteed to get it, but still something she thinks he should do.

It's an international company, but due to how small the field is this office only has about 20 people in it. They all know each other well and have rather frequent informal get-togethers in the evenings, usually involving liquor provided by Company. One of those happened this week. SO stayed quite late, until the wee hours of the morning, but for a strange reason. Apparently at the end of the night it was down to 3 people: SO, Intern (male), and very well-liked Manager B (male). They'd all been drinking and Intern, who only has a couple of days left before going back to college, thought maybe he'd sleep on the couch in the office instead of going back to his empty rented room. Manager B sat down on the couch and started petting his hair. SO thought it was weird, but brushed it off as drunken behavior. Still, was a little uneasy and got Intern to go home. When it was just the two of them, Manager B began to make strange comments, trying to get SO to wrestle or spar with him, called him "a pussy" when SO refused. Also made a number of racist/xenophobic comments. (According to SO, the cleaning staff were present for some of that.) Still, SO just thought it was drunken behavior, if quite odd. Didn't feel unsafe, due to a history of a self-defense style sport and current weight-lifting. (Neither of which he talks about at the office, because he feels there's no good way to do that without sounding like a braggart.) But, Manager B is very open about the fact that he likes a different martial-arts type sport. Was too drunk to be effective, but it's a well-known thing in the office.

SO was getting increasingly weirded out by Manager B's behavior and, since the guy was making it hard for him to leave, decided to try to get Manager B so drunk that he passed out. (SO was only mildly intoxicated at this point.) That was when he discovered that Manager B was sloppily trying to switch their drinks while distracting him. He tested it out several times, not taking any sips in between. At last fully realized what was going on and got up to leave, without confronting Manager B on the issue. Manager didn't want him to leave, and SO ended up pushing him away a few times, sort of ran to the elevators. (He told me it was "a lucky thing" they closed before Manager B got there.)

Unfortunately, SO didn't think to get any of this recorded and there are no security cameras in the office. Intern was quite drunk and left before the worst of this anyway, so an unreliable witness.

In addition, Manager B is not only well-liked, he's also kind of a star at the company. Fairly young, he made a senior position very quickly. Everyone in the office has a funny/fun story about him and, until now, SO regarded him highly.

SO would like to alert SOMEONE about this behavior, but is concerned about consequences for doing so. Will he be believed, since Manager B is so highly thought of, or will it just sound like sour grapes since his contract isn't getting renewed? Whether he is or isn't believed, how will this affect future job prospects? With so few people in the industry, something like this could follow him for a long time, even if it's not his fault. We have a young family to think of. He's feeling like the choice here is between doing the right thing, reporting this creepy behavior (Manager B was clearly targeting the intern and the junior staffer), and having the career he wants/likes. His thought at the moment is to have an off-site meeting with Manager A. Should he invite someone else? If so, should it be someone he trusts, or should he try to get someone closer to Manager B involved?

How should he handle this without tanking his career?

ender

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 06:39:17 AM »
Getting drunk around coworkers is never a good idea.

Reporting stuff like this with the caveat "but I was pretty drunk only mildly intoxicated at the time" also is pretty likely to go over poorly. Not to mention that your entire story is based on, "I decided to get Manager B so drunk that he would pass out."

Your SO's options are pretty limited if their goal is to not tank their career with this company.

use2betrix

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 06:42:24 AM »
Getting drunk around coworkers is never a good idea.

Reporting stuff like this with the caveat "but I was pretty drunk only mildly intoxicated at the time" also is pretty likely to go over poorly. Not to mention that your entire story is based on, "I decided to get Manager B so drunk that he would pass out."

Your SO's options are pretty limited if their goal is to not tank their career with this company.

Couldn't agree more. Unwanted consequences of drinking with coworkers. Some people get wild when they drink. I have buddies that always mess around when they get drunk, grab my ass (jokingly) etc and I'm 100% sure they are not homosexual. Just drunk people being obnoxious.

I don't really see anything in the post that's more than a drunk guy being obnoxious.

I'd tell your SO to stop drinking to that extent with coworkers.

SnackDog

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2016, 06:50:52 AM »
Since it was after hours and alcohol was involved, I would not pursue it (unless Manager B had made specific remarks about your SO's career in relation to his advances). This sort of thing happens in every company when too much alcohol is involved (and in fact more often than not leads to intercourse!). People are human. The manager is probably very embarrassed and sorry about what happened.   Best to avoid being in smallish groups with him in these situations and/or make it clear to him that his advances were not welcome, although I suspect he knows that.  If manager is truly ashamed of his drunken behavior it could even work to the advantage of your SO who might get special consideration for sweeping this indiscretion under the rug.  As for the intern, unless he is under 18 I reckon he can fend for himself but your SO could check with him.

Fishindude

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2016, 06:59:36 AM »
Why is SO staying at work till the wee hours drinking and partying?
Seems like this is where the problem is originating.

slappy

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 07:13:01 AM »
I'm not sure why he would feel the need to report the situation to anyone at work. I would just write it off as a lesson learned not to stay late and drink with Manager B.

GuitarStv

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2016, 07:50:22 AM »
Why is SO staying at work till the wee hours drinking and partying?
Seems like this is where the problem is originating.

Very much this.  That's not acceptable professional behaviour.  Once you've stepped outside of that realm it's pretty hard to point fingers at someone else for being unprofessional.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 07:56:26 AM »
Your SO was doing something stupid, and other people nearby did something even stupider. That's not a surprise, it's a lesson.

Edited: I don't agree with what I wrote here after considering things more thoroughly.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 12:20:29 PM by ShoulderThingThatGoesUp »

MandyM

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 08:17:52 AM »
UUuhhhh, I guess its good to see that victim blaming isn't just reserved for females. Are you kidding me with these responses?? 

