What to do if I am a 24-year-old female working in an office for a 40-year-old male who is making persistent unwanted advances toward me?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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What to do if I am a 24-year-old female working in an office for a 40-year-old male who is making persistent unwanted advances toward me?

I have several conversations saved showing how inappropriate my boss is. He is constantly sending me instant messages throughout the work day saying things like, “If given the chance I would show you every day how amazing you are. You can’t blame a guy for trying…continually. There has to be something said for perseverance!…I know an amazing thing when I see it and I would hate if I didn’t do everything I could to make it happen…if you EVER change your mind about allowing me to take you out…I WANT TO KNOW” and it doesn’t stop there. Is this worth pursuing as a sexual harassment case?

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, it is sexual harassment--unwanted advances by a manager towards a female employee constitute sexual harassment. Whether it is "worth" pursuing a case depends on all the circumstances--for example, have you suffered any negative job consequence, such as a lack of promotion, lower pay, etc. because you will not acquiesce? The more tangible "damages" you suffered, the more a legal action would be worth. Since it seems clear that there is harassment going on, and the primary issue is the value of the potential case, you should consult with an employment law attorney. The attorney can evaluate the situation in detail and advise as to your options and what the case may be worth. Good luck.

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