I’ve borrowed Garrison Keillor’s sign-off from his Writer’s Almanac as a way of bidding farewell for a while. It’s hard to imagine life without blogging, but I’ll just have to get used to it. I’ve been asked to become General Counsel and Vice President of Human Resources of the newly created CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Inc.
At times, I have surmised that one reason women are usually the victims of sexual harassment is that most men can’t resist the power of The Man Gene. A recent case demonstrates that some men can defeat The Man Gene and even be the victims of sex harassment. In EEOC v. Prospect Airport Services, Inc., a male employee filed a harassment claim against his employer and a female co-worker.
If you review all my posts on The Man Gene (and you really should), you’ll find a few indicating that science is beginning to support the existence of such a gene. For those who still doubt, consider the recent news that scientists have discovered a liberal gene. If The Liberal Gene exists, there’s a good chance that The Man Gene does, too. Stay tuned.
Given the media coverage infidelity receives, it’s legitimate for spouses, particularly wives, to worry about straying husbands, particularly those in high-powered jobs. When Eliot Spitzer’s sexual indiscretions forced his resignation as governor of New York, I analyzed his situation in the context of a previously little known medical phenomenon: The Man Gene. With my subsequent Man Gene posts, it seems all I’ve done is make women mad at me and make others conclude that I’m mad. I remain undeterred. The Man Gene exists, and it wreaks havoc everywhere, including the workplace.
A sports reporter (formerly Miss Spain) was supposedly harassed at a New York Jets practice. (Here and here.) The reporter says she never felt threatened, but other reporters allege that Jets players acted inappropriately. Because the sports reporter wore a pair of skintight jeans, this incident provides the opportunity to examine whether provocative attire worn by a female has any role to play in a sex harassment case.
My thanks to Philip Miles at lawffice space for bringing this case to my attention. It’s one of those “just when you thought you’d seen everything” cases. It has been recently filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, so it’ll take a while to see how the case unfolds and reaches climax. Sorry about that.
A revered CEO is forced to resign as a result of a sexual harassment complaint filed by a marketing consultant/event planner who has starred in a number of steamy films and and has the pictures to prove it. (Here, here, here, and here.) The company employing the CEO and sexy consultant turns up nothing to support the sex harassment claim. But it does turn up CEO expense reports seemingly designed to cover up his relationship with the consultant. The CEO’s ethical lapse irreparably damages his integrity. Both the CEO and marketing consultant deny a sexual relationship.
I’ve felt at times like a lone voice crying in the wilderness as I post information intended to be helpful to employers in thwarting sexual harassment in the workplace. I refer, of course, to my series of posts about The Man Gene. In an eye-popping article in the New York Times, we’re told by Tara Parker-Pope, author of For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage, that my theory is gaining scientific acceptance, though science still doesn’t quite get it.
Regular readers know that I occasionally post about The Man Gene. I do so, not out prurient interest of course, but to help employers prevent sexual harassment. Sex harassment claims haven’t entered a state of decline or even leveled off in the 21st century. They increase every year. Most are filed by women because of what men say or do. Men say and do these things because of The Man Gene.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reported an increase in the number of sexual harassment charges filed by men. In fact, between 1992 and 2008, the percentage of such charges doubled from 8% to 16%. The media has analyzed this development, opining that it results from the recession, more women in positions of power, more men willing to come forward with the charges, and mysteries yet unsolved (here and here). Fellow bloggers have also weighed in: Molly DiBianca, Workplace Prof Blog, Employment Law Post, Business Insider, and HealthChapter.
My posts on The Man Gene could lead one to conclude that the gene has a heterosexual preference. Most of these posts involve men who use their positions to sexually harass female subordinates or co-workers. As an article in the Washington Post makes clear, however, The Man Gene has no sexual preference.
Just after reading an advertisement for a conference on dealing with “virtual sexual harassment” at work and then one more paper on the ramifications of new Americans with Disabilities Act, sometimes called the ADAAA, I ran across yet another article about Tiger Woods, this one in the New York Times. All of this reading brought to mind a subject addressed occasionally on this blog, The Man Gene.
I’ve previously posted about employment lessons to be learned from the Tiger Woods fiasco. (Click here and here.) When Tiger finally made his “public apology” last week, it was generally met with cynicism and sarcasm. At best, some were willing to say his future actions will speak louder than his words. (Click here and here.) It’s hard to argue with that, and it’s really not my intent to mount a defense for Tiger, since there isn’t one. At the very least, however, let’s bring a little perspective to this matter.
The Man Gene turned inside out. It’s usually a male CEO who’s caught in an affair. If the CEO’s spouse is caught in an affair, should the CEO be fired?
Ever since the thwarted Christmas day airplane bombing in Detroit, there has been much debate about the use of full-body scanners at airports. Opponents say the use of such an intrusive instrument constitutes an unlawful invasion of privacy. Supporters say since we’re at war with an enemy intent on using our own airplanes to kill hundreds and thousands of Americans, permitting a stranger to observe your body parts is a small price to pay for greater security.
Here’s a brief on few things that have happened while I’ve been loafing. Jobs continue to decline. Most people who have jobs hate them. Bonuses for the haves continue to increase. Employees continue to kill co-workers with guns. Guns have made their way into NBA locker rooms. The immigration fight continues, not to mention health care. Record number of discrimination charges are filed with the EEOC. The Man Gene is threatened by The Word Gene (yeah, right).
Yesterday, I did a post offering a possible answer to ethical lapses as provided by the Tiger Woods ignominy. Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has now become the unintentional purveyor of another answer.
Employers have codes of ethics or business conduct. The purpose of these codes is to deter employees, particularly executives, from doing something that probably helps the executive but definitely hurts the employer. Such misconduct costs employers a lot of money and is excruciatingly embarrassing.
In a post earlier this week, I suggested that a new study on fish and polluted water might be useful to employers in dealing with all kinds of legal problems caused by The Man Gene that inhabits male employees. This might be viewed as The Man Gene’s antidote, but the New York Times, in an extensive article, points to a more potent antidote.
As everyone knows, Tiger Woods’ automobile accident has blossomed into a mixture of tabloid frenzy and honest journalistic reporting. That’s what happens when sports, celebrity and sex are jumbled up in the same story. Are there any employment lessons to be learned from this incident?