This guy's behavior is pretty alarming, alcohol or not. Obviousl, how your SO addresses it is entirely up to him and is a pretty personal choice. I would seriously consider discussing it with Manager A or HR. If SO ends up not getting the new position there, perhaps he talks to them after he leaves and secures a new job.

Even if nothing or little is done about the incident, it would be good to have it on record. Maybe there have already been issues and this just adds to them. Or it can add legitimacy to a future report.

Dezrah

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 08:32:46 AM »
OP, I am so sorry about this.  Your husband was scared, felt trapped, and now feels helpless.  If he is otherwise a healthy, functioning adult I would trust his instincts that what the boss did was wrong.  It is NOT his fault he wanted to have drinks with someone he thought was a friend.  Your husband did nothing wrong.  This manager is displaying predatory behavior and there is a good chance he has and will continue to prey on other people.

The choice of whether to report and how to do this is not simple.  I would suggest you search for a hotline that specializes in sexual victim support.  Even if your case is not extreme they should give you a sympathetic ear be able to point you in the direction of local support groups, attorneys, or whatever you need to make the decision that is right for you.

You are not alone.  Please get whatever help you need.

-----------------------------------

To the rest of the commenters thus far (except you, MandyM), shame on you.  I never expected to see such horrid victim blaming on this site.

Drinking around coworkers is a bad idea because you might make yourself look like a fool.  Drinking does not grant carte blanche to be treated in a way you don’t consent.  Whether you do or don’t drink does not give a person in higher or lower authority the right to belittle you, invade your space, coerce you (into not leaving), physically chase you when you are trying to leave.  Predators know what they’re doing and they intentionally put themselves and their victims in situations where an outside viewer will say “clearly the victim is exaggerating”, “it’s their own fault they put themselves in that situation”, “someone that high up can have anyone they want and wouldn’t risk their career like that. Obviously victim is looking for a quick payday.”  Disgusting.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2016, 08:36:25 AM »
I disagree that this is on the SO.

If you're a supervisor you shouldn't be making passes at juniors and should never put someone in the position where they feel the need to run away from you.

If you want to drunkenly wrestle with someone, do that with your friends, not your colleagues. If you want to wrestle with someone and they say stop, you STOP.

RosieTR

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2016, 08:44:43 AM »
Inappropriate behavior is inappropriate, whether drunk or not. If the manager had tried to drive and hit SO's car in the company parking lot, people wouldn't say "oh, well, he was just drunk. Maybe SO shouldn't park there if Manager is going to park nearby and maybe drive drunk."
Also, the company may well have some liability if they provided the alcohol and venue. Especially if the intern is underage (assuming US where legal age is 21).

All that said, SO making a big stink will likely backfire. Even in cases where there is clear documentation and obvious harassment (ie threatening your job if sexual favors aren't granted) rather than "weird and uncomfortable" behavior there can be severe repercussions for victims.
If SO is worried about manager B's behavior, but doesn't want to report, he might have a private, in-person chat with his supervisor (manager A if she counts and he trusts her). She may have reporting requirements for sexual misconduct so he may want to phrase this more as a concern with company liability if employees are getting drunk on company dime in company facilities (and providing alcohol to underage employees), and that he has observed some behavior that could be concerning if this continues. Manager B sounds like a sexual predator-switching drinks, trying to get a young and vulnerable person too drunk to resist advances, etc. but without a good case it probably isn't worth it to SO to pursue, given the issues. Llamo had great advice for figuring this out. Definitely be worth taking the next intern aside and warning him/her about manager B. This could be done by discussing professional behavior and the different status of being an intern vs a full time employee, in a sort of mentoring way rather than accusative of B if SO needs to be careful with that. CYA for SO but still doing something to help prevent B from screwing up intern's life.

Edited to clarify
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 09:01:08 AM by RosieTR »

snogirl

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2016, 08:49:45 AM »
My bet this isn't the first time for Manager B.  Predators are everywhere and sometimes wear fancy suits and are well liked.
OP I am sorry that your SO had to go through with this and hopefully will have the strength to report it. 

ooeei

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2016, 08:53:49 AM »
I disagree that this is on the SO.

If you're a supervisor you shouldn't be making passes at juniors and should never put someone in the position where they feel the need to run away from you.

If you want to drunkenly wrestle with someone, do that with your friends, not your colleagues. If you want to wrestle with someone and they say stop, you STOP.

It's not that it's SO's fault, the same way someone driving their BMW to a bad part of town and shouting out "Wow, look how nice my car is" then getting out and strolling around at 2 in the morning in a $1000 suit wearing a rolex doesn't deserve to get robbed or their car broken into.  Then again, there ARE things you can do to prevent yourself from being taken advantage of or being in a compromising situation.  It seems like that's pretty much what all the other employees did by leaving at a reasonable hour. 

SHOULD you be able to get shitfaced with a manager at work late at night on the company dime after everyone else leaves and not have any awkward sexual advances happen? I guess so?  Will anything good come from OP reporting this situation to other management?  Probably not.  Probably the best case outcome will be that the company puts a stop to people drinking on company property, which might not go over very well with your peers.    Then again it may be a good thing, it depends whether SO wants to be the one who maybe sacrifices part of his career for it.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2016, 08:55:11 AM »
Nothing can make what the manager did appropriate, but the SO put himself in a bad position to do anything about it.

Edited: I now disagree with the struck-out portion.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 12:20:02 PM by ShoulderThingThatGoesUp »

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2016, 08:56:47 AM »
My bet this isn't the first time for Manager B.  Predators are everywhere and sometimes wear fancy suits and are well liked.
OP I am sorry that your SO had to go through with this and hopefully will have the strength to report it.

