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# Situation at the 2024 Kickoff Party

## Incident Details
During our 2024 kickoff party, a coworker who was extremely intoxicated began behaving inappropriately towards me. He kept smacking me on the buttocks, making vulgar comments, and even grabbed my thigh despite my protests. Other coworkers had to intervene to calm him down.

## Response and Resolution
I immediately reported the incident to my boss, who then had me speak with the coworker involved. Our HR director later stepped in and escalated the issue to higher-ups due to the severity of the behavior. The coworker was required to attend therapy for alcohol abuse and retake sexual harassment training by the end of February. However, he neglected to complete the training.

## Ongoing Discomfort
Despite undergoing therapy, the coworker’s behavior and that of his department have made the work environment uncomfortable for me and my colleagues. I voiced my concerns to my boss, who assured me that the coworker would eventually complete the training, although he has not done so yet.

## Legal Considerations
My therapist mentioned the possibility of pursuing legal action against the coworker personally. However, I am uncertain about the legal implications of the situation and seek guidance on how to proceed.

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23 Comments

  • ThoughtfulMadeline

    > My therapist said I could probably sue him personally for this but I am not sure.

    Therapists really need to stop giving legal advice, they are terrible at it.

    You could always report this to the police, though there’s no way to predict whether or not anything will come of it.

  • monkeyman80

    A job isnÔÇÖt required to do something specific when you report sexual harassment. Just that you no longer are harassed. If they fail to act and you endure harassment after that itÔÇÖs a toxic work environment and you can sue.

  • bigditka

    Never trust HR to do what’s best for you. Report it to the police. Even if it goes nowhere you will have hopefully scared him straight.

  • Duke_Nukeboost

    ThereÔÇÖs maybe just enough here that you should talk to an employment attorney about it. A single incident if severe enough has been held to be actionable harassment, especially if you genuinely feel like youÔÇÖre continuing to have trouble at work as a result. Do not sit on this, however, because the time limit to get the ball rolling is short (180 or 300 days from incident). (The details about him being promoted or driving home drunk, and that stuff sounds immaterial to me.)

    Your therapist is technically right in the sense that slapping someoneÔÇÖs ass is probably tortious battery (and maybe violates other laws as well) and so you could sue him in addition to your employer but itÔÇÖs usually not worth it for a variety of reasons.

    Again, donÔÇÖt go into this expecting a big payday. I think thatÔÇÖs one mistaken impression people have. The biggest factor should be whether you are having trouble doing your job as a result of this incident and the subsequent fallout because that is the discrimination that employment law is meant to address.

    Also, IÔÇÖm not trying to downplay this or be rude but what happened to you is most likely not legally sexual assault (as far as IÔÇÖm aware), which is more akin to rape but with a broader legal definition. ItÔÇÖs more likely a (misdemeanor) sexual battery, (or something similar depending on the state.)

  • BadChris666

    You should contact a lawyer.

    If the company fails to hold him accountable and this creates a hostile work environment, then you have a nice lawsuit against them.

    Best to get an attorney now, who can guide you through the right steps to take.

  • attgig

    Him and his department are making you uncomfortable? Talk to a lawyer. Sue him sue the company.
    Follow the lawyers advice. If the lawyer says go to the police, go to the police.

    DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Names of witnesses. Who you talked to when. What his department did to make you uncomfortable. Any comments. Anythinf aggressive.

  • bluesavvvv23

    Also if there is any retaliation, people or him making it uncomfortable for you at work. That should also be an issue to discuss with hr.

  • Future_Mr_Prez

    You should speak to a lawyer and then the police. It sounds like there could be possible criminal charges as well as civil charges against both the individual and the company. The extent you are successful in any of those avenues will be very fact/evidence specific.

  • blahblahloveyou

    >Him and his department pre-promotion have made things very uncomfortable for me and the people that I work closely with at work ever since.

    Document this as much as possible. Take notes anytime they do something. This is retaliation and you can sue the company.

  • Downtown_Ladder6546

    An employment attorney would probably be happy to consult with you for free about this for 30 minutes. They can tell you whether you have enough for a case.

  • Bubblystrings

    IÔÇÖm sorry you experienced this. You should review your employee handbook. You can try filing a police report. You can also complain to the CRD (or EEOC), this is discussed [here](https://oag.ca.gov/workplace-sexual-harassment). YouÔÇÖll need(*) to do this prior to suing, theyÔÇÖll determine whether you have the right to.

    (*) need to as far as the law thatÔÇÖs relevant to the EEOC is concerned. IÔÇÖm not certain about CAÔÇÖs law, but itÔÇÖll be made clear when they respond

  • LowMother6437

    Why donÔÇÖt you just make a police report.

  • darkm3m0ry

    Fuck this guy and that place, take it to the police file a report

  • paulschreiber

    Please file a police report (find special victims/someone trained in SA victim intake) *and* speak to an employment attorney ([Lawyer Referral Services Directory](https://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Need-Legal-Help/Certified-Lawyer-Referral-Services-Directory)).

  • Both_Investigator563

    If you donÔÇÖt report it to the police make sure that your report is internally memorialized in writing somewhere. Proving a hostile work environment has much to do with the pervasiveness of the conduct. If you report it and it keeps happening, your grounds for a suit will be much stronger.

    DonÔÇÖt trust HR to do whatÔÇÖs best for you. Document your record by reporting it in writing in a form that will be accessible in the future. Send the email and then print off a copy of it and keep it in some internal file on hand.

    IÔÇÖm sorry this happened to you. ItÔÇÖs inexcusable, as are the weak actions of administrators in your company. Perpetrators like this have a tendency to re-offend. The best way to protect yourself and other potential future victims is to document, document, document.

  • Loydx

    I’m sorry this happened to you. If this was a stranger at a bar he would have been thrown out or you would have every right to call the cops and press charges. The HR person treating this as something you need to explain or confront yourself is crazy. They are terrible at their job.

    Take any action you feel is appropriate because they are in the wrong!!

  • Bobby_Rasigliano

    Get a lawyer. This is an ez case. TheyÔÇÖll settle. And lawyer may do it on a contingency so you donÔÇÖt go out of pocket to pay for them. Likely a law that says employers responsible for legal fees in this scenario too.┬á

  • Why_am_ialive

    If your being targeted for reporting this itÔÇÖs victimisation, IÔÇÖd go to HR again, complain and say if they donÔÇÖt sort something youÔÇÖll pursue legal action, hopefully this scares them into actually doing something

    To be clear, the company probably arenÔÇÖt actually at fault here legally unless they let it continue but hopefully making it clear you donÔÇÖt want to drop it will make them follow up more