r/TwoXChromosomes Feb 08 '18

My male boss openly slapped my ass in a room full of staff and respected customers and I was so humiliated. Support r/all

So I work for a high-end men’s clothing company and last night we had a launch party for our new spring collection. We had invited over 900 people and the store was buzzing full of staff and clientele. I invited one of my housemates (male) to keep me company and also this event was his sort of thing. Me and him were chatting away when my boss (64 y/o Indian male) came over and noticed my tattoos and shouted ‘I didn’t know you had tattoos, you naughty girl!’ and slapped my bum. The people immediately surrounding us all looked at me slightly mortified but then carried on as normal, but not everyone saw because it was quite a packed out room. I know it’s not a huge deal but it was just so embarrassing and I ended up leaving early because I felt very uncomfortable (I am 21 y/o). My housemate kept reassuring me it wasn’t normal and very out of order, especially in a swanky fashion launch party. We’ve debated whether it’s because of his age or his ethnicity and the culture he comes from, but it still isn’t acceptable. (I’m in Britain, btw) I also feel like I can’t tell anyone else because his two sons are also my managers and I do love my job... I don’t really know if this post is to seek advice or to just get it off my chest but thanks either way!

EDIT: should of made it clear that this guy is the owner of the company and there is no HR I can turn to because we are a small independent business with only two stores. It’s a tricky situation but thanks for all the support!

EDIT 2: This really blew up and I am so grateful to everyone who has given their time to comment! Sorry I can’t reply to all but 98% of you have been so supportive and really helped me in which direction to take!❤️

EDIT 3: had a couple of comments suggesting it’s bullshit because of the 900+ figure. First off, I said 900 people were invited, not 900 people were there: that detail was more just to give a scale of things. Also others saying it’s not possible for a small business to have 900+ customers is ridiculous. Think of scale and proportion compared to corporations. I am in a large university city so it is more than plausible and people like yourselves as the reasons women stay quiet in the first place.

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u/AnxiousReader Queen in The North Feb 08 '18

Commenters: This is a support thread. Kindly take your disrespectful blaming comments elsewhere.

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u/Quailpower Feb 08 '18

Speak to someone from ACAS, it's a free service for employees with issues at work. They offer support and mediation. Good for pay disputes, working conditions etc.

www.acas.org.uk

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u/Proserpina Coffee Coffee Coffee Feb 08 '18

100% THIS

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u/Lazy-Person Feb 08 '18

When I was in my teens, I always wondered why women didn't say anything when something like that happens.

Then, I had it happen several times, as a young man in my early twenties, by an older woman I worked with, openly in front of other staff. I said exactly nothing despite my discomfort in the situation out of humiliation. I felt...lessened. This person wasn't even a supervisor in a position of power over me so I can't even imagine how it feels in your situation.

I wish you the best in this.

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u/nikktheconqueerer Feb 08 '18

I've had my buns grabbed tons of times by coworkers, always made me feel really weird but you're right. It's hard to understand why people don't speak up until you're in that awkward position yourself. Best thing OP can do now is speak up, and let the boss know that that stuff was inappropriate, and won't be happening again.

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u/ebonyway Feb 08 '18

WTF..... your housemate is absolutely correct and you should not tolerate this at all.

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u/esisenore Feb 08 '18

This is disgusting and unacceptable. I know everyone already said that so my voice is just +1 on that . Would it be okay if you slapped his ass and and naughty boy ? Hopefully as a society we can get a place where that behavior is taboo regardless of sex.

Before you come from a reactionary place, you want to think intelligently how you approach this. Life is too short to work with toxic people regardless of the prestige or pay of a job. The best play in life is too stay far away from those types and to surround yourself with positive uplifting people. Let those types bring themselves and others suffering away from you.

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u/Gsusruls Feb 08 '18

my voice is just +1 on that

To to help reenforce, I also +1 this.

Unacceptable. Not even up for debate. Not okay not okay not okay.

Also, the "acceptability" of it is not based on any factors, such as his ethnicity or culture, nor on whether you're able to shake it off or not. This is one of those absolutes. What he did was not okay.

Also, per the EDIT regarding HR - remember that even if there was an HR, they do not exist to serve or help you except where it helps the company. HR works for the company. Be mindful of that in case it comes up in the future.

Sorry for being wordy. I type a lot. Good luck, OP!

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u/micktorious When you're a human Feb 08 '18

We’ve debated whether it’s because of his age or his ethnicity and the culture he comes from, but it still isn’t acceptable

It's crazy to even have to debate this at all, it's a 100% easy choice: NOT ACCEPTABLE ON ANY PLANET AT ANY TIME TO HAVE A PERSON TOUCH YOU WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT, ESPECIALLY SOMEONE WHO HOLDS A POSITION OF POWER OVER YOUR JOB

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

That’s not what they were debating

Edit: based on op

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u/Noltonn Feb 08 '18

I mean it's not acceptable to us, of course, but to pretend that there aren't cultures or time periods where this is or was more acceptable is also silly. It's not an excuse for their behaviour but it could be an explanation for it.

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u/Chocolava Feb 08 '18

I'm an Indian and this is SO NOT ACCEPTABLE in India. Touching women without their permission is nearly a criminal offense.

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u/idealatry Feb 08 '18

As I understand it, India has some pretty big problems with rape and sexual harassment. Everything I've read tells me it IS a problem with the culture.

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u/mimidudette Feb 08 '18

They're still illegal, crimes, and looked down upon. In a densely populated country of over a billion it probably happens more often than in North America, and with a rocky government/political system that results from years of turmoil stemming from colonialism it's the legal framework (highly unlikely spouses will be punished for rape, eg) that's the real issue preventing justice from being carried out.

It's quite rude to say that sexual harassment is part of Indian culture. I think you might have meant that it's a big problem for Indian society today.

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u/dcsbjj Feb 08 '18

I mean, a woman got raped in the street, went to the cops and then the cops, including the police chief raped her too. It is a problem with the culture, just like cops killing people and idiocy is a problem in American culture, pretending it doesn't exist because you think it's rude isn't gonna help.