The drink switching is definitely a serial predator sort of behavior. That's terrifying.

snacky

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2016, 08:59:05 AM »
Even if SO does nothing because he doesn't want to raise a stink and possibly harm his prospects with the company (many women here will be familiar with this decision), he should discreetly warn other interns/ new hires/ anyone who might get put in that position. Again, many women here will know about the quiet warnings given by other women not to let a specific person walk them home or whatever. These situations suck so badly because of cultural norms protecting the offender and it's important to look out for potential victims.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2016, 09:01:52 AM »
You know, maybe most of us are reading this wrong. The drinking after work is with liquor provided by the company? I think this could be reported, and ought to be, because I wasn't thinking enough on the drink-switching thing.

RosieTR

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2016, 09:12:58 AM »
Nothing can make what the manager did appropriate, but the SO put himself in a bad position to do anything about it.

SO's position is being eliminated, and he is in contention for another position which may be a "reach". SO participated in a social gathering at the company with a person who might be able to influence whether he gets said position. SO did not drink very much during this, and happened to stay fairly late (maybe to get an opportunity to talk to B about future prospects in company after the crowd thinned out?). I fail to see where this is unreasonable for SO. In fact, it seems like it was strategic networking until things got crappy due to B.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 09:15:03 AM by RosieTR »

okits

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2016, 09:15:40 AM »
How should he handle this without tanking his career?

Unless his office is outstandingly supportive and ethical, it's really an either/or choice, here.  Do the right thing (report) and face all the professional damage, or stay quiet but keep his career on track.  Manager B's behaviour is frightening, but with no evidence against him and his position in the company, all he has to say is "I was just kidding around" and he will be absolved.

You've indicated that SO's career is the priority, so this time around I would counsel him to keep quiet.  At least he protected the intern, no one was actually harmed, and he didn't feel physically threatened (the fear and powerlessness from that, alone, is very upsetting).  Act normal but no more socializing with Manager B in small groups.

I know this is not fair.  But given the situation, that's my best advice.

Dezrah

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2016, 09:30:02 AM »
Everything about this screams"get FU money".

This is one of many reasons poorer people are more victimized than the financially secure. If your choice is put up with indignity, degrading behavior, and unwanted advances or being evicted, you'll choose the devil you know every time.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2016, 10:14:23 AM »
Nothing can make what the manager did appropriate, but the SO put himself in a bad position to do anything about it.

SO's position is being eliminated, and he is in contention for another position which may be a "reach". SO participated in a social gathering at the company with a person who might be able to influence whether he gets said position. SO did not drink very much during this, and happened to stay fairly late (maybe to get an opportunity to talk to B about future prospects in company after the crowd thinned out?). I fail to see where this is unreasonable for SO. In fact, it seems like it was strategic networking until things got crappy due to B.

You're right, I think the idea of late-night drinking with co-workers seemed so off to me that I didn't process that this is part of the company's culture, as bizarre (and as shown here dangerous) as that is.

MsPeacock

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2016, 11:07:12 AM »
UUuhhhh, I guess its good to see that victim blaming isn't just reserved for females. Are you kidding me with these responses?? 

This guy's behavior is pretty alarming, alcohol or not. Obviousl, how your SO addresses it is entirely up to him and is a pretty personal choice. I would seriously consider discussing it with Manager A or HR. If SO ends up not getting the new position there, perhaps he talks to them after he leaves and secures a new job.

Even if nothing or little is done about the incident, it would be good to have it on record. Maybe there have already been issues and this just adds to them. Or it can add legitimacy to a future report.

Exactly. If this as a female SO Amd a male boss has been "petting" the head of a female intern, tried to switch drinks, insisted on wrestling, called sexual/insulting names, physically restrained from leaving - yeah, that is sexual harassment, not just stupid drunk behavior.


Nick_Miller

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2016, 11:32:36 AM »
UUuhhhh, I guess its good to see that victim blaming isn't just reserved for females. Are you kidding me with these responses?? 

This guy's behavior is pretty alarming, alcohol or not. Obviousl, how your SO addresses it is entirely up to him and is a pretty personal choice. I would seriously consider discussing it with Manager A or HR. If SO ends up not getting the new position there, perhaps he talks to them after he leaves and secures a new job.

Even if nothing or little is done about the incident, it would be good to have it on record. Maybe there have already been issues and this just adds to them. Or it can add legitimacy to a future report.

Exactly. If this as a female SO Amd a male boss has been "petting" the head of a female intern, tried to switch drinks, insisted on wrestling, called sexual/insulting names, physically restrained from leaving - yeah, that is sexual harassment, not just stupid drunk behavior.

I agree with this.

Anonymous_UserName

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2016, 11:42:31 AM »
To clarify a few things: after hours drinks, provided by the company, are actually a cultural norm in this business (as bizarre as it may seem to some). It is generally a laid-back industry and, as I said, small. In fact, there's usually a stocked liquor cabinet at all times, in most offices in this industry.
SO was there to participate in the networking, and also to give a small talk, which is encouraged and the whole reason for these gatherings. I think it's under the idea of "team building" stuff. SO was intoxicated, as were most of the group, but not drunk. It was in an open area of the office, which is deliberately set up for networking and relaxing with coworkers. Collaboration is necessary in the industry.

SO stayed so late first to make sure the intern was all right (he's become friendly with the intern, them being the two lowest on the hierarchy). He was being the good guy I know him to be, making sure the young and inexperienced guy would be able to get home fine. After that, his intent in staying a little longer was to ensure that Manager B, who was wildly drunk at that point, would also make it home. Some of the red flags started before the intern left, but most of the predatory behavior began when they were alone. And, as a man, he's not used to the signals of imminent sexual harassment the way we ladies tend to be. Most of it he brushed off as just drunken behavior, until the Manager wouldn't let him go and began trying to switch their drinks.

