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Can anything be done to boss saying inappropriate stuff?

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  • Jan 15th, 2020 8:48 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Jan 7, 2010
42 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto

Can anything be done to boss saying inappropriate stuff?

My gf recently started working at a new hair salon. She lives in another city from me, recently moved there. It's been a little over a month working there. Apparently her boss finds her attractive, I think. Sure I get anyone can have any impression about anyone in a free world. But the stuff she told me what he told her seem kinda of disturbing to me - as her boss. He's in his mid to late 30s (she thinks). He has two kids with his gf but not married. He's made numerous flirts towards her like asking her out for dinner etc. She's said no at all attempts. I'm saying this so that you guys know she did decline and not just in "no response mode". He's said things like "go to dinner, watch the movie and have fun at a hotel after". Of course he meant get into her pants. From her telling me the stuff, he's made other inappropriate conversation with other co workers - like he was explaining the girls how the size of a man's penis matters a lot in pleasuring and what not. He loves to talk about these things with the girls.

We've discussed about this (my gf and I) and I want to have a chat with him about her at some point if she can give me his cell number, if things get ugly we're prepared to quit the job. I mean if he admit everything was a joke and if he immediately stops those nonsense, I don't mind keep our stand. She once had an accident at the workplace and her skin on the head was torn and needed stitching. She was bleeding a lot. All the people at workplace did was "allowed" her to go home for the day. She had to pay for her own ride and all. There was no care. I was very upset about this.

What do you guys think we should do? Are we powerless? Is quiting the job our best option? I feel like this is a very inappropriate sexual harassment. We've just talked about another incident on the phone that he wants her to wear high heels in the salon because he thinks she's kinda short. Like what the hell? She's had issues wearing high heels for a long period or time and there's no way she's going to work 8 hours a day wearing high heels at work just to look 2 inches taller. Does this guy even make sense? Is it ethical at all?

This is just my opinion but I think bosses shouldn't be making the workplace feel unsafe or unhappy for their employees. But that's just me. Please share me your advice.
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Aug 16, 2010
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Do not "talk to him" on the phone. You are not involved and will only make it worse. If she really is ready to leave her job then first contact the Employment Standards Act (ESA). It is mandated by gov't compliance that all business have an ESA poster with contact information that is easily viewable by employees. Have your girlfriend take down the contact info and you can both speak with ESA. If you have a case, ESA will take it from there and advise next steps.

I know because I've run a business with employees before and have dealt with ESA (for minor misunderstandings and disagreements). This would be for them.
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Sep 23, 2007
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Honestly...it is not illegal to flirt or have an affair. People need to have the freedom to make romantic advances. As long as nobody is forcing or using coercion, there is no foul play. Like a guy flirting on the bus, say no if you don't want. If persistent, avoid if you can. Take another bus, bike, or buy a car. Easier than telling the guy to not take the same bus.

I'd agree the part about high heels crosses the line though. This part deserves a formal complaint.

It's a hair salon. So it's a small business. I don't think any "authority" can do anything meaningful. He has the right to run a business. It's not like they will shut him down for flirting. Bigger companies may have code of ethics and higher professional standards, mostly because it is productive to avoid office relationships which evidently does more damage than good. Larger companies may even have official policies to handle office relationships.

Suppose you go complain to an authority. So what? At the end of the day, the workplace is probably going to be more toxic. It's a small business and I doubt you can "extort" money with a publicity stunt. Most small businesses aren't exactly raking in tons of money to begin with and most are just barely getting by. Basically all I'm saying is...it's much easier to change yourself than to tell the other 7 billion people on the planet to change. You talking to him isn't going to make the workplace any tolerable as your GF is going to still face the awkwardness of everything that happened. Do yourself a favor and just find another job. If it's another city, all the more reason to try something closer.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 7, 2010
42 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto
BananaHunter wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 10:36 pm
Honestly...it is not illegal to flirt or have an affair. People need to have the freedom to make romantic advances. As long as nobody is forcing or using coercion, there is no foul play. Like a guy flirting on the bus, say no if you don't want. If persistent, avoid if you can. Take another bus, bike, or buy a car. Easier than telling the guy to not take the same bus.

