Make us your home page
Instagram
Career Q&A | By Marie G. McIntyre, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers

Woman should leave job as nanny amid sexual harassment

Q: My wife is a nanny who works for a married couple. She recently told me that the husband, who is a doctor, has been making sexually inappropriate remarks to her. I called the doctor's wife and told her about the situation, but nothing has changed.

Although this seems like harassment, I've been told there's nothing I can do about it. This guy apparently thinks he's untouchable, but he needs to be stopped before he harasses someone else.

A: Well, there's certainly one thing you can do about it: You can encourage your wife to remove herself from this traumatic and potentially hazardous situation. Considering your level of outrage, it's rather puzzling that you haven't advised her to quit.

I also find it a bit odd that you chose to call the doctor's wife instead of talking with him directly. Perhaps you hoped that having her relay the message would avoid an ugly confrontation, but expecting a spouse to police her sexually harassing husband is rather unrealistic.

You appear to be wishing for some type of legal recourse. However, since I'm not an attorney, I can't offer advice on that front. Those who say "there's nothing you can do" could be referring to the fact that federal sexual harassment laws may not cover this type of employment, but only a lawyer can properly advise you about legal options.

My own opinion is that you should be worrying less about retribution and more about your wife's mental and physical well-being. Not only is she having to fend off her employer's sexual advances, but she's also working in his house, so your first priority should be to get her out of there.

Seek out training for new role

Q: After working as a temporary administrative assistant for a small company, I was recently promoted to office manager. My boss said that she liked my professionalism. However, I'm beginning to wonder if I've gotten in over my head.

I'm being given unfamiliar tasks, no one ever explains anything, and I'm not sure exactly what my job includes. Now I'm constantly stressed out from worrying whether management is unhappy with me.

A: Your distress is understandable, because it's a big leap from temporary assistant to office manager. Someone owes you a clear job description, but since nobody is providing one, you will need to make the first move. Draft a list of your apparent responsibilities, then review it with your boss and reach agreement on a final version.

Next, rate your ability to perform each duty with an A, B or C. For each B & C rating, propose a strategy for quickly improving your skill level. Possibilities might include formal training, online research, "shadowing" experienced colleagues or getting coaching from your boss.

Review this development plan with your manager, and schedule regular feedback sessions to discuss your progress. However, if she seems reluctant to support you through this learning curve, you may want to consider other employment options.

Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach and the author of "Secrets to Winning at Office Politics."

Woman should leave job as nanny amid sexual harassment 05/28/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 28, 2011 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  2. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  3. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  4. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]
  5. Cooking passion spurs owner to pull open AJ's Kitchen Drawer

    Business

    TAMPA — After graduating from the University of Tampa in May 2016, AJ Albrecht spent four months traveling around Southeast Asia and Australia.

    AJs Kitchen Drawer offers a wide variety of unique kitchenware items, such as handcrafted knives and wooden items, as well as local gourmet products. Photo by Danielle Hauser