I cannot see how any of this could be construed as anything other than predatory behavior, and completely Manager's fault/responsibility. Targeting the two most junior people in the company, with the least say and the most to lose, as well as trying to coerce and physically force them into unwanted behaviors--did I mention in the original post that he was trying to egg them on to drink more?--is despicable. And after all of that, the man was trying to switch drinks with SO, who still doesn't know if he actually managed to put something in one of them or if he was too drunk and just thought he had.

SO is working from home today.

Chranstronaut

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2016, 12:22:35 PM »
This was very inappropriate behavior and your SO has every reason to feel uncomfortable with it.  I think your SO has several options, depending on the details of the people/company, including talking directly to this man to let him know that how he acted was not okay and/or going to HR or another trustworthy company resource.

I work at a small bizarro company too, where drinking with managers is common.  I waited too long to speak to HR when I was feeling very unhappy and uncomfortable about someone at my job and I regret it.  I thought I needed "proof" or "documented incidents" in order to say something to them, and I had only heard bad things about mistrusting HR with secrets.  It's true that what you say in a meeting with HR is not confidential, and they may tell someone else at the company about it.  Or they might not.  In my case, HR could not take direct action, but they were able to help me deal with it from my end and discuss the issue with upper managers who did take limited action.

Describing what happened in a mature and honest way with HR is going to be the "documented proof" of the incident.  He doesn't need a video of the behavior to report it; telling the story and having that recorded by HR is a piece of evidence.  If something like this has happened or will happen again, these pieces are used together to understand the trend or as evidence in internal investigations.  I spent weeks in emotional turmoil thinking I "didn't have the right" to report something that happened to HR, but I was mistaken and I wished I'd have talked with them sooner.

If your SO is able to report the situation to HR and encourages the intern to do the same, it may not be treated lightly even if this is a senior person.  My company takes some things seriously (harassment, stealing), even though they are a very relaxed culture (t-shirts allowed, drinking after work with managers, using foul language/nicknames at work).

This is harassment, and your SO does not deserve to be treated poorly like this.

ender

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2016, 12:37:34 PM »
I cannot see how any of this could be construed as anything other than predatory behavior, and completely Manager's fault/responsibility. Targeting the two most junior people in the company, with the least say and the most to lose, as well as trying to coerce and physically force them into unwanted behaviors--did I mention in the original post that he was trying to egg them on to drink more?--is despicable. And after all of that, the man was trying to switch drinks with SO, who still doesn't know if he actually managed to put something in one of them or if he was too drunk and just thought he had.

SO is working from home today.

I think you are assuming somehow that being right will result in benefit for your SO's career. The effect on his career is fairly independent of whether the results here are considered "right" or "wrong."

Unfortunately, someone who just had their position eliminated is likely to be scrutinized for making accusations such as this. It's likely to reflect poorly, particularly since their company seems small enough to not have a formalized HR department.

Your SO needs to decide which is more important.

How should he handle this without tanking his career?

Unless his office is outstandingly supportive and ethical, it's really an either/or choice, here.  Do the right thing (report) and face all the professional damage, or stay quiet but keep his career on track.  Manager B's behaviour is frightening, but with no evidence against him and his position in the company, all he has to say is "I was just kidding around" and he will be absolved.

You've indicated that SO's career is the priority, so this time around I would counsel him to keep quiet.  At least he protected the intern, no one was actually harmed, and he didn't feel physically threatened (the fear and powerlessness from that, alone, is very upsetting).  Act normal but no more socializing with Manager B in small groups.

I know this is not fair.  But given the situation, that's my best advice.

+1

use2betrix

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2016, 12:47:28 PM »
--did I mention in the original post that he was trying to egg them on to drink more?--is despicable.


Omg... Someone who is drinking with a group of people, trying to persuade other people to drink more? Get out of here, no one would do that.....


Anonymous_UserName

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2016, 01:27:26 PM »
--did I mention in the original post that he was trying to egg them on to drink more?--is despicable.


Omg... Someone who is drinking with a group of people, trying to persuade other people to drink more? Get out of here, no one would do that.....

Wow. Okay. This was a workplace setting, not a frat party. If someone says that they've reached their limit for an evening, that should be that. Also, even if it was a college party I would take issue with someone calling someone else a "pussy" or a "fag" for not drinking more. Maybe in your circles that's acceptable, but here in Adulthood it's not only considered a little silly, it's also a sign of immaturity. And, taken with all the other predatory behaviors, trying to get others drunker than they want is a bit of a warning sign.

I cannot see how any of this could be construed as anything other than predatory behavior, and completely Manager's fault/responsibility. Targeting the two most junior people in the company, with the least say and the most to lose, as well as trying to coerce and physically force them into unwanted behaviors--did I mention in the original post that he was trying to egg them on to drink more?--is despicable. And after all of that, the man was trying to switch drinks with SO, who still doesn't know if he actually managed to put something in one of them or if he was too drunk and just thought he had.

SO is working from home today.

I think you are assuming somehow that being right will result in benefit for your SO's career. The effect on his career is fairly independent of whether the results here are considered "right" or "wrong."

Unfortunately, someone who just had their position eliminated is likely to be scrutinized for making accusations such as this. It's likely to reflect poorly, particularly since their company seems small enough to not have a formalized HR department.

Your SO needs to decide which is more important.


No. I'm assuming that none of this will be beneficial for SO's career. I'm pointing out that blaming the victim for this douchebag's actions is unhelpful in the extreme.
No one is responsible for Manager B's actions but Manager B, so all the people who think that SO is in the wrong for having drunk in a social atmosphere, with the rest of the office present for most of the time, are free to leave the discussion. I wouldn't put up with you guys blaming a woman for her boss's sexual harassment, no matter the circumstances, and I'm not going to put up with it just because all the people in this situation were male.

