Is it sexual harassment if my wife commented to a co-worker that I wanted to get to know them?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it sexual harassment if my wife commented to a co-worker that I wanted to get to know them?

My wife started a new job and I commented to my wife that I’d like to get to know her co-worker because she seemed nice and friendly, we don’t have many friends. My wife is kind of like her supervisor and during normal work, she playfully said this in passing. The co-worker is 20 and her mother felt this was sexual harassment, so is pressuring the business to fire my wife and my wife’s boss for not immediately firing my wife. Was this really sexual harassment? The comment happened once and wasn’t even mentioned with sexual undertones.

Asked on December 2, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it may be harassment: for your wife, who is this woman's supervisor (and therefore has power over this person) to say that her husband wants to "get to know" a young female employee could be taken that you and wife are "swingers," are looking for a menage a trois, or otherwise are looking to involve this woman in some sexual activity--which coming from a supervisor, would be sexual harassment. Whether meant innocently or not, it was an inappropriate thing to say. 

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