Can your boss fire you if you refuse to go on a date with them?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | Sexual Harassment

Flirting happens in many workplaces, and every worker will handle the situation differently. Some people find it flattering, but others may find it stressful. It can be uncomfortable to realize that someone with supervisory authority over you feels attracted toward you. 

Unfortunately, some employees find themselves in an awkward position when a manager or supervisor asks them out on a date. Some workers may feel like they legitimately cannot say no to such a request. Others may say yes and then have to deal with increasing pressure from their interested supervisor to take the relationship even further. 

Can your employer penalize you if you won’t go on a date with them or won’t go on another date after the first one? 

Attaching dates to career stability is sexual harassment

Quite a few people think that sexual harassment involves abusive language, inappropriate jokes or touching people on the job. Certainly, those behaviors are all potentially sexual harassment. However, quid pro quo harassment is also a big concern. 

It involves an arrangement where a supervisor or manager tries to exchange personal favors for career benefits or punishes someone for not complying with their requests. Threatening to punish you or actually punishing you for not going on a date or performing a sexual activity is quid pro quo sexual harassment. 

Documenting your experience by keeping records or creating screenshots of emails and text messages can potentially help you hold a supervisor accountable if they engage in sexual harassment on the job or retaliate against you for not agreeing to their inappropriate demands.

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