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u/The_Grubby_One Feb 08 '18

Women have been raped (TRIGGER WARNING: GRAPHIC) on the sidewalk as people just walk past, in broad daylight, within the last couple of years. If you don't see serious societal issues in people just walking by like that, I don't know what else to say.

People talk about rape culture in the US? That's real rape culture.

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u/banjowashisnameo Feb 08 '18

Yes, but those things happen in private and not openly. People tend to look the other way. Most of the harassers are usually relatives.

However, if you ever touch an unknown woman, employee in public you are likely to be beaten up or lynched

Also, rapists get death sentences or long prison sentences, they are not let off because they are athletes, scholars etc, etc

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u/_refugee_ Feb 08 '18

you mean privately, like on buses?

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u/tjk911 Feb 08 '18

attacked on a private bus in Utter Pradesh

beaten, gang raped, and tortured in a private bus

Also, rapists get death sentences or long prison sentences, they are not let off because they are athletes, scholars etc, etc

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

Yeah India has such a problem, unlike here in the West where we’ve made it very clear that women are not to be objectified and so all men are respectful and enlightened, right

No problems with rape or sexual harassment here, no siree

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u/AnusHoldus Feb 08 '18

Not that we don’t have problems in the West, but travel to Central Asia sometime and see if it doesn’t feel different.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18 edited Feb 08 '18

I grew up in west Asia. It doesn’t feel any less safe. Men there definitely stare more, but Sexual taboos are much stronger in general there, so there is less men can “get away with” in broad daylight under the guise of playful flirting.

in terms of actual sexual violence and assault it’s pretty comparable.

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u/Throwammay Feb 08 '18

Uhh, no?

Don't get me wrong I'm happy nothing of the sort happened to you when you lived there ( although I don't know where you lived ) but studies show time and time again sexual assault is way higher in countries like India.

I'd provide links, and can do when I get home but I'm on mobile atm.

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u/invisiblemovement Feb 08 '18

Starving children in Africa fallacy lol

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

nearly?

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u/PSDontAsk Feb 08 '18

It depends. It is called “the rape capital of the world,” but they’re working on the legislation.

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u/illisit Feb 08 '18

There is a lot of variation, India is a huge place. If someone touches the wrong girl (ie one with many men who care in her family) that person might well end up dead in the street.

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u/cyncora Feb 08 '18

A guy (mid-20s) was caught stalking a girl (15) back from school. We noticed it happening but then girl complained about it when he tried to stop her to talk to her. We knew we had to take action. Few of us grabbed the guy when he was on our street and then we proceeded to twist his hair around our fingers and rip it off his scalp. This was all done in the presence of a Police Inspector of our police station. We sent the guy to the ER on a rickshaw but not before we got his address from him. I have to this date, not regretted my action once and would gladly go to court if he dared to press charges. It has been years and we've crossed paths many times since. He's kind of talked about as an example. So yes, that person might well end up dead in the street.

I've seen 2 guys get lynched because they slapped the breasts of a Caucasian woman (a tourist) and tried to scurry away in the crowd. The Caucasian woman started screaming and some people who saw it happen grabbed both the guys by the scruff of their necks. I've never felt so pleased about mob justice.

After having said all this, any reform, which is rooted in fear of violence is wrong and inherently flawed. While it makes me feel important and good about myself, it's not going to fix the problem in general. This 'rape culture', needs to change at a more fundamental level than just the fear of punishment. I'm old and probably won't see this happening in my lifetime but I'm glad that people are talking about it and demanding justice a lot more.

EDIT: Grammer

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u/illisit Feb 08 '18

After having said all this, any reform, which is rooted in fear of violence is wrong and inherently flawed. While it makes me feel important and good about myself, it's not going to fix the problem in general.

I agree with all of this and you shouldn't rely on vigilante justice. In saying that India is a nation only just beginning to escape such a level of poverty that a proper justice system can begin to be implemented which is why this is still a thing. If there was total societal collapse over the whole world everywhere would immediately go back to that.

This 'rape culture', needs to change at a more fundamental level than just the fear of punishment. I'm old and probably won't see this happening in my lifetime but I'm glad that people are talking about it and demanding justice a lot more.

There is always going to be a segment of society for whom the only block to committing acts of violence including rape is the threat of punishment. Continue to work towards having a society where these issues are minimised as much as they can be but keep in mind that most men are good people that will protect women from rape.

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u/rellekc86 Feb 08 '18

That's what bothers me. "You can't knock a culture for how they do things, what are you, a racist? They've always treated women that way." And then when something happens the same people are like "OMG WHY DID THEY DO THAT THIS IS REPREHENSIBLE BEHAVIOR".

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u/nate20140074 Feb 08 '18

lmao which culture doesn't have a rape problem?

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u/MoribundCow Feb 08 '18

Nah, the only time you get called a racist when criticizing other cultures is when you're actually saying racist shit. You can absolutely criticize a culture that treats women a certain way without being racist. But people often conflate the two, and then whine that apparently "you can't knock a culture". Yes you very well can. It's just that if you hold some racist views, they're most likely to come out (whether intentionally or not) when discussing topics like these.

And I've never seen people who speak out against sexual harassment/assault say those things are just fine because it's someone's culture.

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u/ebonyway Feb 08 '18

I'm not sure why you replied to my comment about this but ok. I'm Indian and this behavior is only typical of Indian chauvinistic pigs, which also exist in every racial group and subgroup... Indians, especially elder Indian men, are known nationally and internationally for being sexually inappropriate and misogynistic so it's a valid point to bring up but not even remotely justifiable as an excuse.

Still not sure why you replied to my comment though?

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u/wearer_of_boxers Feb 08 '18

this is true, however for most of this guy's life it was either "pretty acceptable" or "kind of acceptable" with it only recently going to "not acceptable at all".

i am not saying do not mention this to him or do not take action, but i am saying he might just be clueless and a crude old guy who doesn't know any better and did not realize it was not ok and will not realize that until you bring it up again.

so yes, you should bring it up.

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u/AgingLolita Feb 08 '18

Bullshit, this man is the same age as my dad and lives and works in the same culture. He did it because he knows damn well she can’t do anything about it.