I'd agree the part about high heels crosses the line though. This part deserves a formal complaint.

It's a hair salon. So it's a small business. I don't think any "authority" can do anything meaningful. He has the right to run a business. It's not like they will shut him down for flirting. Bigger companies may have code of ethics and higher professional standards, mostly because it is productive to avoid office relationships which evidently does more damage than good. Larger companies may even have official policies to handle office relationships.

Suppose you go complain to an authority. So what? At the end of the day, the workplace is probably going to be more toxic. It's a small business and I doubt you can "extort" money with a publicity stunt. Most small businesses aren't exactly raking in tons of money to begin with and most are just barely getting by. Basically all I'm saying is...it's much easier to change yourself than to tell the other 7 billion people on the planet to change. You talking to him isn't going to make the workplace any tolerable as your GF is going to still face the awkwardness of everything that happened. Do yourself a favor and just find another job. If it's another city, all the more reason to try something closer.
I don't doubt that it's not illegal to have an affair. I wasn't even attacking this topic. My whole point was that he's being inappropriate despite being let known that his advances are unwanted. So I am seeing them as sexual harassment territory and I think we have pretty strong protection against sexual harassment at workplace in Canada. Do we not? Also we're not interested in him getting shutdown or anything like that. All we want to see, even if any other parties get involved is that he stops his attempts. At this point we don't want anymore inappropriate comments even if it's just a "joke".

Also, I don't understand how you can say this:
He has the right to run a business.

When we're in a country with human rights in place to protect. Repeated unwanted flirts are most likely considered to be harassment. That's a serious thing man.
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Dec 1, 2015
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Toronto, ON
I’m a bit perplexed about the workplace injury- more details there please
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Feb 4, 2010
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BananaHunter wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 10:36 pm
Honestly...it is not illegal to flirt or have an affair. People need to have the freedom to make romantic advances. As long as nobody is forcing or using coercion, there is no foul play. Like a guy flirting on the bus, say no if you don't want. If persistent, avoid if you can. Take another bus, bike, or buy a car. Easier than telling the guy to not take the same bus.

I'd agree the part about high heels crosses the line though. This part deserves a formal complaint.

It's a hair salon. So it's a small business. I don't think any "authority" can do anything meaningful. He has the right to run a business. It's not like they will shut him down for flirting. Bigger companies may have code of ethics and higher professional standards, mostly because it is productive to avoid office relationships which evidently does more damage than good. Larger companies may even have official policies to handle office relationships.

Suppose you go complain to an authority. So what? At the end of the day, the workplace is probably going to be more toxic. It's a small business and I doubt you can "extort" money with a publicity stunt. Most small businesses aren't exactly raking in tons of money to begin with and most are just barely getting by. Basically all I'm saying is...it's much easier to change yourself than to tell the other 7 billion people on the planet to change. You talking to him isn't going to make the workplace any tolerable as your GF is going to still face the awkwardness of everything that happened. Do yourself a favor and just find another job. If it's another city, all the more reason to try something closer.
Ummm this is not flirting - it's sexual harassment! It's disturbing in this day and age when people still don't know the difference between flirting and sexual harassment. Flirting is mutual, anything not mutual is sexual harassment as it is UNWANTED.

“workplace sexual harassment” means,

engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or
making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome;

https://www.ontario.ca/page/code-practi ... harassment

1. What is sexual harassment
The Code defines sexual harassment as any conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee; or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or promotion.

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-soc ... t.html#s01

OP while you mean well, you should not get involved as it's not your battle to fight, it's your GF's and by you intervening you're undermining her by essentially telling her and the her boss she can't stand up or take care of herself - it makes her victim yet again. Instead, you can (and should) be supportive,by listening to her, discussing options and supporting her decisions.

Unfortunately sexual harassment isn't criminal - only if it reaches physical level or threats is it considered criminal. She can file a civil suit - if she ever plans to do that should start documenting everything - dates, times what he said/did, who was there (witnesses).

