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Old 04-20-2018, 02:53 AM   #1
snajuice
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Default Need advice on work place harassment

I got in trouble at work today, got a written warning and a threat of termination. I work in a machine shop with about 25 people. Company has around 500 employees. I was on break looking at my phone (which is allowed) a local news alert about a sex offender came up on my timeline. Yup it was a newer employee picture and what he did. I showed the person next to me the story and I told one other girl I work with who gives this guy a ride home after work.

I guess she told him she didn't want to give him a ride home anymore and it came back to me because I told her he was a 3rd degree sex offender for rape. I guess I was worried she could get hurt.

So today I was told I was harassing him and outside of work does not matter inside of work, and because I brought it up in the work place I was guilty.

Now I never said a word to this guy or confronted him in any way. Just wondering if I was in the wrong? Figured I would ask here because if he gets harassed any more I lose my job. I've been there for 11 years if that matters at all.

Thanks in advance for any advice
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:32 AM   #2
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Which boss is he related to?
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:39 AM   #3
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While, I agree with why you did what you did today, legally it is not your place and honestly in work place people should take more of a bunker mentality to protect themselves

You stuck by your principles and did the right thing.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cavaliercards View Post
While, I agree with why you did what you did today, legally it is not your place and honestly in work place people should take more of a bunker mentality to protect themselves

You stuck by your principles and did the right thing.
I can see that too, I guess one thing I could of done different was told the lady outside of the work place
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:58 AM   #5
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I can see that too, I guess one thing I could of done different was told the lady outside of the work place
Even then because you are telling her something that impacts a co-worker it can be construed as you trying to impact the workplace. For the company I work for (over 30000 people) if I did something like that in or out of work, I am gone because it impacts the workplace, as she is giving him a ride to and from work and it has caused there to be chaos/drama/issues in the workplace with co-workers.

There are some laws on the books about this sort of thing, but can not say for sure what they are in your state, as some states consider it harassment of the offender.

Honestly, if you have the ability I would look elsewhere as HR is not going to forget this one or let it drop and if the employee has any problems they will look at you first.
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:00 AM   #6
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This is ridiculous. Ridiculous enough it would make me wonder if they were after you in general and are taking any excuse they can to go after you.

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Old 04-20-2018, 05:06 AM   #7
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Morally you did the right thing especially since the woman didn't know his past.

I would also consider looking for a job elsewhere since the jar of pickles has now been opened. Nothing wrong with moving on.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:13 AM   #8
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If my niece called me one day and told me she had been giving a guy a ride home from work but had to stop because she was shown hard evidence that the said guy had been convicted of something close to / or rape I would be thanking the person that let her know. I would also call the boss and make sure that her safety would not be in jeopardy. Let’s be honest, a rapist is not going to change. If you guys ask on the application about felonies (many do) I would think that would be one HR would not want to slide through. I am with corndog and the other person that suggested you may want to go ahead and start looking elsewhere. Sounds like your place has got big enough to where Corp. guidelines trump the safety of other co-workers. I’m glad they are worried about the rapists feelings, but not the lady who is taking him home. WTF
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:18 AM   #9
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So the former rapist has rights and a job and the guy looking out for his fellow employee has none.

Sounds about right.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:20 AM   #10
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So the former rapist has rights and a job and the guy looking out for his fellow employee has none.

Sounds about right.
Welcome to 2018.
Ridiculous !!!!!
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:21 AM   #11
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Morally you did the right thing, however you put your company in a tight legal spot. The rules on harassment in the workplace are so objective and vary from state to state, its best not to do anything that can create a ripple. I used to work for a company that we could not even say things like "your hair looks nice today" or hug a co-worker of the opposite sex or risk termination.

As others have said you should look for a job because now just about anything you say or do will be scrutinized.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:26 AM   #12
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In our employee handbook, gossiping or talking about a coworker is harassment

With that said, sometimes getting a write up is worth it

side note: are you sure those are the ONLY two people you talked to and/or heard you talking?
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:27 AM   #13
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Morally you did the right thing especially since the woman didn't know his past.

I would also consider looking for a job elsewhere since the jar of pickles has now been opened. Nothing wrong with moving on.
An open jar of pickles is a bad thing?
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:38 AM   #14
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So the company isn't ok with you telling a woman who gives a rapist a ride home yet has no problem hiring a rapist. Unreal that scumbag criminals have more rights in this country then law abiding citizens.

It's also bs that warning someone of a potentially dangerous situation is considered harassment. I could see if you confronted him personally but warning her doesn't seem like harassment at all mainly because what you said is true. It isn't gossip it's public information
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:49 AM   #15
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Sounds like you need to find a new company to work for
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:57 AM   #16
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So today I was told I was harassing him and outside of work does not matter inside of work, and because I brought it up in the work place I was guilty.
Did you have to take a drug test for employment? Did they check references? Outside work does matter inside work.

You shared public information. I’m not sure where you are located but I’m sure the guy also has to register as a sex offender. Why are you required to register as a sex offender? To provide the public information. Sharing information anyone has access to is not harassment. Time to start looking for a new job.
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:01 AM   #17
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You will end up being sued. Leave ASAP.
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:29 AM   #18
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Continue to work there and hold your head high. You did the right thing no matter what rules are put into place by the weak. We need more people like you. If you lose your job, there are plenty of people that would hire you based on your strong character. I’d walk past that guy everyday with the biggest smile and my head held high. I’s Also use the woman’s bathroom everyday unless they are unisex. Don’t tell me what gender I am!!! This country is a joke.
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:32 AM   #19
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That is a super loose definition of "harassment", one would think that by definition, it has to be done to a person directly. I can't believe you got in trouble for this. It's utterly ridiculous and you should force them to quote in the employee handbook, what violation you broke. They have terrible writers there on the HR staff if something explicitly states you can't share a news article with another person regarding a fact-based crime.

Lawyer up, if needed.
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:47 AM   #20
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What else were you supposed to do? Did HR give you any advice how to handle this in the future?

We had a guy at my job that was an opioid addict and would show up to work high all the time. We had to be very careful around this guy because they were looking for any excuse to fire him but we had to do it legally. He eventually showed up late and/or disappeared one too many time and now he's gone. But those few months were stressful for us because we had to watch our words and actions around him.
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:27 AM   #21
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So if the woman had found out on her own, would she be in trouble for harassment if she told him why she wasn’t giving him a ride home anymore? Dumb.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:26 AM   #22
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You did the right thing and if your company took the stance you say they did, I wouldn't want to work for a place like that.

Not surprising though as most HR departments are dead weight, but sounds like your HR department needs an overhaul
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:49 AM   #23
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I applaud you for giving this woman the information. If you never told her and something happened to her, how would you feel? You could have saved her from an attack. I would get advice from an attorney.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:54 AM   #24
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How is this harrassment? It's not like you're spreading rumors and lies. It's public record.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:00 AM   #25
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Each state has different laws around Employee Privacy and the rights that are protected from both a state and federal perspective.

While morally what you did is absolutely the right thing, however, your employer is playing by a different set of rules and is doing whatever they can to protect themselves.

The other employee could come after you for defamation or slander.
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