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Would you report this to HR?


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Old 29th March 2017, 4:29 AM   #1
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Would you report this to HR?

I recently got a pretty nice promotion at work and I start my new position on Monday.

I've always had a good relationship with my co-workers, closer with some than with others but very professional and cordial with everyone and those who are my friends in the company have been really happy for me.

However, one particular woman and two of her friends has been talking about how I clearly slept with our boss to get this new position and how he had a thing for me for the longest time and that's why I was promoted. Now, that may be true, he did hit on me a few times but I shut it down and there is no way that it had any influence on my promotion because I went through interviews with multiple people and had references from other superiors.

Normally, I couldn't care less what they personally think and wouldn't even bat an eyelid at this gossip, but they are spreading it around the company to anyone who cares to hear and I would really like to avoid uncomfortable situations at my work place or a possible lack of respect that may stem from this rumor.

Have you had similar situations happen and would you report this to HR or let it go to settle on its own?
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Old 29th March 2017, 4:38 AM   #2
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This must be pretty irksome but personally I would ignore it.

Rumours at work are two-a-penny. What people don't know they invent most of the time.

It'll be a 10 day wonder and then they'll get around to bad-mouthing someone else.

What it has shown you is the true colours of these people, so you can be thankful for that.

Keep schtum, keep it professional and you'll do fine.
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Old 29th March 2017, 10:55 AM   #3
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I've NEVER had that happen....or heard of it happening to anyone else....and I would really struggle with what to do. I don't feel it can safely be ignored; that kind of nasty gossip is poison, can create great risk and harm to you, and you should not have to deal with it. I'd take it quite seriously. Rather than trusting to HR, which is not there for your protection after all, I'd suggest paying for a 30 or 60 min consultation with a good employment lawyer about the whole situation and what you can do. If you're in the US, a lawyer may be able to advise you how to use anti-sexual harassment laws to defend against both:

(1) the gossipers, and as or more importantly,

(2) the sexually aggressive supervisor, who after all is the ultimate root cause of this issue

Sorry you're having to deal with this.....good luck!
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Old 29th March 2017, 11:05 AM   #4
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What do you want HR to do about this? Do not waste your HR's time with idle gossip.
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Old 29th March 2017, 11:55 AM   #5
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This is exactly why the actions of a male boss end up only hurting the woman he shouldn't be hitting on at work. Other employees DO have a legitimate reason to care if someone is being promoted because the boss favors them. It does take something away from them. I have had that happen to me, my boss favoring this lying girl who was using him, and it really had a bad impact on my career. So I believe while gossip may not be warranted, coemployees fears are legitimate.

As usual, you are now in between a rock and a hard place. If you report the women, your boss will also be put in the limelight and then he will resent you for it. Now, only you know if you encouraged his favoritism at all. If so, suck it up and know this is what happens. If not, as you say, then I'm sorry for you, but if you think he gave you this promotion to try to buy you, then maybe you should have told him no on the promotion since that would be unfair to others who may deserve it more or be more senior and qualified.

If you can find out what the procedures are at the company about what options there are here, what I would be most comfortable with is writing up a statement about it to HR but then asking them to merely keep it on file for the record to protect yourself but not to act on it or talk to your boss about it unless there were further issues. I'm not sure HR will be able to do that though. On the other hand, it is a plea not to get your boss in trouble, which might soothe him (not that he deserves it) if they do talk to him. If they tell him, which they might not.

The other alternative is talk to the gossipers in private and tell them they are off base, but you'll have to do so without throwing your boss under the bus or they might report you for talking about him and really get you in trouble.
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Old 29th March 2017, 4:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Simple Logic View Post
What do you want HR to do about this? Do not waste your HR's time with idle gossip.
It's not just gossip if it ends up hurting my relationship with my new co-workers and people who I will be supervising - in terms of how they see me and whether they respect me.

It's not very nice to be thought of as someone who slept her way to get ahead.

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Originally Posted by preraph View Post
This is exactly why the actions of a male boss end up only hurting the woman he shouldn't be hitting on at work. Other employees DO have a legitimate reason to care if someone is being promoted because the boss favors them. It does take something away from them. I have had that happen to me, my boss favoring this lying girl who was using him, and it really had a bad impact on my career. So I believe while gossip may not be warranted, coemployees fears are legitimate.

As usual, you are now in between a rock and a hard place. If you report the women, your boss will also be put in the limelight and then he will resent you for it. Now, only you know if you encouraged his favoritism at all. If so, suck it up and know this is what happens. If not, as you say, then I'm sorry for you, but if you think he gave you this promotion to try to buy you, then maybe you should have told him no on the promotion since that would be unfair to others who may deserve it more or be more senior and qualified.

If you can find out what the procedures are at the company about what options there are here, what I would be most comfortable with is writing up a statement about it to HR but then asking them to merely keep it on file for the record to protect yourself but not to act on it or talk to your boss about it unless there were further issues. I'm not sure HR will be able to do that though. On the other hand, it is a plea not to get your boss in trouble, which might soothe him (not that he deserves it) if they do talk to him. If they tell him, which they might not.