Here's some more information : https://www.leaf.ca/sexual-harassment-a ... -about-it/

I don't see why she would want to continue working in a such a place -she should quit but also let the guy know why and he's doing is not right.
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Feb 4, 2010
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SamSimp wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 10:46 pm
I don't doubt that it's not illegal to have an affair. I wasn't even attacking this topic. My whole point was that he's being inappropriate despite being let known that his advances are unwanted. So I am seeing them as sexual harassment territory and I think we have pretty strong protection against sexual harassment at workplace in Canada. Do we not? Also we're not interested in him getting shutdown or anything like that. All we want to see, even if any other parties get involved is that he stops his attempts. At this point we don't want anymore inappropriate comments even if it's just a "joke".

Also, I don't understand how you can say this:
He has the right to run a business.

When we're in a country with human rights in place to protect. Repeated unwanted flirts are most likely considered to be harassment. That's a serious thing man.
I wouldn't bother paying attention to his "advice"...it's pretty pathetic that he considers sexual harassment as flirting and thinks this behaviour is acceptable because it's "his" business ...smh
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Sep 23, 2007
5061 posts
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SamSimp wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 10:46 pm
I don't doubt that it's not illegal to have an affair. I wasn't even attacking this topic. My whole point was that he's being inappropriate despite being let known that his advances are unwanted. So I am seeing them as sexual harassment territory and I think we have pretty strong protection against sexual harassment at workplace in Canada. Do we not? Also we're not interested in him getting shutdown or anything like that. All we want to see, even if any other parties get involved is that he stops his attempts. At this point we don't want anymore inappropriate comments even if it's just a "joke".

Also, I don't understand how you can say this:
He has the right to run a business.

When we're in a country with human rights in place to protect. Repeated unwanted flirts are most likely considered to be harassment. That's a serious thing man.
You obviously have a bias because this is happening to your GF. It is merely your assertion that it is sexual harassment. Has there been any touching? Has anything been recorded? Get some tangible evidence and throw it at him? Threaten to make it public or report to authority?

Just chill and consider what your actions will achieve, not what your emotions will achieve. You acting on emotions does not achieve the best result for you or your GF. I think I am with you that he is scum. I am just doubting that your approach is meaningful because it is always easier to change yourself than to change others. As I said...you confront him...then what? You have to deal with the ADDITIONAL stress of dealing with him. And as I said, the workplace is likely to get more toxic. I can't picture your GF continuing to work there after you have a chat with the guy. How hard is it to find another job at another hair salon?

Unwanted flirts are harassment? Sure. But my point stands. You going to wait 2 years to get to a court judge to decide this is harassment? Or you want your GF to live with a peace of mind via finding another job? The choice is clear. By all means you don't need to take a single action. you can report the incident AND look for another job at the same time.
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Sep 23, 2007
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hierophant wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 11:01 pm
I wouldn't bother paying attention to his "advice"...it's pretty pathetic that he considers sexual harassment as flirting and thinks this behaviour is acceptable because it's "his" business ...smh
No...you clearly don't get my point. Where did I say his actions are acceptable? I said it is not illegal. That is not the same as saying it is acceptable. I clearly said the guy crossed the line assuming the facts are as stated. The OP is talking about confronting the guy. What does that achieve? Take it to the authority and find another job. That achieves the best outcome. It's not like you can shut him down even if you prove there is harassment. And it is clear his GF should not continue working there.

You can quote the definition of harassment or any other legal definitions but if one were to treat this as a criminal offense, then it is up to a judge to decide based on evidence. So the if the OP wants to pursue this to that degree, he/she should record future conversations to proof there is harassment. Without evidence, there is no tangible action in this direction.

I am clearly not defending the business owner. I am pointing out basic practical realities of dealing with this kind of situation. Taking a moral high ground does not help the OP solve the problem in a meaningful way. Plenty of scum on this planet.

