71°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UM’be’ Mine

UMbe Mine
UM’be’ Mine

Dear UMBeMine:

I’m concerned because my girlfriend is being hit on by her boss. She gets strange gifts from him such as clothing and CDs. She’s really bothered by his behavior, but she needs the job. What can I do?

Supportive in Southie

Dear Supportive:First, you absolutely must continue to support your girlfriend. Sexual harassment is a serious violation, and criminal behavior. It’s a horrible situation and is completely inappropriate and wrong. My heart goes out to your girlfriend, she shouldn’t have to suffer this. The only way for the behavior to stop is to collect your evidence and take it to human resources. Most companies are required to have policies to deal with this in place. However, many victims choose not to pursue legal or professional action because of the fear of reprisals. If your girlfriend decides to pursue action, she’ll need all the support from you that she can get. And if she doesn’t, she’s going to need you to trust her and support her, and be as much of a break from the problems at work as you can provide. Bottom line: it’s her decision how to handle this, and your job is to stay supportive. You both can find resources on the Internet such ashttp://www.sexualharassmentsupport.org to help you get through this.

With hope, LovechesterDear Supportive:While your concern for your girlfriend is wonderful, remember that she needs to handle this situation. You can be their for her in whatever she does, and certainly offer your advice, but don’t try and handle the problem for her.Your girlfriend needs to visit the Human Resources Department in her company. If its a small company without HR, then she needs to speak to another manager or someone else she can bring the complaint to.Considering there is physical evidence (the gifts) of her boss’ inappropriate behaviour, your girlfriend won’t have to worry about a “her word against his” situation. Your girlfriend needs to decide whether or not she wants to bring the complaint. She either needs to stand up and do it, or resign to find another job. Either way, I’m sure she’d agree with you that things can’t and shouldn’t remain the way they are. She may need this job, but she doesn’t need the harassment.For more information you can check out the site ‘Chester recommended, or if you’re looking for one more work place focused, try the U.S. Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission page for sexual harassment: www.eeoc.gov/types/sexual_harrasment.html

I offer your girlfriend all the support in the world and the best of luck,

Love, ‘Cat