Op leave the job. I’m sorry. You’re never going to get anywhere working for this man because he veiws you as nothing more than a pet. Nice to have around, ultimately not a person.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

[deleted]

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u/spinollama Feb 08 '18

I personally wouldn't confront him until I had another job lined up,u unless you're prepared to be unemployed if he takes it badly (which I'd expect from a shitty guy like this).

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u/Tacocatx2 Feb 08 '18

He may be clueless, it might be his culture, that doesn't give him a free pass. If OP wants to give him to benefit of the doubt, to be politic in order to keep he job and not hurt feelings, she could say something like "Perhaps you're not aware, but in Britian we have this peculiar custom.....we don't slap asses here.... "

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u/wearer_of_boxers Feb 08 '18

passive aggressive vs direct? i would go for direct, just tell him.

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u/spinollama Feb 08 '18

It shouldn't give him a free pass -- but as the OP indicated, she's not in a position where there's HR for her to talk to. Unfortunately, in a small business, this dude is gonna get away with this shit.

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u/IndianaJones_Jr_ Feb 08 '18

I WAS NOT AWARE THAT HUMANS INHABIT MORE THAN ONE PLANET

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u/elanhilation Feb 08 '18

Now, now. We don’t know how they do it on other planets. That may be how they say hello in th Andromeda Galaxy.

Not on earth, though. Totally out of order on this planet.

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u/bigmoneybitches Feb 08 '18

With regards to his ethnicity there is legal precedence in India where a butt slap was considered a sexual offence so it is wrong where he comes from as well.

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u/jbird669 Feb 08 '18

I hear this is acceptable on Uranus.

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u/thothpethific92 Feb 08 '18

Yes, I agree that it is probably wise to seek a lawyer if you feel that strongly about it. If you don't feel like making a big deal of it, you still need to set boundaries for you peers and "leadership". If he does it again, look him in the eye and tell him something like

" [Name], I absolutely do NOT appreciate you speaking or touching me like that. Please NEVER do it again" And leave it at that. If he continues then I would either quit or get a lawyer. Its likely that he'll employ more women in the future and his behaviour is highly unprofessional. He needs to learn that you can't treat men or women in such a way. As far as him being an old Indian guy stuck in his ways. That is 100% false. I work with 80% Indians at my job, all from different regions and age groups. Never have any of them displayed characteristics even close to your boss. You need to shut him down or just leave. Best of luck :)

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u/holmil96 Feb 08 '18

Yes thank you!! I knew it wasn’t down to his ethnicity but it was one of the points that got argued by my housemates because of course his sons are of the same ethnicity and they are both fantastic. I will bring it up to him and hopefully he will realise it’s not ok and that he will be embarrassed by his mistake! Thank you x

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u/yildizli_gece Feb 08 '18

his sons are of the same ethnicity and they are both fantastic.

Then would it be possible to raise this issue with them?

Idk if they're the kind to be "fantastic" until there's a threat to the family--in which case they turn on you--or if they're the kind to realize their dad could seriously fuck up their workplace if women complain about harassment, and they talk to him directly to never do such a thing again, but it's what comes to mind to me.

I'm sorry that happened to you; rest assured it was not your fault and nothing you did, and your housemates "points" are irrelevant to the problem: a boss who doesn't understand boundaries.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

[deleted]

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u/PSDontAsk Feb 08 '18

On the other hand they may value their father’s reputation more and try to bury OP under a bunch of bullshit. It’s hard to predict their individual reactions because it’s a threat to their livelihood/family.

It’s important to be cautious and talk to all the fellow employees who saw what happened to build a network of support.

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u/Hanlons---Razor Feb 08 '18

First of all, I’m sorry this happened to you. There is no valid excuse for his behaviour.

This is text-book sexual harassment (technically also assault) and considered a form of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

If you are treated less favourably because of your reaction to this harassment, then you have a claim under the Equality Act: i.e. if he makes your life difficult after you confront him, you can start an employment tribunal claim. Your first step would be to contact ACAS in that instance.

IMO an employment tribunal would take about 2 minutes to find in your favour, if he even refused the ‘early conciliation’ process.

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u/Fey_fox Feb 08 '18

I’d also bring up with him that he not only violated your personal space, but his behavior also got a negative reaction from those who saw it. Behaving this way can damage his company’s standing. This may help get across that it’s not only not ok to do this with you, but to anyone else.

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u/BoneHugsHominy Feb 08 '18

u/yildizli_gece suggested excellent advice in response to this comment. Definitely should consider that route.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

I would handle this the same way I've handled similar actions from women in my life. "please don't do that again, I don't appreciate it" but not in a way to embarrass them, just draw a line. Then move on with my life, because in the grand scheme of things, it's not a huge deal, to be honest.

Inappropriate, sure, but that's subjective, as most things are. Human interaction is messy, I try not to get hung up on things that don't actually hurt me and accept that everyone has varying standards of decency, and not everyone will live up to my standards.

If it happened again after I said not to, then I'd react more forcefully. If it never happened again, telling them not to was the right amount of force.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18 edited Apr 04 '19

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u/thothpethific92 Feb 08 '18

I'm glad to hear it! It takes real courage to do what your about to do. Handle it with grace and dignity 🙏👍🍻

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u/justsaysso Feb 08 '18

Thank you, this is a very reasonable response.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

As far as him being an old Indian guy stuck in his ways

Another point to add here:

Anyone who subscribes to the "can't teach an old dog new tricks" mentality is simply wrong. People are very good at learning and adapting thanks to our neuroplasticity.

Seeing as how change is in our very nature, I believe anyone has the ability to alter their ways given enough drive, and one would be hard-pressed to prove otherwise

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u/pm_me_kitties_girl Feb 08 '18

I work for an multinational firm and without exception, if the Indian men with whom I work are sexist, they keep it to themselves. Agreed with this commenter that it's a personal choice thing. I think there is a lot of sexism in Indian culture, but for the most part, the indian people who I've met who have decided to be part of another culture respect its values.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

Talk to a lawyer, a lot of advice being thrown around here but unless you talk to a lawyer you wont understand your options.

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u/CitizenCAN_mapleleaf Feb 08 '18

And start getting a record of everything down on paper right now. If anyone says "Hey, I saw what happened ..." ask them to write it down for you.