As an analogy, if someone at work has a gun and you fear for your safety. Then your first priority is your safety, which involves police. Not you confronting the guy. If anything you should distance from the guy. Going on about the morals of gun safety does not make a practical difference. Get safe first. Then preach your safety and morals.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 7, 2010
42 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto
DiceMan wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 10:22 pm
Do not "talk to him" on the phone. You are not involved and will only make it worse. If she really is ready to leave her job then first contact the Employment Standards Act (ESA). It is mandated by gov't compliance that all business have an ESA poster with contact information that is easily viewable by employees. Have your girlfriend take down the contact info and you can both speak with ESA. If you have a case, ESA will take it from there and advise next steps.

I know because I've run a business with employees before and have dealt with ESA (for minor misunderstandings and disagreements). This would be for them.
Yeah. I don't even wish to have to talk with him. I only wish that he'll just stop his attempts after she's said she isn't interested. He's tried a few more attempts after she declined his first offer.


BananaHunter wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 11:06 pm
You obviously have a bias because this is happening to your GF. It is merely your assertion that it is sexual harassment. Has there been any touching? Has anything been recorded? Get some tangible evidence and throw it at him? Threaten to make it public or report to authority?

Just chill and consider what your actions will achieve, not what your emotions will achieve. You acting on emotions does not achieve the best result for you or your GF. I think I am with you that he is scum. I am just doubting that your approach is meaningful because it is always easier to change yourself than to change others. As I said...you confront him...then what? You have to deal with the ADDITIONAL stress of dealing with him. And as I said, the workplace is likely to get more toxic. I can't picture your GF continuing to work there after you have a chat with the guy. How hard is it to find another job at another hair salon?

Unwanted flirts are harassment? Sure. But my point stands. You going to wait 2 years to get to a court judge to decide this is harassment? Or you want your GF to live with a peace of mind via finding another job? The choice is clear. By all means you don't need to take a single action. you can report the incident AND look for another job at the same time.
We're in our 3rd year and if you meant to say I am be feeling jealous of anyone approaching her, then no. Jealousy isn't a thing we haven't sorted. It's clearly the harassment that fumes me.


BananaHunter wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 11:17 pm
No...you clearly don't get my point. Where did I say his actions are acceptable? I said it is not illegal. That is not the same as saying it is acceptable. I clearly said the guy crossed the line assuming the facts are as stated. The OP is talking about confronting the guy. What does that achieve? Take it to the authority and find another job. That achieves the best outcome. It's not like you can shut him down even if you prove there is harassment. And it is clear his GF should not continue working there.

You can quote the definition of harassment or any other legal definitions but if one were to treat this as a criminal offense, then it is up to a judge to decide based on evidence. So the if the OP wants to pursue this to that degree, he/she should record future conversations to proof there is harassment. Without evidence, there is no tangible action in this direction.

I am clearly not defending the business owner. I am pointing out basic practical realities of dealing with this kind of situation. Taking a moral high ground does not help the OP solve the problem in a meaningful way. Plenty of scum on this planet.

As an analogy, if someone at work has a gun and you fear for your safety. Then your first priority is your safety, which involves police. Not you confronting the guy. If anything you should distance from the guy. Going on about the morals of gun safety does not make a practical difference. Get safe first. Then preach your safety and morals.
"he's made other inappropriate conversation with other co workers - like he was explaining the girls how the size of a man's penis matters a lot in pleasuring and what not. He loves to talk about these things with the girls."
I mentioned in my original post that he's shown this inappropriate behavior in front of other co workers (girls). So I guess they can be considered as the witnesses. Also, she isn't the only one he's said these inappropriate stuff to. He just openly talks about male genitalia and explaining to the girls as a normal conversation and what not. That's not normal right?
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Sep 23, 2007
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SamSimp wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 11:38 pm
Yeah. I don't even wish to have to talk with him. I only wish that he'll just stop his attempts after she's said she isn't interested. He's tried a few more attempts after she declined his first offer.





We're in our 3rd year and if you meant to say I am be feeling jealous of anyone approaching her, then no. Jealousy isn't a thing we haven't sorted. It's clearly the harassment that fumes me.