The other alternative is talk to the gossipers in private and tell them they are off base, but you'll have to do so without throwing your boss under the bus or they might report you for talking about him and really get you in trouble.
I wrote a thread about it last year, it wasn't something extremely obvious. We had a more relaxed relationship from the beginning and I wasn't aware of his feelings until a while later when he started making more suggestive comments, but again, nothing too uncomfortable. It was shut down by me and we have a normal, friendly, working relationship now.

He's not the one to suggest me for a promotion, he wasn't the one in charge of it, he did not offer it to me and ultimately, we won't even be working together when I start. I very much deserved the promotion and everyone who knows me well has no doubt in this.

I actually like the idea of confronting them, but does that only incite drama?
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Old 29th March 2017, 4:29 PM   #7
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Don't bother to say anything! You know the truth and that's all that matters.

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Old 29th March 2017, 4:57 PM   #8
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The best revenge will be to do your new job and do it very well. In some regards, it doesn't matter how you got there, it is what you do once you are there. No one can argue with results.

Looking forward, I would only plan on staying there for another year. Don't make waves during that time. Polish up your resume, get any additional training that might benefit you on their dime if you can. Then start job hunting. The company you are with now has a toxic environment. Find a company where the men don't look at every attractive female as a potential target and the women look out for each other, not put each other down.
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Old 29th March 2017, 5:01 PM   #9
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Duplicate post.

Last edited by StormyEyes; 29th March 2017 at 5:28 PM.. Reason: Duplicate post
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Old 29th March 2017, 5:32 PM   #10
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This is defamation. If you can prove they are saying it, it should be treated as a firing offence. I'd seek legal advice, then go to HR.
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Old 29th March 2017, 6:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelle303 View Post
It's not just gossip if it ends up hurting my relationship with my new co-workers and people who I will be supervising - in terms of how they see me and whether they respect me.

It's not very nice to be thought of as someone who slept her way to get ahead.



I wrote a thread about it last year, it wasn't something extremely obvious. We had a more relaxed relationship from the beginning and I wasn't aware of his feelings until a while later when he started making more suggestive comments, but again, nothing too uncomfortable. It was shut down by me and we have a normal, friendly, working relationship now.

He's not the one to suggest me for a promotion, he wasn't the one in charge of it, he did not offer it to me and ultimately, we won't even be working together when I start. I very much deserved the promotion and everyone who knows me well has no doubt in this.

I actually like the idea of confronting them, but does that only incite drama?
You did say in the original post that it probably had something to do with it. And if you think someone over him would promote you without talking to him, unlikely.

Since you got the promotion, I assume now you are higher up the chain than them, so maybe if you act like it, they'll stop it, assuming you have some clout.
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Old 30th March 2017, 5:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by StormyEyes View Post

Looking forward, I would only plan on staying there for another year. Don't make waves during that time. Polish up your resume, get any additional training that might benefit you on their dime if you can. Then start job hunting. The company you are with now has a toxic environment. Find a company where the men don't look at every attractive female as a potential target and the women look out for each other, not put each other down.
This is a huge company with a lot of potential career growth in my field and I can really see myself staying there. The pay and benefits are also really great which is important - I'm a single mom to a 6 year old, I have school tuition, extra-curriculars and I'm saving to buy a house in a year or two.

It's honestly not a toxic environment for the most part. Even the thing with my soon-to-be former boss, he wasn't a sleazbag trying to take advantage. I think he honestly liked me, tried to feel out the situation and got a bit inappropriate.

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You did say in the original post that it probably had something to do with it. And if you think someone over him would promote you without talking to him, unlikely.

Since you got the promotion, I assume now you are higher up the chain than them, so maybe if you act like it, they'll stop it, assuming you have some clout.
It was a misunderstanding. I thought he was treating me less formal than others because I was the youngest one there and I took cues from that, so we always had a more friendly relationship. It didn't cross my mind that he liked me until he started making more obvious comments. Flirting can be very subjective and often people mistake general friendliness as flirtation or flirtation as general friendliness.

I know that they talked to him, but he was not a key figure in making the decision. I'd also like to point out that there is no concrete evidence that anything inappropriate ever happened because it honestly didn't. We've never spent any time alone off-work, no dinners, drinks, nothing. Just a few comments that probably weren't even heard by anyone else and are not explicit in any way.

As far as the gossipers go, yes, I will be higher up than them, so I may just see how the treat me and how far will they take their lies.
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Old 30th March 2017, 10:35 AM   #13
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As an HR executive I advise you to report to HR as well as report to your boss. Even though this is two women, this is actually sexual harassment and implying a quid pro quo arrangement which you say never happened.

Their behavior is inappropriate and should be reported. HR is not a shop steward like a union rep would be so isn't there for the employees in that manner but HR is there to help protect the company and this type of behavior is not in the companies best interest.
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Old 30th March 2017, 11:23 AM   #14
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So... do they make enough money to warrant a defamation suit?
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Old 30th March 2017, 11:27 AM   #15
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So... do they make enough money to warrant a defamation suit?
There would be little here for that. She can not show it has negatively impacted her ability to earn money, etc. A defamation suit is ridiculous and would be against the company since they are agents of the company in which their legal department would work on the defense.

Ergo, no defamation suit. Ridiculous.
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