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u/Howard_Campbell Feb 08 '18

If the situtation warrants, send an email to him "Mr. XXXXXX, I just wanted to mention that you patted me on the buttocks at the YYYYYY Party on ZZ/ZZ/ZZZZ. I didn't feel that it was appropriate and I would appreciate if you did not do it again."

If you're fired, it's going to be easy to show retaliation. If you don't fired but gradually lose hours and promotions, it's a lot more difficult. But following up in writing is key to any dispute (I am not your lawyer.)

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u/Mic_Check_One_Two Feb 08 '18

If you’re going to do this, make sure you BCC your personal email account on any correspondence - If you get fired and lose access to your work email, you’ll still have copies on your personal email.

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u/mild_delusion Feb 08 '18

If you don't fired but gradually lose hours and promotions, it's a lot more difficult.

This is not true. This is equivalent to constructive dismissal. Any employee tribunal would have a field day with this.

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u/Howard_Campbell Feb 08 '18

If "gradually" occurs over a long enough time period - and - "a lot more" is a relative term. Are you disputing the comparative analysis?

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u/drifterramirez Feb 08 '18

It would be documented, and easy to identify the trend. If they did not have documentation indicating her quality of work had degraded, or that it was as trend across the whole company, it would be easy identify as constructive dismissal.

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u/Howard_Campbell Feb 08 '18

You're both missing the simple point. It's eas"ier" to prove immediate termination was retaliation. I understand constructive dismissals and they are "a lot more difficult" to prove. That's a basic statement of logic.

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u/CitizenCAN_mapleleaf Feb 08 '18

excellent idea. If possible, indicate you want a delivery receipt and a read notification.

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u/PerpetualProtracting Feb 08 '18

And bcc a personal email if you're sending from a work account, including forwarding any follow-up replies in either direction.

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u/SilverSpooky Feb 08 '18

Just sat through the company sexual harassment seminar yesterday and the lawyer gave an example just like this as an example of severe sexual harassment.

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u/May_be_AI Feb 08 '18

Yeah, parliament just got effed up for this sort of stuff. So get him in trouble

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u/CaptCaCa Feb 08 '18

Especially if there were as many witnesses as you said.

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u/RainbowPhoenixGirl Feb 08 '18

Yeah, this isn't America. Lawyering won't do much other than get everyone to turn against you because you went nuclear. Threatening to sue is much bigger deal over here.

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u/steamwhy Feb 08 '18

I don't understand why you would have to tell anyone you retained and spoke to a lawyer. The only way everyone 'knows' is if you and your lawyer decide you have something actionable and you want to move forward.

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u/Malus_a4thought Feb 08 '18

So can I ask, to what do you attribute the difference? As an American (and admittedly a government worker with tons of grievance procedures) what's wrong with dealing with this in an 'official' way?

My attitude is that if I as a boss can issue discipline to somebody without making it personal, why can't they do the same thing without me getting riled up?

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u/WickedKnight23 Feb 08 '18

Not too many bosses I've had share your view on this

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u/sb452 Feb 08 '18

There's nothing wrong with dealing with this in an official way - making an informal complaint, going to HR (if they exist), reporting to your union rep, making an official written complaint. It's going straight to a lawyer that sounds strange to a European. Most Europeans don't have a personal lawyer, and wouldn't know where to go to find a lawyer (apart from to their union). Even if the complaint was escalated, most cases would get dealt with by mediation at which lawyers wouldn't be allowed to attend - in the UK, there's a government agency (ACAS) that deals with all but the most serious cases.

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u/Griffin880 Feb 08 '18

Op said there is no HR and all of her managers are related to this guy, so internal options are out.

Also in America just talking with a lawyer doesn't mean you're going to sue someone. A lawyer can also just help guide you through the complaint process with various government agencies.

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u/Malus_a4thought Feb 08 '18

Thanks for the answer.

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u/BothBawlz Feb 08 '18

Feel free to make other suggestions. What do you think they should do instead, just accept it?

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u/ImpostorSyndromish Feb 08 '18

Suing here is a big deal. So what? If there’s no other recourse then simply accept it?

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u/tarheellaw Feb 08 '18

Talking to a lawyer does not equal threatening to sue. It just means figuring out your options, one of which might be suing.

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u/ArtfulDodgerLives Feb 08 '18

This is actually awful advice. Don’t go lawyer up. That’s going to cost you a fortune. And the violation he did isn’t enough to get you any big money. Note: I’m not saying what he did isn’t bad, I’m saying it just won’t make her money.

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u/FruitNyer Feb 08 '18

I'm Indian and I can tell you it's not ethnicity or culture. In many places in India if you do this you'd get the shit beat out of you.

This guy is just power tripping probably because he thinks himself very successful.

But yeah, lawyer, you have witnesses, gather the evidence.

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u/icecoldcold Feb 08 '18

Seconding this. (I am also an Indian.) This is totally unacceptable. And he fucking lives in Britain and runs a business there. So he obviously knows what is acceptable and what isn't. He probably just thought he could get away with it (like millions of other men in power outed in the #metoo movement).

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

I'm thinking its directly related to his attitudes on tattoos. He thought she'd be okay with it in some relation to them. Not supporting at all! Just my take.

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u/ILookAtTheMoon2Much Feb 08 '18

Yep i agree, i’ve come across some guys who have an attitude of thinking that a girl with tattoos or wears a certain type of clothing (this one probably unfortunately happens more often) is “easy” or that they can get away with doing stuff like that.

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u/DetectorOfCirclejerk Feb 08 '18

Yeah. I mean have you seen ththe “how can you slap” video ? Lol. Obviously not acceptable.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

Was acceptable in that case though

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18 edited Feb 09 '18

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u/midas77 Feb 08 '18

Honestly man, I'm not Indian but I am pissed off that the OP is suggesting bad behaviour has something to do with someone's ethnicity.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18 edited Jan 12 '19

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u/etherealenergy Feb 08 '18

That is absolutely shocking behavior on his part. There is no excuse for anyone to do that you. If it happens again, call him out on it in front of everyone. Have you considered talking to HR?

