Monday, March 31, 2014

Instant Classic: The Motorboating Case

It's the age-old question: What's the sexual harassment price tag on a female boss motorboating her male employee? Wait, what!? Ummm, yes. That was essentially the question posed to a Galveston, Texas jury. The answer? $567,000.

If you're like, "what's motorboating?" - here are no fewer than 100 examples from a guy who doesn't appear to mind.

The plaintiff was a deputy constable who accused his female boss of "repeatedly making suggestive comments, of pressing his head between her breasts and of making other sexual advances." I should note that she denies it . . . sort of:
[She] denied pulling her blouse over [Plaintiff's] head, but said she did it to other deputies. "If anybody was in a bad mood, like if Phil was in a bad mood, I would say, 'Phil,' or to anyone, 'Do you need to go under the shirt?" she testified in a deposition.
Yes, she really said "Phil." No, I don't think she was referring to me.

So that's your HR practice tip of the day: DO NOT MOTORBOAT YOUR EMPLOYEES. This case also illustrates that, yes, female-on-male sexual harassment can lead to big lawsuits.

HT: At this point, pretty much every employment and HR blogger ever.