Dezrah

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2016, 01:32:44 PM »
OP, thank you for the follow-up.  Your own mental state is badass.  I’m no longer so worried that you’ll fall into the “it’s his own fault” mindset, whatever other commenters say.

So back to your original position of what to do.  I feel that time is of the essence.  HR should get the intern's side of the story and probably interview the cleaning crew while it’s fresh in everyone’s mind.  If his position is disappearing anyway, is there really that much left to lose?  If they refuse to protect him or take him seriously, is this really an industry he wants to be a part of?

Something else to keep in mind is possibility that they do take you seriously and it results in nothing more than increased training but he still has to see the manager every day.  This might feel like it sucks, but boss is now being watched for repeated complaints.  He could very well save the next intern from being victimized.

Ultimately though, you should make sure SO is the one taking the lead on all of these moves.  He has to be the one to process and decide what is best for him.  Support him and make sure whatever he decides it’s because he feels strong.

Please keep us updated as the situation evolves.  Good luck.

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2016, 01:43:09 PM »
Drinking and socializing with coworkers is irrelevant. The manager's behavior is not appropriate even just among friends either, especially if he really put something in his drink. I socialize with coworkers all the time, we drink, we get drunk, etc but never have I experienced unwelcomed advances by a manager or a coworker. If there is someone he trusts that he can talk to at work, I would suggest that.

ooeei

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2016, 02:41:19 PM »

Wow. Okay. This was a workplace setting, not a frat party. If someone says that they've reached their limit for an evening, that should be that. Also, even if it was a college party I would take issue with someone calling someone else a "pussy" or a "fag" for not drinking more. Maybe in your circles that's acceptable, but here in Adulthood it's not only considered a little silly, it's also a sign of immaturity. And, taken with all the other predatory behaviors, trying to get others drunker than they want is a bit of a warning sign.

Well, getting drunk with coworkers in the office isn't acceptable in most workplaces either.  I think this workplace sounds closer to a frat party than most.  There's plenty of industries where name calling and peer pressure are norms, and sometimes required to be taken seriously.  It's not nice or polite, but it seems like you're trying to apply formal business etiquette to a company that is not that. 

Someone who works at staples calling a coworker a pussy for not being able to lift a box is going to get reprimanded quickly, an oil rig worker doing the same is going to get a chuckle from the rest of the group.  Does that make it right?  No, but I'm not exactly outraged about it either.

The drink switching, head petting, and any abnormal physical contact is what you should be mad about, not the encouraging someone to drink more or calling them names.

Quote
No. I'm assuming that none of this will be beneficial for SO's career. I'm pointing out that blaming the victim for this douchebag's actions is unhelpful in the extreme.
No one is responsible for Manager B's actions but Manager B, so all the people who think that SO is in the wrong for having drunk in a social atmosphere, with the rest of the office present for most of the time, are free to leave the discussion. I wouldn't put up with you guys blaming a woman for her boss's sexual harassment, no matter the circumstances, and I'm not going to put up with it just because all the people in this situation were male.

Yes, manager B is responsible.  Unfortunately, you aren't manager B's mother or SO, so you don't have much say in what he does other than to report it, which has possible consequences listed above.  You came here asking how to handle this without tanking his career, not to ask us if we thought his behavior was acceptable.  If you just want everyone's opinion on whether or not manager B is a scumbag, I think you'll get mostly yes answers.  That doesn't help you much.

I think you might be confusing some of our advice with victim blaming.  Suggesting that maybe your husband shouldn't get drunk with coworkers in small groups in private settings doesn't mean we're blaming him.  The same way suggesting my friend shouldn't wear his diamond studded rolex to a sketchy area in Chicago doesn't mean I think he's the one at fault for it getting stolen.  It's a realistic suggestion to help prevent similar situations in the future from happening.

Kakashi

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2016, 03:18:48 PM »
Ok let me give you the counter perspective.

You are a manager of a small company.  You have treated people with respect and they in turn respect you and enjoy working with you.  One night you had too much to drink and acted inappropriately.  Not gravely inappropriate, but definitely unprofessional.  Your probably don't even remember the incident.  Then someone low in the company, employee "A", files a sexual harrassment report against you.  This leads to a big investigation where your job is in jeopardy. 

Outcome 1) The charges are dismissed and you remain in management.  A's position was going to terminate anyways.  Would you help this A in getting a new position, or writing a letter of recommendation?  (probably not).  Since it's a small industry, would you let other managers know of this person filing an unfounded report against you (remember there's no proof and you likely didn't remember the incident) (probably, even if just because of casual conversation).  Outcome 1, employee A chances are screwed.

Outcome 2) The charges are accepted and you get fired.  A lot of people really enjoyed working with you and pissed at A for causing you to be dismissed.  Are THOSE people going to vouch for A to get a new position in the same or another company?  (probably not).  Outcome 2, employee A chances are screwed.

For all those that say "report it", you aren't the one dealing with the consequence.  The smarter and more objective thing to do is UNLESS IT'S A RECURRENT PROBLEM (which is unlikely), just keep quiet and write it off a stupid drunken behavior.  This is not about being right or wrong.  This is doing what is practical given the world we live in. 

Goldielocks

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2016, 03:28:43 PM »
What would your SO think is the ideal outcome?

My ideal outcome would be for there to be a note on file with HR, and that the Manager B is informed that a co-worker complained about his behavior when drinking at after hours gathering (without mentioning who, details, or sexual harrassment to Manager B, such that it can be figured out.).

To do this, I would meet privately with HR or ethics person, and let them know my concerns, *verbally* and my overwhelming need for anonymity, even if that meant no formal complaint, and that excessive drinking was involved and the behaviour may be solely due to that.  Give HR the option to drop it, in other words, or ask them to curtail the drinking after hours to only 1 drink  (our work does that simply by only buying 1 drink per person and having a curfew to be out of the office).

