Thursday, 22 April 2010


In the Herald this morning:
A baker who sexually harassed his female assistant - leaving floury handprints on her clothing in the process - must pay her $19,000 and take classes to learn how to avoid doing the same thing to others.

A Human Rights Tribunal complaint alleged the man made unwanted sexual advances and physical contact over four months while the woman was working in his South Island cafe.

...Although the man had no sexual intention toward the woman, the case "demonstrates the dangers of running a business without any understanding of the Human Rights Act relating to sexual harassment".

It said the baker did not see how his behaviour was unwelcome and unacceptable to the woman and unlawful under the sexual harassment provisions of the act.

He had shown little awareness that some behaviour "can be unwelcome to others, no matter how innocent they may be thought by the perpetrator to be"...
Click through for the whole article, including quite a bit on the impact that the sexual harassment had on the woman involved.

What was interesting to me about this case was how unaware the baker seems to have been of the impact of his actions. Although he apparently had "no sexual intention towards the woman" he made sexual advances towards her and touched her inappropriately for several months. I don't get that mentality - a kind of "I don't want you but I'm going to act as if I do." Sounds like it was more of a power trip than a clumsy attempt at seduction.


Boganette said...

The headline kind of shits me. I mean they're turning it into a joke. And I hate the term 'sex pest' - to me ants are pests. Someone sexually harassing you at work every single day is a bit more than a pest. I've even heard the term sex pest used to describe rapists. I mean what the?

Boganette said...


Julie said...

The baker is proclaiming his innocence and vowing to fight the ruling.