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u/holmil96 Feb 08 '18

We don’t have a HR because we are a small independent business with only 2 stores, it’s literally just him and his two sons who run the whole thing :( this is why I’m stuck :(

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

HR is just there to cover the company's ass, not yours. It's sad, but true. When my boss abused me and I went to HR, she ended up trying to get me to say stuff while trying to record ME! I was the enemy! Not the guy who had me hauling 100 lb of gravel for a counseling internship while referencing my private parts (all while deathly ill from radiation treatments and my disease wasting my muscles away already. I'm not supposed to lift over 10 lbs; sorry if too much detail, just wanting to drive home how much HR is useless for victims of a company). If you're in a one party state you can begin to record all your interactions in case it becomes a habit for him. Much love and luck as you deal with this. I hope he doesn't violate you again, but abusive ppl usually escalate. It's their m.o.

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u/frogjg2003 Feb 08 '18

Covering the company's ass also includes making sure the company is safe from lawsuits and fines. Just because they're there for the company doesn't mean they're not there for you. It is in the company's best interest to make sure their employees aren't getting their asses slapped.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

Unless the man in charge likes slapping asses. Then they exist to make sure he can.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18 edited Feb 15 '18

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u/AgingLolita Feb 08 '18

You are stuck. Leave and try to find other work, you’re never going to be taken seriously by a man who treats you like an ornament to fiddle with as he pleases

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u/kingzeumar Feb 08 '18 edited Feb 08 '18

Confront him until he fires you then collect unemployment. Also start looking for a new job. GL

Edit: This came out wrong. I think you should confront him, and if he ends up firing you, you can always lean on unemployment if need be. Start looking for a new place to work at too.

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u/Vectorman1989 Feb 08 '18

Confront him, if he fires you, take him to court for unfair dismissal and sexual harassment/assault.

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u/crunkadocious Feb 08 '18

Ask him for a reference for some other fashion store

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u/throwawayoneone2233 Feb 08 '18

I don't know about the rest, I'm also a guy so I can't really say for sure what to do.

I would however, confront him when he's by himself and tell him that you love your job and everything his family has done for you, but you really didn't feel comfortable when he did that and personally felt humiliated. Don't come across as angry, remain calm and collected at all times. Just remember that the person with a cool head will win in the end.

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u/joemaniaci Feb 08 '18

I made my own reply but I would bring it up in an email. That way if he responds and admits it, while more than likely blowing it off as not a big deal, she will protect herself from retaliation.

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u/LucrativeLlama Feb 08 '18

Yes! An email will show proof of what happened, especially if he admits it. A good way to protect yourself without going as far as getting a lawyer.

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u/rebeccanotbecca Feb 08 '18

She should not confront him without a witness. Otherwise it will be her word against his and in most cases, she will not come out ahead.

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u/tinytribble Feb 08 '18

Shit I wouldn’t be able to have a level head. I’d be angry as fuck. I can’t even imagine my boss calling me naughty or SPANKING my ass. I probably would have smacked him reflexively and if there wasn’t an immediate apology and no more of that behavior again I would absolutely report him to authorities. I’m sure she isn’t the only employee to endure that behavior, and she has witnesses to confirm her accusation.

Some people don’t realize they deserve the same respect as anyone else - doesn’t matter what your title is or where you work, or your age/gender, unwanted sexual advances are unprofessional and make the victim feel weak and powerless. If you wouldn’t tolerate it from the new intern you shouldn’t tolerate it from the CEO, I don’t care what kind of power or money they have. I’ve quit a job for less. And now I have an awesome work environment.

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u/BigMac826 Feb 08 '18

I whole heartedly agree with this. No need for torches and pitchforks right away. Just try talking to the guy and explaining how you feel without attacking him

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u/maebhazardous Feb 08 '18

Yes, absolutely. His feelings should be your top priority after being touched inappropriately. :[

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u/Liz_LemonLime Feb 08 '18

It makes me really mad that when a person does something sexually inappropriate, it's the victim, most often a woman, who feels humiliated and is responsible for those emotions even though they did nothing wrong.

Your jackass boss violated you, in public, and he went on having a grand ole time while it ruined your evening. That's not right.

I'm sorry this happened. I don't have any advice for dealing with him, but I do hope you take care of you. See a therapist, even if it's just short term to sort out these feelings, talk to friends, take good care of yourself and make sure YOU are okay.

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u/jvhero Feb 08 '18

I read about 20 top comments deep. However, I didn't see this said.

Step #1 You have nothing to be humiliated about.

He should be humiliated, not you. You did nothing wrong.

He was grossly inappropriate not you.

He was the one who objectified you. Please, don't think that his actions made you an object to anyone else.

You are clearly mature and strong enough to handle the situation. He was not.

You can and should determine how recourse is handled. It is not up to him.

This sexual assault should not be viewed any different from if he assaulted you by smacking you in the face. He fucked up.

No matter where you go from here, at least establish your self-worth as being more than you are giving yourself credit for.

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u/nOeticRon96 Feb 08 '18

The behaviour shown by your boss was completely unprofessional and at such a public event nonetheless. I hope you have taken proper steps because this isn't some playful banter.

Btw I didn't read the other comments much so if anyone's going on his ethnicity that's wrong... I have met and been friends with many Indians of all ages and certainly this is not a behaviour seen in Indians.

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u/yellowsongbird Feb 08 '18

I've had white male CEOs do the same thing to me, its def not just a cultural thing, its a shitty asshole CEO thing.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

So you shouldn't be embarrassed. You didn't do anything wrong. He did. I see that you can't go to HR, but you can talk to a lawyer. This is not ok, nor is it harmless. It doesn't matter if it's a cultural thing or an age thing, this crossed a few lines.

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u/Gibber_Italicus Feb 08 '18

Ahh, the ole' trope of "a woman who is alternative or "edgy" in dress/appearance/adornment = Sexually Uninhibited/DTF/A Slut" rears its ugly head, I see.