As nothing actually happened, and you don't want to be on record and named as the complaintant, HR may drop it, this may add up with other "incidents" and need action, or they may record it (in memory or notes) for future.   

The xenophobia remarks alone could be worthy of a chat with HR, with no official sanctions forthcoming.

Orvell

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2016, 03:38:19 PM »
Wohhhh.
Was not expecting the massive shitstorm of victim blaming. o_O; And excuse generating.

Anonymous_UserName - sorry your SO is dealing with this bullshit. You said you are a woman, so you understand what's going on here likely better than many posters who seem a little out of touch.

Whether or not SO reports it or not is his call. I wish that it hadn't happened, and I'm sorry. :( If I was your SO's HR department or manager, I'd want to know, because shit like this is Not Good, not just morally, but potentially for a company if things ever become worse. However, yeah, I don't know what it would do for your SO's standing.

A question that I haven't seen raised yet: why not take this as an opportunity to look elsewhere? Do you guys have an emergency fund? I say report it (honestly) and encourage SO to find another job where he doesn't have this shit to deal with. Best of both worlds in that if there's a larger problem the company can deal with it and this manager might get a little comeuppance (or at least a reprimand for Bad Decisions) and your SO can move along because his contract is ending anyhow (so it's not like it's 'under bad terms')

undercover

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2016, 04:18:05 PM »
Lewd behavior brought on by drinking alcohol? No way!

Hopefully Manager B realizes that he screwed up - but the best way to prevent this from happening in the future is for your SO to leave these "parties" as soon as the first few people do.

If your SO wants to say anything at all, it needs to be to the manager directly, but in a very subtle way. I can't see what he would gain by trying to report him to anyone higher than Manager B - there's absolutely no evidence as you said and it's just a he-said she-said game at this point.

Jrr85

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2016, 04:24:47 PM »
What would your SO think is the ideal outcome?

My ideal outcome would be for there to be a note on file with HR, and that the Manager B is informed that a co-worker complained about his behavior when drinking at after hours gathering (without mentioning who, details, or sexual harrassment to Manager B, such that it can be figured out.).

To do this, I would meet privately with HR or ethics person, and let them know my concerns, *verbally* and my overwhelming need for anonymity, even if that meant no formal complaint, and that excessive drinking was involved and the behaviour may be solely due to that.  Give HR the option to drop it, in other words, or ask them to curtail the drinking after hours to only 1 drink  (our work does that simply by only buying 1 drink per person and having a curfew to be out of the office).

As nothing actually happened, and you don't want to be on record and named as the complaintant, HR may drop it, this may add up with other "incidents" and need action, or they may record it (in memory or notes) for future.   

The xenophobia remarks alone could be worthy of a chat with HR, with no official sanctions forthcoming.

If you meet with an HR person, chances are very high that they are going to formalize it.  Putting a note in a file with such a serious allegation from a subordinate without letting the person know that a serious allegation has been made against them?  I just don't see that happening.  Nor is it likely that they'll make a mental note of it in case a similar incident occurs in the future.  What are they going to say?  "Hey, this sounds remarkably similar to a previous, very serious allegation against the employee in question.  You can't find it in the file anywhere because I chose to not do anything about it, but maybe this time we should act?"

There's really only a few potential outcomes:

Tell HR - things get messy; probably bad for your SO's career (maybe if this type of thing has happened before and this is just confirmation for something they were always going to do, it's not that big of a deal). 
Don't say anything - probably ok, unless he's actually a predator
Tell a trusted manager something along the lines of "we were drinking; some weird stuff happened; I think Co-worker was just hammered and don't think it means anything, but since I'm leaving, I did want to let somebody know in case something similar came up in the future and it turns out it wasn't just Co-worker being hammered."  Would probably throw in something along the lines of "I really hate to even mention this because I like Co-worker so much and woudl hate to hurt his reputation with anybody simply because he did some weird stuff while he was drunk, but at the same time felt like I had to at least let somebody know since I'm leaving." 

Maybe trusted manager has already heard whispers so this isn't news.  Maybe trusted manager feels morally obligated to pursue it, in which case you're SO probably still gets screwed. 

I would not say anything unless your SO felt so strongly that the guy is a predator that he is going to successfully date rape somebody if he doesn't say anything.  I would just be hesitant to throw that grenade for something that could have just been his coworker having a bad drunk.

ender

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2016, 04:31:28 PM »
No. I'm assuming that none of this will be beneficial for SO's career. I'm pointing out that blaming the victim for this douchebag's actions is unhelpful in the extreme.
No one is responsible for Manager B's actions but Manager B, so all the people who think that SO is in the wrong for having drunk in a social atmosphere, with the rest of the office present for most of the time, are free to leave the discussion. I wouldn't put up with you guys blaming a woman for her boss's sexual harassment, no matter the circumstances, and I'm not going to put up with it just because all the people in this situation were male.

I guess I really don't understand the purpose of your thread.

Your entire post was predicated on the question, "How should he handle this without tanking his career?" and when people give you actionable responses you don't like, you start complaining about how people are blaming your SO.

My advice to a woman wanting to minimize the risk for sexual harassment in the workplace would be to avoid situations alone with drunk managers late into the evening, too. I would most certainly not tell her that she should wear revealing outfits, flirt with her manager, all the while getting him uproariously drunk late into the evening. After all, it's not her fault if it ends poorly, so shouldn't she go ahead and do this?

Those of you getting on the "stop blaming the victim" bandwagon probably wouldn't recommend this young woman to do this either, right? Why not? Or would you recommend that she go ahead and do that?

There is a difference between "blaming the victim" and utilizing common sense. You can't change other people. All you can do is change yourself. Acting differently in light of how other people might respond in ways that negatively affect you is simply common sense. There are very few circumstances when being alone late at night with coworkers who are drunk is a good idea.

