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Is unintentionally staring at someone harrassment?

Is unintentionally staring at someone...
Is unintentionally staring at someone sexual harrassment?
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/21/2017
Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 106,098
Experience: Lawyer
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Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

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I am sorry to hear that it sounds like you are in a difficult situation.

Was this at work?

If so what happened? Did she complain and what was the result.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
she did complain and I didn't even know it was that person who thought I had stared at. I assumed the supervisor was talking about someone else but when I found out it was her, I was shocked and did not recall. I was most likely staring out into space (I do this from time to time). and I had no attraction to her whatsoever. I apologized to her and she forgave me. She even admitted she should've talked to me first since I was unaware of all this until recently.

So after you told the supervisor you were not staring at her in the least bit what happened?

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I told him I was most likely staring out into space since I had no designs on her. I was put on separate breaks as a result and well it practically stunk since most of the people I called friends were on the break I normally take. I feared I'd be limited in areas to work in as well as breaks to take and it personally bothered me.

Are you in a union?

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
No.

How long have you worked there for and has there even been a complaint of this nature against you before?

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Just over a year. And I've had a few misunderstandings outside of work but they've worked out fine in the end due to the lack of intention.

What I suggest you do is ask to speak to the supervisor again. Tell the supervisor that the more you think about it the more you feel the fact that you were moved into a different break is unfair. This woman made up an allegation that was completely and utterly untrue. You've been there for over a year and no one has ever accused you of sexual harassment.

So either this woman wants the attention, is paranoid, is dishonest or simply wrong but whatever it is, it is not true and so she and not you should be moved to a different break. You can say you feel like you are being punished for an unfounded allegation.

Does that help?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
But won't I get fired? It seems like her word against mine even though she forgave me for this unintended action.
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I should also mention that the supervisor does believe me and told me I wasn't in trouble but this person works at a certain area where they only go on break a certain time unlike my area. I wouldn't mind switching but I'm not sure if I can do this alone.

Why would you be fired when your supervisor believes you?

You can say they believe you so why are you the one being punished? It never happened. They can do what they want with her but you are the victim here and she is not.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Because I would come off as refusing to stick to things as they are right now. I need some sort of back up

I don't know what you mean by back up but either you stick up for yourself or go along with it. What more can you do?

You cannot hire a lawyer to deal with this. You will then be fired for sure and on top of that it is much too expensive.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Well, I'm not hiring a lawyer, I just want to know if this unintentional act makes me a liability.

NO!

You didn't do it. She mis-interpreted it, made it up or imagined it.

The whole point is you are saying you are the victim if you use my point of view. She is the one that is wrong, not you!

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I wouldn't say it didn't happen, it was just a mere misunderstanding between two people.
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
thank you. That was what I needed to know

You are welcome.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I appreciate your help, and just wanted to make sure this misunderstanding isn't a liability seeing how it seemed like her word against mine. Hopefully, this will blow over in the end as a result

The supervisor believes you and that is very important.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I'd expect him to, he called me one of his all-stars in the past. He seemingly doubted my apology would be accepted but he was wrong about that if there was any doubt. Judging from your answer, you think this could blow over?

Yes I certainly do.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Thank you again. Let's pray for that at least if I can't switch break/area with that other person.

For sure. But I really think you will be OK.

Clearly stay far away from this woman.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Well, I plan to not talk nor acknowledge her unless I have to. The apology was accepted, we shook on it and I'm leaving it at that. At least for a while.

That makes sense.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Yeah, some of my coworkers seem to agree it will blow over. I have no problem doing what I plan to do if stuck in the same room with the other person, the fact that I'm no liability (thanks to your explanation) plus the apology for the misunderstanding should bring things back the way they were.
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
the latter is what I hope for more so.

I do believe it will be fine.

Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 106,098
Experience: Lawyer
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Debra and 87 other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Thanks, I'll give you a rate and have a good night.

Same to you.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Hi again. After some thought I've decided to talk to the supervisor about how I feel about this personally, but I will have to wait till next week. He is out at another facility doing training. You think I have nothing to lose from this?
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