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u/MissAnthropoid Feb 08 '18

Yeah, and the old "uninhibited = sexually available to MEEEEEE"

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u/ThempleOfThyme Feb 08 '18

Of course, it absolutely IS a huge deal. Calling you a "naughty girl" is inappropriate enough, but then following up with a spank is deplorable. I can guarantee you that this is not the first time this has happened. And despite loving your job, you really should say something. There's joking around and then there's spanking someone's ass.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

64 y/o Indian male. I hate when im represented by my people like this.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18 edited Feb 08 '18

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

Say what you want but people are going to judge

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u/jahnudvipa93 Feb 08 '18

He may not have done it maliciously, but at the very least directly inform him that you were made uncomfortable. Sometimes people are just stupid. However, I would document the occurrence, so that if it continues, you have a record. If possible, have it verified by witnesses.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

He may not have done it maliciously

It doesn't matter. It shows exactly how he views her, a toy to play with, not a person.

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u/froggurts Feb 08 '18

The “naughty” part is what really showed it as a sexual act. In any situation ass slapping or touching of any coworker without consent is unacceptable. No matter what!

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u/IrreleventPerson Feb 08 '18

Isnt there a protection for employees filling a complaint against employers so that no repercussion to the employee can happen in Britain?

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u/Jostain Feb 08 '18

The real world is more complicated than that tough. It is seldom easy to stay at a place after kicking up a stink. He cant fire you but you will never get a raise or promotion or any kind of slack again. small companies require you to be at least somewhat amiable with the boss.

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u/IrreleventPerson Feb 08 '18

Yeah, the small company part makes it hard. Idk how it is elsewhere, but in Quebec there's an organisation called the CNESST, and if you can prove your workload changed after you filled a complaint, they will be fined again and again. I hoped it was like that elsewhere too.

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u/Jostain Feb 08 '18

I dont know but that sounds like thing that would be almost impossible to prove. I feel the level of micromanagement required to maintain that would make it really stressful to keep working there.

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u/Tatourmi Feb 08 '18

Except it just changed the whole relationship between you and your boss from a cooperative one to a hostile one, which is not easy to live, at all.

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u/QuietEggs Feb 08 '18

He already did that when he slapped her. It's hard to cooperate with people that hit you for no reason. The dynamic is already going to be altered.

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u/mist12244668 Feb 08 '18

Sorry, it’s off topic and I hope you don’t mind me asking but what’s the red heart next to your name for?

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u/IrreleventPerson Feb 08 '18

It's my flair, when you do the heart symbol, it shows as a heart emoticon on mobile ;3

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u/gbeezy007 Feb 08 '18

Yeah but now all the sudden your written up for being late by 3 minutes. Leaving early cause your kid got sick. Slacking off, failing to listen over the course of a few months and then making you miserable enough you voluntarily quit or they have enough proof to fire you without fault on them.

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u/sudden_lee Feb 08 '18

Nothing to do with culture. That was out of line.

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u/Codimus123 Feb 08 '18

No, this sort of thing is not acceptable, period, regardless of culture or ethnicity. Your boss is taking liberties with you and you should not accept this inappropriate behaviour from any body.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

Geez... idk the law in Britain, but in the states, in front of all those witnesses... lawyer up, and you wouldn’t need to work again for a very, very long time.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

[deleted]

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u/pragmageek Feb 08 '18

Precisely this. He might need someone (like you!) to tell him that it's not acceptable, and he'll probably value your honesty.

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u/sls35work Feb 08 '18

..Not that you are responsible for their emotional labor. However if you have the capacity.

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u/pragmageek Feb 08 '18

Nobody said she is. At the same time, one eeducation at a time, right?

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u/Hngry4Applz Feb 08 '18

I'm sure this guy has nothing but respect for women and will totally value her honesty...

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u/OppressimusPrime Feb 08 '18

"I know it’s not a huge deal" nah it's a big deal.

"We’ve debated whether it’s because of his age or his ethnicity and the culture he comes from" None of this matters.

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u/rolling_in_glitter Feb 08 '18

Whether it’s because of his age or his ethnicity and the culture he comes from, but it still isn’t acceptable.

 

Speaking as an Indian woman who was raised to "respect" elder Indian men. To refer to them as "uncle". To accept physical forms of affection from them no matter how much I didn't want to (hugs/kissed on the cheek etc.) You're right, it isn't acceptable. And we should not try to reason with their actions by wondering if it's because they come from a different background or are older. They should be held accountable regardless. For too long society (particularly Indian communities) have made excuses for men based on said men "not knowing any better". Which is bullshit. They are not exempt.

 

No one can make you report this or say anything if you don't want to, this is your choice. But hopefully he will be put in his place soon.

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u/idonotknowwhototrust Feb 08 '18

You should have slapped him back. In the face. Perhaps with a fist.

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u/Irrational_hate81 Feb 08 '18

I touched a girls bum once at work when I was a little drunk (bartender). We were friendly, almost flirty, which is normal. She told me under no uncertain terms that that was unacceptable. I apologized profusely and felt bad. We were good friends still after that.

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u/internet-junkie Feb 08 '18

This is in no way part of his culture / ethnicity.

Source: I'm Indian

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u/tinyman392 Feb 08 '18

His actions were definitely out of order and definitely sexual harassment. If no HR exists, I’d start talking to a lawyer.

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u/pak9rabid Feb 08 '18

And look for a new job, because once you go down that route it will get shitty for you at work, unfortunately.

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u/tinyman392 Feb 08 '18

It’s a no win situation really. If she doesn’t nothing, it says that it’s OK when in reality it’s not. If she confronts the owner, she should have some legal counsel on her side IMO.

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u/scottuk2 Feb 08 '18

Phone ACAS for advice.

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u/Nabeela97 Feb 08 '18

Half Indian here, this is definitely unacceptable in our culture and you should definitely not let him off the hook!

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u/cone10 Feb 08 '18

I'm a male of the same ethnicity and I find it completely unacceptable. He should have been given one tight slap.

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u/ChipperBones Feb 08 '18

If you have no internal process or HR, you need to seek out legal advice and/or understand labor laws that would be relevant here (I'm American, don't know what this would be in the UK).

  • You did nothing wrong
  • It is a big deal, and it's illegal
  • It's not about culture, business size, or anything else. It's against the law
  • It's not on you to "confront" your boss or make excuses for him, as several men in these comments have moronically suggested. Your boss broke the law, and it's the law's responsibility to hold him fully accountable

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u/aidsjohnson Feb 08 '18

As a brown guy this makes me so angry. "Indian men are creepy" is a stereotype, but a lot of them unfortunately are. Sorry to hear about your experience, and I hope everything ends well for you.