"he's made other inappropriate conversation with other co workers - like he was explaining the girls how the size of a man's penis matters a lot in pleasuring and what not. He loves to talk about these things with the girls."
I mentioned in my original post that he's shown this inappropriate behavior in front of other co workers (girls). So I guess they can be considered as the witnesses. Also, she isn't the only one he's said these inappropriate stuff to. He just openly talks about male genitalia and explaining to the girls as a normal conversation and what not. That's not normal right?
Let me break it down for you. We need to focus less on the morality of what he did, whether you like it or not. We on the same page that he is scum. You talked about human rights. The same human rights will say he is innocent until proven guilty. So if you don't intend to spend the next 2-3 years trying to land him in jail, which will be a very stressful process, especially for your GF, then it is probably best to move on. To formally get him charged, you will likely need to get multiple past employees to come forward. You will be better off if you have recorded some of what he said. Again human rights work both ways. It would be unfair if people are convicted without evidence. You are not in law enforcement so I don't think you talking with him will do any good to anyone. Might blow off some steam. You might even end up losing your cool and maybe hurting the guy. If that happens, the police WILL charge you but that kind of evidence is much more easy to prove.

I am merely giving you practical advice. When you cool off a bit, you are likely to find that spending time to try to land the guy in trouble is going to be a lose-lose in the greater scheme of things. The most you can do to screw him is to gather up past employees who experienced the same and make a publicity stunt out of it. Or try to record the stuff he says and report it. But then you are just playing the vigilante. Your GF's safety comes first right? So the first thing she should do is stop working in such a toxic environment. All other steps can come later.
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May 9, 2007
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Vancouver Island, BC
The OHSA defines workplace sexual harassment as:

engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker, in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or

making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making it is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know the solicitation or advance is unwelcome [section 1].

This definition of workplace sexual harassment reflects the prohibitions on sexual harassment and sexual solicitation found in Ontario's Human Rights Code. See Section 4.4 of this guide for more information about the Code.

As mentioned in Section 1.5 of this guide, the comments or conduct typically happen more than once, although a single unwelcome solicitation or advance from a manager, supervisor, or another person who has the power to reward or punish the worker may constitute workplace sexual harassment. Multiple events can occur over a relatively short period of time or over a longer period.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/understand- ... harassment

It sounds to me that the course of action would be for the woman (not you) to contact the workers compensation board and consult with them.
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Apr 8, 2013
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Look OP.

Your GF works in a salon. There will always be dirty talk in these kinds of places. Its like working in a barbershop. If your girl can't handle it, she should find a different job.

BUT if he is pursuing her sexually and she already said no then that is a different story. That could be harrasment.
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Feb 4, 2010
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BananaHunter wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 11:17 pm
No...you clearly don't get my point. Where did I say his actions are acceptable?
...
I clearly said the guy crossed the line assuming the facts are as stated.
...
I am clearly not defending the business owner
Oh no I do get your point but you changed your tune after the responses to your first post but initially you did defend the owner with remarks such as this:
BananaHunter wrote:
Jan 10th, 2020 10:36 pm
Honestly...it is not illegal to flirt or have an affair. People need to have the freedom to make romantic advances. I'd agree the part about high heels crosses the line though. This part deserves a formal complaint.
He has the right to run a business. It's not like they will shut him down for flirting.
OP made it clear his advances are NOT wanted or welcomed but yet you refer to them as "flirts" and "romantic advances" - what you initially did was dismiss salon owner's conduct as "flirtation" and "romantic " - do you not see the problem with that???? If you do, cool. If not, I really think you should get your better-informed on what sexual harassment is.

So I think it's you who is missing the point here because initially you did say these things which is what I was responding - you added the other stuff later, which is fine but not a fair defence when responding to what I said because you're making seem like I misunderstood when I didn't - the right thing to do would've been to own up for using wrong language and then clarify your position, instead of making it seem like I misunderstood.
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kevindurant1 wrote:
Jan 11th, 2020 1:47 am
Look OP.

Your GF works in a salon. There will always be dirty talk in these kinds of places. Its like working in a barbershop. If your girl can't handle it, she should find a different job.
Yeah why make the workplace less toxic for women by condemning misogynistic behaviour like this...let's keep accepting it status quo because "men will be men", right? :rolleyes:

If you actually believe that, you're part of the problem.

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