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Chapter 9. Understanding the Nature of R... > Sexual Overtones and Harassment

Sexual Overtones and Harassment

Working relationships between employees frequently contain sexual overtones. For the most part, this sexual tension is not dangerous and has little important influence on productivity one way or the other. But not always. Take the case of Judy.

Judy. Judy was attracted physically to her supervisor from the moment he was transferred to her department. A perceptive observer would have noticed that immediately she started wearing the best clothes in her wardrobe. She became more particular about her makeup. She started working harder to win the favor of her new boss and to create more opportunities to talk with him on business matters.

The other women in Judy’s department quickly sensed the sexual overtones to the relationship, and their positive attitude toward Judy began to cool. They became more distant, less willing to help her, and less tolerant of her mistakes. It didn’t take long for a certain strain to develop among all the employees in the department, and productivity began to suffer.


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