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u/Izrud Feb 08 '18 edited Feb 08 '18

I just want to suggest to anyone reading a good one type of response in this situation that I read a few days ago from another thread. As a father, I know my daughter will one day have to deal with this sort of behavior and I really liked the suggestion, which was to loudly and publicly confront that person ON THE SPOT. Something along the lines of:

"Why did you just touch me ? I DID NOT give you permission to do this and this IS NOT appropriate. Do you think it is OK to sexually touch people without asking?" This should achieve a few things:

  1. Publicly humiliate the offender, something that he is counting on not happening.

  2. It will prevent all the other people from pretending nothing happened just so that everyone's life is easier.

  3. It will set a positive example to all other normal people in that situation (especially women, since they are affected worst by this) it is OK to speak out and it is OK to be upset about it.

  4. It will make it harder for other people to step in and try and "mollify" the situation for the sake of not creating a scene (a scene is necessary in my opinion in this situation).

  5. If someone does step up to try and defend the offender (you would be surprised) just ask them "So you think it is OK/ It's a joke when people sexually touch others without asking for permission?"

I realize that in the shock of the moment it is hard to come up with something like this, but I think it is worth considering for those of you who might find themselves in this situation. I also know deep down that a lot of people would be too embarrassed, afraid to loose their job, want to avoid the confrontation, etc. to say anything and that makes me sad.

OP I hope you have the courage to stand up for yourself and demand the dignity that you deserve as a human being. I wish you luck.

EDIT: Some formatting.

EDIT 2: I concede that direct confrontation is not for everyone, so I have edited that instead of a good response it is just one type of response.

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u/brearose Feb 08 '18

Except OP likes her job and wants to keep it. Humiliating your boss is the quickest way to get fired.

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u/Ekyou Feb 08 '18

It's completely different when that person is your boss and you like being employed. Public humiliation of the person who gives you your paycheck is a good way to lose it.

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u/trooper828xx Feb 08 '18

No one has the right to do this EVER

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u/berlengas Feb 08 '18

Keep in mind that if you continue and nothing gets done things will probably escalate. Your integrity is more important than your job

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u/anujjain3001 Feb 08 '18

I'm Indian and IT IS BIG DEAL. This should not be tolerated. No matter where it is not appropriate.

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u/Alex8525 Feb 08 '18

This is not his culture..

Source: I am an Indian

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u/mediawoman Feb 08 '18 edited Feb 08 '18

EDITING TO SAY THIS IS FROM A U.S. PERSPECTIVE (and not legal advice)

Given all of the advice below here is what I would do:

Set up a time to speak to your boss. Just say "Do you have a few minutes to talk" - try to set this up by email so you have an electronic record.

Record your meeting with video - not audio. There are laws (in the US) against audio recordings but not against video recording. Just put it in your pocket, the audio is the most important part.

Say this: I am so happy the launch party went so well. What did you think of it?

LISTEN (should only take a minute).

But I did want to tell you - I was uncomfortable that you slapped my backside during it. I received a lot of awkward looks afterwards and just feel it was not appropriate.

KEEP YOUR VOICE CALM. No need for you to be nervous, this is you setting boundaries, not you setting him on fire. This is perfectly normal for a person to say. You are not doing anything wrong, your not confronting him, you're simply telling him it was not welcome.

LISTEN: He will apologize or explain.

If he apologizes: Thank him for his time and leave. When you get to your desk write an email thanking him for his time. Just like: John, thanks again for taking the time to meet with me. I'm glad we were able to talk this out. YOUR NAME

Send all these emails and the recording to your home email. Keep in case you need it.

IF HE GOES OFF AND SAYS YOU SHOULD LIKE IT OR WHATEVER. Listen to him, do not engage. When done, let him know you would like to take the remainder of the day off and leave the office. Hire an attorney and you will have the content you need to get reimbursed for this activity.

Keep calm. Try to pretend you are giving me this advice, vs the one in the moment. Stay calm and logical. In the US, you legit cannot accuse a boss or anyone of sexual harassment unless you TELL THEM NO. Otherwise HR says "how were they supposed to know it bothered you" So this is you saying no, calmly and nicely. And any actions after that gives you a case.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

He owns the company. Your only action. ONLY action is consult legal council. I wholeheartedly believe you, but this is a gross situation, he owns the company, and trying to argue sexual misconduct in court is not only difficult, it's not well received by the public. The DA (Im my country) will state that it's a he said she said thing and arguing this is hard and not worth the time.

Bottom line: You're fucked either way. Call a lawyer that's interested in sexual justice for victims and fight this mother Fucker. You may lose, however the publicity will damage his company and image. Take him down a few notches.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

All I’m gonna say is don’t wait years to say anything. Do it now.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

Please don't blame the ethnicity and the culture. It's narrow minded and generalization. What happened to you is completely unacceptable but it's the actions of a bad person not a community.

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u/grasshoppa80 Feb 08 '18

"Also others saying it’s not possible for a small business to have 900+ customers is ridiculous."

The fact people are replying specifically on this and trying to argue the amount that "can or can't" fit into a small business (party) is beyond ridiculous and extremely troll-like.

Hope OP finds a better and more respectful company to work for.

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u/bettersavethansorry Feb 08 '18

As an Indian male, I’m really sorry and I apologise on his behalf. I hope this doesn’t hamper your impression of Indians! It’s not normal at all.

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u/FadingGigolo Feb 08 '18

I am Indian; what that moron did is definitely not Indian. That person is an asshole. If you think you can win a legal fight, sue him.

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u/ssjumper Feb 08 '18

That is absolutely a huge deal and that bastard should be spending this night in jail.

As an Indian myself, our culture is not depraved enough to justify his actions. Get that stupid fuck arrested.

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u/yellowsongbird Feb 08 '18

I've had white male CEOs do the same thing to me, its def not just a cultural thing, its a shitty asshole CEO thing.

