The Bad Touch
Posted in Sexual Harassment on August 2, 2016
It was a very posh, very exclusive spa. Janie* was lucky to have been called in for an interview as an esthetician. Owned by a husband and wife, the spa served high-buck clients in the expensive part of downtown.
Janie passed the interview and began taking clients. She was given a starched white uniform top to wear. It seemed a bit low cut for her curves, but it was the same uniform that all the massage therapists and nail techs wore.
Janie was thrilled with her new job and her income; it was three times what she had made previously.
The next week when her male boss insisted that she give him a facial “to make sure she knew what she was doing.”
At the time Janie saw nothing wrong with the request. As the owner it probably wasn’t unreasonable for him to want to know type of service she was providing.
But in the middle of the facial he reached out and slipped his hand up under her uniform top.
She backed away.
“You’d better be nice to me,” he insisted, “if you want to keep this job.”
“I’ll tell your wife,” Janie said.
“Who do you think she will believe?” he asked.
Janie left and went back to her old employer. Years later she found she was not the only worker to have been sexually harassed by that spa owner.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is far more common that we might want to think. But it is illegal and it does violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a superior at the workplace constitutes sexual harassment.
Title VII, a federal law, also prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. It applies to employers with 15 or more employees, and includes federal, state, and local governments.
If you or someone you know is being sexually harassed at work, contact an attorney with experience in these cases.
(*A true story. Her name has been changed).