Before you answer, consider your policy,the training of your onsite staff, and how prepared you are to act decisively should an employee report the incident.
I happened upon a discussion going on in an Apartment Management/Maintenance Facebook group the other day where a young woman manager who lives on site with her children was asking for advice on how to handle two older male residents where one was hugging and kissing her and the other was telling her explicit, off-color jokes. The first 40 comments were advising her to play it off with humor, ignore it (after all, they’re just “dirty old men” or telling her supervisor because once she tells, it becomes the supervisor’s problem to solve.
Uh. NO. This is the very definition of sexual harassment and she should not have to deal with this at work. The Original Poster worried that they “know where she lives” and she lives alone with her children. Furthermore, it has been going on for five years. Yes, FIVE YEARS.
Unless you have personally experienced this type of fear, this type of humiliation, this kind of attention that is unsolicited, unwanted, and difficult to stop, you may find it hard to understand; it is a situation no one wishes to be subjected to for one minute, let alone years. This is the exact reason I left the most personally rewarding and fulfilling career of teaching. Yes, I reported it. Yes, my attorney issued a tort claim notice to the school system, yes, they knew about it. Soon everyone in town knew about it. But I couldn’t erase the fact that it had happened over a period of months. And one day I quit. Just walked out. It was on a Wednesday before Thanksgiving after having a meeting with the principal and the Director of Human Resources where I was informed that he was tenured and would no longer be barred from my classroom. That essentially, I would have to go forward with my complaint in court and until then, it would be “business as usual” at the school. By Monday afternoon, I received a phone call from the Director of Human Resources asking me to return, (apparently the district’s legal counsel had cautioned against letting me quit like that) and I was torn.
Pay close attention to the people who don’t clap when you win.
The day I came back to work, every single teacher, secretary, principal, paraprofessional, coach, and custodian in the school stopped by my classroom to say, “Welcome Back!” and to offer words of support and encouragement. Every one, except the offender/accused and the teacher rep who taught across the hall from him. So, a small victory in life – acknowledgement from my peers and support.
I paid close attention to those who clapped and the two who did not.
If this young manager feels afraid, feels tormented by the actions of these two residents, and does not feel supported by her Owner to correct this behavior and put them on notice that their actions constitute sexual harassment, then how long do you think she will last in this industry? I doubt that it will be much more than the five years she has suffered already.