Dezrah

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2016, 04:43:05 PM »
OP also mentioned that that manager is possibly up for a partnership. If I were a partner I would absolutely want to know about this incident. This guy screams future lawsuit and I would never want to risk my company like that. Even if I genuinely believed the manager was not actually a predator I would still hold him liable for drinking with subordinates to excess. The guy's a bomb that's going to blow up on someone (dear NSA, that's just an expression) and it's not going to be me.

Kakashi

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2016, 05:38:33 PM »
OP also mentioned that that manager is possibly up for a partnership. If I were a partner I would absolutely want to know about this incident. This guy screams future lawsuit and I would never want to risk my company like that. Even if I genuinely believed the manager was not actually a predator I would still hold him liable for drinking with subordinates to excess. The guy's a bomb that's going to blow up on someone (dear NSA, that's just an expression) and it's not going to be me.

Ok let's be real.  No one is playing the hero here.  OP's purpose is not to save the company from a potential future lawsuit.  OP is also not intending to protect all the potential unknown future people from experiencing the same thing. 

One thing I want to ask that no one pointed out is why not just approaching the Manager himself?  Not in an accusatory manner, but a "hey do you remember what happened, you made me feel uncomfortable" manner.  This Manager isn't well-liked for no reason.  He will probably get a personal apology irregardless of fault, and respect that SO didn't just go narc on him to HR. 

Anonymous_UserName

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2016, 06:02:24 PM »

I guess I really don't understand the purpose of your thread.


The purpose of the thread was stated at the beginning. Now that this situation has occurred, what is the best course of action? Not, what could he have done to prevent this in the first place? I doubt most of the men in this thread/on this forum expect to be sexually harassed, whether the harasser is male or female. It genuinely never popped in his head that well-liked Manager B might, in fact, be a sexual predator.

Now that the situation has happened, his behavior after hours and around Manager B will be different. He still hasn't, as far as I know, decided on a course of action. And he's following this thread as well, to see what people say. He's said that some of you seem really obtuse as to what the situation actually was. The practical advice, rather than trying to excuse Manager B or pin blame on him, is the helpful part. Which is what I asked for in the beginning.

If you'd like to start a thread talking about why drinking with coworkers is/isn't a bad idea, or how to avoid sexual harassment, go ahead. This is not it. We wanted advice on what should be done in the current situation, preferably from people who have more experience with this stuff.

OP is also not intending to protect all the potential unknown future people from experiencing the same thing. 
 

Actually, yes. That's why my SO feels so torn. He doesn't want to destroy his career in a field which he genuinely loves, however he also doesn't want this guy to get a free pass in the future to possibly do worse. As he kept telling me once he got home, he never once felt in danger. He can handle himself and he was not that intoxicated, not anywhere near where Manager B thought he was. But other people might not have his strength or his background in self-defense. If he hadn't stayed around to make sure Intern got home safely, what might have happened? It's sort of haunting him.

This could be the first time Manager B has done something like this. Will it be the last? We don't know. What if SO says nothing and someone else later gets hurt? We can't know the answers to these. It's a very murky area.

In addition, SO is displaying some of the classic symptoms of women in this situation. He's second-guessing himself hardcore, wondering if anyone would even believe him. Morally he feels that telling someone is the right thing (and the office is small enough not to have an HR department at this location -- Manager A is the closest they have) but also feels that ruining his career, with our family needing his income, isn't morally right either.

We do have an emergency fund. He is actively seeking other employment. But, he likes this company and, until this at least, wanted to stay with them if possible. If he does apply for and get the position Manager A told him to go for, it's 100% remote, so he wouldn't have to interact with Manager B daily. On the other hand, he also wouldn't be there to warn others in lowly positions, but since he's being let go that's true in any case.

ender

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2016, 06:09:17 PM »
Good luck.


BlueHouse

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #42 on: August 24, 2016, 06:23:42 PM »
My advice:  keep mouth shut. He doesn't have a pattern of this and it will just hurt your SO To report undocumented story.

Also, please have a discussion with your SO about safe behavior. SO thought the manager put something in his drink and then proceeded to taste it?  Why?  Want to tempt the devil?  Honestly, this one part made me doubt the entire story.  As a woman, this just doesn't sound like plausible behavior. But maybe men like to tempt fate a bit more. In any case, that was just plain stupid. He could have been incapacitated and then what? 

undercover

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2016, 06:24:14 PM »
If you'd like to start a thread talking about why drinking with coworkers is/isn't a bad idea, or how to avoid sexual harassment, go ahead. This is not it. We wanted advice on what should be done in the current situation, preferably from people who have more experience with this stuff.

Well, to be fair, this forum is predominately made up of engineer-type folks who likely have never run into this situation (thus the advice on not ending up in it in the first place).

A potentially (bi?) dude came onto your husband in an inappropriate matter and he wasn't in danger - it's not the end of the world. Uncomfortable and unprofessional...sure, but there are ways to deal with this. And the best course of action is approaching the manager directly and letting him know "I don't want to make this awkward, but your behavior made me uncomfortable and I was just wondering if you were aware of that. I'd like to avoid any sort of encounters of that nature in the future." And I would go from there.

If he really feels like it is something that he can't bounce back from mentally, then by all means move on and report the guy if necessary (though still doubt it will accomplish anything) - but I think looking for other work before trying to iron out the situation directly is a bit rash. Human nature is complicated and not everyone is a horrible piece of shit predator just because they got a little drunk and went over the line.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2016, 06:38:14 PM »
When my wife and I were dating, she was sexually assulted onboard ship. It was 4th of july, the ship was tied up at the USCG station in Boston. A large number of people watched the fireworks from the flying bridge, while drinking extremely illegal alcohol. My wife had a few sips, but didn't like the taste and pitched her's overboard. At one point the CO wandered by, giving everyone a wink an a nod.

