My manager is making suggestive comments

Q: I dread going to work. My manager has made it clear he fancies me and embarrasses me in front of my colleagues by making suggestive comments. He’s told me that if I’m ‘nice’ to him, I might get a promotion. I love my job but feel I’ve got no option but to leave.

A: You are being subjected to sexual harassment. Don’t leave your job. Instead deal with your manager’s behaviour quickly and assertively, both privately and in front of the group. If you don't, it will get worse, because your manager will believe you don't mind what he’s doing. Next time he acts in an inappropriate way in front of your colleagues, say in a loud voice. "I want you to stop making inappropriate and suggestive remarks right now. This is sexual harassment. You have no right to do this, and I won't take it any longer". Then speak to him on his own. Tell him he is sexually harassing you, and trying to manipulate you, and that if it continues, you will report him to management. Remind him that you have witnesses and that you probably have a case for the Human Rights Commission, and you will contact them. Tell him he is putting himself at risk by this behaviour. Emphasise that this is his last warning.

You might find several of my books helpful, including Know your Strengths and be Confident.

Iris welcomes your questions but cannot give you personal answers or guarantee that your question will be answered on this website. Questions may be edited to protect the writer’s identity. Responses should under no circumstances replace medical, counselling, legal or other appropriate professional advice.


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