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When Is Flirting at Work Sexual Harassment?

When Is Flirting at Work Sexual Harassment?

Steph Auteri | YourTango

March 12, 2010

Asking your boss for sex clearly crosses the line from work flirting to sexual harassment.

A female police officer in Australia was recently fired for begging a number of her colleagues for sex.

Apparently, within mere days of starting work, Jessica Parfrey propositioned her supervisor. When he turned her down, she was incredulous, responding with, “Can’t we just f***? I am a 19-year-old girl, what is wrong with you?” She also offered several other coworkers oral sex, and harassed another via text message, later offering “to help him study for his police exams by stripping off an item of clothing for every question he got correct.”All of these men turned Parfrey down, and she was eventually let go.

Meanwhile, there’s a minor controversy brewing over how the hosts of The View treat their male guests. Jo Piazza of writes: “The women on the show, by virtue of their age and status into the media world are able to say and do pretty much what they please, including invading the personal space of male guests and talking to them about subjects that would be taboo if the genders were reversed.” Examples include their discussion of Robert Pattinson’s private parts, their grilling of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino regarding his condom usage, and their flat-out declaration of Benicio Del Toro as “sexy.”

And yes, he is sexy. But this does, admittedly, reek of double standards.


According to a story in the Associated Press, male sexual harassment claims are on the rise. And while the majority of those claims are in reference to male-on-male harassment, there are a good number (and rising) of female-on-male harassment charges. In the case of Casiano vs. AT&T Corp (2000), for example, the male plaintiff said that his female supervisor gave him a sub-par evaluation because of his refusal to submit to her sexual advances. And just last year, the Regal Entertainment Group agreed to settle in a case against a male employee, who claimed that a female coworker repeatedly grabbed his crotch at work.

So: Is female success within the workplace making women more sexually aggressive? Are women so darn overworked they can’t think of anywhere else to seek out some action? And—most disturbingly—are women more likely than men to get away with it?

Ladies: Control yourselves. If he turns down your offers for a restroom quickie, He’s Just Not That Into You.

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Work Vs. Love: A Man’s Case For Putting Work First
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My Wife Is My Boss: An Entrepreneur Couple’s Tale

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