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u/vanillamasala Feb 08 '18

Ok Im really sick of seeing these posts which assume this kind of shit would be acceptable in another country, I guarantee you that if an Indian man lays his hands on an Indian woman in a public space like that people will lose their mind, I think you really need to drop the stereotypes immediately, because you end up making an entire country full of people look terrible when really it is just one asshole who thinks he can get away with something he should never have done.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

It IS a HUGE deal. What a disgusting moron you have as a boss

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u/jai_Mundi Feb 08 '18

Let your boss know that isn't ok with you, and ask him to not do it again. If it stops, then leave it alone, but if he is either hostile with you for asserting your bodily autonomy, or keeps touching you, report him. Document everything.

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u/GodDuckman Feb 08 '18

If there is no HR, you can likely contact some sort of national labor board. I'm not sure how worker's rights work in the UK but there has to be someone you can talk to.

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u/daalibaba Feb 08 '18

random 34 year old male here. That shit ain't right.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

It is actually a huge deal because someone in a position of power over you openly sexually harassed you, and they continue to possess power over you because you fear for your job if you complain to your supervisors (his sons). Something like this happened to me at your age except it was at a party full of coworkers at someone's home. One of my coworkers slapped my ass so hard it almost hurt, and I whirled around immediately and told them to never touch me again. The HR dept where we worked was infamous for victim blaming and since this was an after hours party, I wasn't sure if it was even worth reporting. But it was humiliating cause everyone saw and it hurt. I made him pay for it by never giving him any office supplies ever again. lol, but he deserved something more severe. Older people take advantage of younger people in the workplace way too often by harassing them. I hope some recourse makes itself apparent to you.

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u/C-McCain Feb 08 '18

You're wrong. This is a Huge deal. This is the exact type of thing that people in his context are capable of doing regularly and not having any sort of repercussions. If people such as yourself spoke up and out more often we'd have seen this whole Hollywood assault debacle a long time ago. Ultimately the choice is yours, I always suggest that people do what they feel most comfortable, despite this, I still encourage anyone to stand up to this bullshit.

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u/forgotten_epilogue Feb 08 '18

oh, actually it's very much a huge deal. Tolerating that is what leads to people like him or within his sphere of influence performing even more aggressive assaults. This has to be nipped in the bud.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

It's a big deal because it made you feel uncomfortable. It doesn't matter what "normal" or "not normal" is. People should understand this behavior can make certain people absolutuly disgusted.

Obviously it's your call, but I think you have the right to call him out on that. It's not like you have to get angry to his face, but you have the right to sternly tell him that's not ok, and a boss worth working for will respect that.

It's not easy to do that. But I think you'll gain a lot of self-respect if you do.

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u/[deleted] Feb 08 '18

I know it’s not a huge deal

Not a huge deal? I read the title and thought it was posted to /r/jokes.

It's a huge deal. I've no idea what you should do, but don't be thinking this is OK or even acceptable.

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u/heefledger Feb 08 '18

It is a huge deal. That guy sucks.

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u/randombvr Feb 08 '18

Sad that you had to clarify in EDIT2 and sorry that you even had to make EDIT3

Totally unacceptable, do what you need to do

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u/Gullyvuhr Feb 08 '18

No question this is absolutely unacceptable under any circumstances.

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u/skittlescruff11 Feb 08 '18

It absolutely is a big deal. That's your personal space and your body, regardless of whom, no man woman or child should be abusing that space. Considering the situation is tricky and you do love your job, I would either leave it and see if anything happened again THEN take action, or attempt to talk to the managers (his sons?) And see if they might talk to him about an apology. That's just horrible misconduct in a workplace.. If things feel uncomfortable, it may be difficult, but it might be best to search for a new job. Hope you're feeling better over the incident though! Things like that can certainly make somebody feel vulnerable but I hope you don't feel like that

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u/sankdafide Feb 08 '18

Ya in no way, shape, or form, does culture or age excuse that action (32 yo American male). Others there should have spoken up for you. You likely will lose your job, but if he does anything even remotely uncomfortable again, or his sons do, I’d press charges. Hopefully it’s an isolated event and you can continue working at a job you love.

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u/dark_lord_xiph Feb 08 '18

Thinking that this sort of thing is acceptable for another ethinicity/race is a bit racist. Your boss is a bad example of an Indian. Every ethnicity/race will have a percentage of people who are like him. In some parts of India such people will end up in a hospital for this.

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u/PlumsUP Feb 08 '18

That’s totally fucked! There’s so many reasons that he should know better. And what an awful and demeaning thing to do at a work function.

I think the long and short of it is; you HAVE to say something. If you don’t, there is %100 chance he will do it again, and worse some other woman in the office might start thinking that is normal or okay.

Even if you don’t want to quit or make it a legal thing. Go and talk to him. Explain that you felt that was inappropriate and that you were really embarrassed. If he is a boss worth working for he will apologize and try to make amends. If not, then all the more reason to leave the job and all the bigger a case you have for sexual harassment.

Please, consider that if you do nothing, you will regret it later.

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u/Lolais Feb 08 '18

It isn't a cultural thing, the topic of sex itself is extremely taboo and rarely brought up even where it's needed. Teachers tend to skip chapters on sex education, condom ads aren't allowed to be aired during "normal hours" etc.

Also India is very sexually repressed, women might find it offensive and might make a scene if you just sit next to them on public transport (most have reserved seats) or even look at them wrong. Touching a woman even casually is frowned upon, if the woman makes a scene the guy would get trashed by a mob.

But many Indian men do have the notion that the West is way more liberal (they have a very warped notion of sexual liberalism) and think they can get away with creepy stuff abroad.

In your particular case however it was probably just an old guy in a position of power who might be used to getting away with it.

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u/concernedcitizeness Feb 08 '18

We’ve debated whether it’s because of his age or his ethnicity and the culture he comes from

Fuck his age and fuck his ethnicity and culture. If you two aren't at a mutual ass-slapping level, you have to put him in his place or just right sue his ass.

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u/nyc_a Feb 08 '18

This is sexual assault. Please don’t be racist by thinking it is because of “his race”. He abused his power over you. Your ass should be touch only by your own desire.

I suggest you chat with him, just tell him that you don’t believe it was ok to slap your ass, and move on, if he is a professional he will understand.

Don’t allow people to abuse you.