Later that night, a guy who'd been transfered to the ship due to 'problems' in his previous assignment went into wife's stateroom. She woke up with his hand under her shirt.

I advised her to report the incident, because it was the right thing to do, and I wanted her to get support. And I wanted that fucker to die.

An investigation was opened, and my wife got the support I expected, right up to the point the drinking aboard ship was discovered. After that, the investigating board 'decided' she and homeboy had been dating, but she wanted out, and decided crying rape was the best way to get rid of him. She was charged with perjury, and conduct unbecoming.

Leadership ended up canceling the board, due to pressure from someone. Probably the CO, though we'll never be certain exactly who saved her. The guy who assaulted her remains unpunished.

I'm absolutely not victim blaming, but the fact that your SO was drinking, and encouraged others to drink, introduces quite a lot of grey and eliminates the ability to make summary judgement. It sucks. It shouldn't be that way. But there's no denying the current state of reporting.

Your SO can report, but he'll have to accept the fact that the consequences might be terrible. If I could go back in time, I'd never push my wife to report.

With This Herring

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2016, 06:53:11 PM »
*snip*

Tell a trusted manager something along the lines of "we were drinking; some weird stuff happened; I think Co-worker was just hammered and don't think it means anything, but since I'm leaving, I did want to let somebody know in case something similar came up in the future and it turns out it wasn't just Co-worker being hammered."  Would probably throw in something along the lines of "I really hate to even mention this because I like Co-worker so much and woudl hate to hurt his reputation with anybody simply because he did some weird stuff while he was drunk, but at the same time felt like I had to at least let somebody know since I'm leaving." 

Maybe trusted manager has already heard whispers so this isn't news.  Maybe trusted manager feels morally obligated to pursue it, in which case you're SO probably still gets screwed. 
*snip*

I agree with this statement as excerpted.  SO needs to tell Manager A and tell Manager A to talk to Intern and the cleaning crew on duty that night.  I hope Intern remembers the night.  At the least, Manager A might make sure that she stays around for these drinking events to get a better idea of how Manager B acts when things get liquored up.

It's a shame no one held onto the glasses of alcohol to test them for roofies.

Your SO is a good guy for making sure Intern stayed safe.

I haven't seen anyone mention going to the police about this.  If Manager B had roofies with him that night, it would stand to reason that he would have more ready for the next planned drinking event, so there might still be a chance to catch him.  If there is going to be another drinking night soon that your husband will attend, please look up what your state rules are for recording conversations.  In my state, it is single-party consent, so if I have a conversation with someone and I know there is a recorder running, it is okay to record even if the other guy doesn't know.  Just some thoughts.

I'm not sure what the right answer is.  I've never had to deal with anything like this.  Good luck, OP and SO, that whatever you decide to do goes smoothly.

bacchi

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2016, 07:03:40 PM »
Whatever happens, the SO needs to write down what happened. Include dates, times, people present (find out the cleaning staff's names if possible), and anything else he can remember. Be specific. Hell, write down the drinks and who bought them.

When Manager B tries it on someone else (and he will), there will be some corroborating data to back up the accusation.


Ladychips

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2016, 07:28:41 PM »
odd timing this...I just completed my sexual harassment training today at work...

I just keep thinking about the fox news dude who had been harassing women for years...once the first woman reported it, others came out of the woodwork.  How could it go on for so long?  because no one reports it.  For exactly the reasons you state.  That being said, I'm not sure I would have reported it either...it's hard to sacrifice your career for a 'is he a predator or a stupid drunk?'

Basically, I have no advice.  I just wanted to express my sympathy for your SO...and you too.

use2betrix

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2016, 07:58:41 PM »
With no witnesses all he really has to do is deny it and they can both get in trouble. Even with a witness, without hard proof, then can still go back to both of them.

I'm a bit bitter about the subject.

I'm a male. When I was 18 I worked in a medical facility. There was a girl my age I worked with who I had messed around with some outside of work. She had feelings for me, but I didn't want to date her. This bothered her big time.

One night, while working with her, I get a call from a nurse that said, "hey, just a heads up, I was just in the break room and I heard (that girl) talking with another girl about how they were going to come up with some elaborate story and try and get you fired for sexual harassment."

I was beyond floored. I immediately walked out of the facility and called HR and told them exactly what happened. The nurse that called me to tell me even vouched for me on the whole thing. However, because it was a "he said/she said" thing, we both got 3 days off. I was amazed that a person could stoop so low. It messed me up working with women for years after that.


RosieTR

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Re: Workplace sexual harassment: an interesting story
« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2016, 08:59:47 PM »
Whatever happens, the SO needs to write down what happened. Include dates, times, people present (find out the cleaning staff's names if possible), and anything else he can remember. Be specific. Hell, write down the drinks and who bought them.

When Manager B tries it on someone else (and he will), there will be some corroborating data to back up the accusation.

This is great advice, as well as Llamo's suggestions. Talking to people "in the trenches" may help a lot more than anonymous forums that are apparently half full of bros. It's tough to say go to Manager A without knowing how much SO can trust her nor whether she has duty to report. I have duty to report at my job, so if I know of any sexual harassment of any employee then I'm legally obligated to report. But there's a big HR dept so that's a different ballgame than a tiny place with no HR like your SO is facing. Writing stuff down now is a great idea. He could take intern to lunch or coffee and casually ask if intern remembers much about that evening and go from there.
Sexual predators are really good at knowing when they can probably get away with a situation. It's likely this guy got aggressive precisely because he knew he was in a situation where SO and intern were very junior and there was drinking, hence the "excuse". He has probably done this before and will again. OTOH for all the reasons mentioned about the risk of reporting, documentation and evidence may be the best course for SO.