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Conclusion

Sexual harassment is both a very destructive and a very common problem in organizational life. Complicating matters, victims are often afraid to report it, and for good reason. A boss who is willing to engage in sexual harassment will be willing to lie about it. Moreover, bosses’ power within the organization often enables them to win, unless there is considerable collaboration of the complaints against them.

At the same time, the threat of sexual harassment claims can either deter or terrify those who might want to pursue a workplace romance using appropriate discretion and tact. It is impossible to know with certainty whether the person you are interested in might experience any show of interest as harassment, or in the midst of disappointment at the end of a relationship, might feel that he or she had been unfairly used and harassed. The best advice is to go very slowly, to err heavily on the side of caution, and never engage in an extended pursuit of someone who is not demonstrating clear interest. When a relationship goes slowly you will be better able to assess in time whether the person you are interested in has significant emotional issues that could lead to a post relationship vendetta. Murphy’s Law is worth remembering, “Don’t sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.”


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