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Not "Love" Actually

Although some movies romanticize coworkers or even bosses falling in love with their subordinates, aggressively taking your shot at work is not okay. There’s a lot going on in the day to day of work life but prioritizing finding “love” as we interact in the workplace, will likely be problematic. What seems like heartwarming romcom material, often turns out to be a complete overstep of boundaries and behaviors filled with bad judgment.

Over at Ask a Manager, a reader shares how their scheduling BOT is getting hit on. A bot.

The comments are filled with other almost equally cringe stories. Many topped the one shared here about professional women being told they are distracting in their mechanic style work uniforms. It is 2024 and yet, this is still happening.

Just this week, the EEOC filed suit against a food franchisee for sexual harassment and retaliation:

“…manager made daily unwanted comments about the female employee’s physical appearance and his romantic feelings for her; spread false sexual rumors about her; and cornered her in areas of the restaurant without cameras, demanding a hug or attention from her before allowing her to pass by. The female employee complained about the harassment to her supervisor on multiple occasions, but no effective remedial action was taken in response. Instead, the restaurant terminated her shortly after her last complaint.”

Not all sex/sexual harassment cases are about taking a chance at “love” (which honestly is a distinction without a difference; it’s all 💩, inappropriate, and illegal). And it happens to workers regardless of gender as evidenced by this case, this one, and this one.

How do we stop this? As a Human Resources practitioner, when I have to resort to explaining how to be a decent human at work, I like to keep it simple:

  • Keep your hands (and other body parts) to yourself

  • No means no. If you’re in a position of authority, it’s implied that the answer is no so don’t even ask

  • Stop! In the name of work, before they call HR. Think it over…


What has been the most shocking case of sexual harassment you've come across?

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