Same-sex harassment no less offensive than the more common kind

Maintenance department machinists George and Bill, both openly gay, had an eye on Vince Mullen, a young, single, and strikingly handsome instrument repairman with a thick mane of rust colored hair.

03/01/2000


Maintenance department machinists George and Bill, both openly gay, had an eye on Vince Mullen, a young, single, and strikingly handsome instrument repairman with a thick mane of rust colored hair.

"Wouldn't it be great," George confided to Bill, licking his chops, "if we could persuade Vince to join us sometime for a threesome?"

Bill agreed wholeheartedly. So started a campaign with this purpose in mind. The men made sexual advances, jointly and individually, in an effort to convince Mullen of the advantages of their lifestyle. Despite the repairman's having made it clear more than once that he wasn't interested, George and Bill persisted in their unwanted behavior which included inappropriate comments and touching. On one occasion, they even offered to pay Mullen to participate.

For Mullen, that was the final straw. He complained to Maintenance Supervisor Brad Harmon, who brushed him off with the advice "not to take those queers seriously." When Harmon continued to ignore his complaint, Mullen went over his head.

Question: What action would you take in Plant Engineer Mort Laker's place?

Laker's response: Laker summoned Harmon to his office and laid down the law. "A hostile work environment produced by sexual harassment provokes humiliation and angst regardless of the sex of the victim. I want it made clear to those characters that if they persist in harassing Mullen or anyone else, they won't be long for this plant."





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