In commentary for Bloomberg, Susan Antilla says that sexual harassment reports have gone down, in part because policy changes of the last decade have given companies ways to avoid litigation by emphasizing internal "corporate grievance" programs.
But combing through the Equal Opportunity Commission's press releases, she found some straight-up nasty that transcended ambiguity:
[I] found a case where a supervisor allegedly said that women should outfit themselves in Vaseline, and nothing else; one where a manager in human resources (yes, in human resources) allegedly inquired as to the color of an assistant's panties; and a case against a company president who the EEOC says pulled a subordinate's pants down in front of her coworkers.
The worst case of all was that of Michael K. Lallana, a seriously disturbed 31-year-old employee of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Orange County, California. He repeatedly snuck into a co-worker's office and ejaculated into her water bottle. According to reports, the first time "she drank it, felt sick, and threw it away." The next time, she sent it to be analyzed in a lab. Resourceful victim!
It's not clear what the evidence is that the recent cases are, in the aggregate, any grosser than what came before — possibly all that's changed is the means of distributing gross news — but you know, that's really fucking disgusting. But here's a public service announcement: sexual harassment does not need to be nearly so creative to be disruptive and illegal. Garden-variety bullshit also sucks, even if it doesn't make it into court and the headlines.
Sex Harassment At Work Gets Weirder, Scarier [Bloomberg]
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