WORKPLACE / OCT. 02, 2014
version 4, draft 4

How to Deal With a Boss Who is Interested in You

Do you feel that your boss is entirely too interested in your personal life? Does he or she give you the creeps for some reason? Chances are, you could be dealing with a boss who is interested in you. 

For unknown reasons, some bosses can become too interested in their subordinates’ personal lives, or worse, enter into dangerous sexual harassment territory. According to recent reports from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there are 7,500 sexual harassment claims filed each year, 17 percent of these filed by male employees. This cost companies $44.6 million in court costs and settlements in 2013 alone. Bosses who display behavior that is too personal in nature can quickly escalate to claims of harassment on the job. 

A Fine Line Between Too Much Interest and Harassment by the Boss 

Here, find some guidance on what to do to keep your private life out of your work life and dodge your boss’s advances. Additionally, understand when your boss has gone too far and needs to be reported to the human resources department. 

Be Professional at All Times

Sometimes employees and employers like to mix business with pleasure so they can lighten up the workplace. However, when this happens you could be opening the door for your boss to become interested in you. Therefore, when you are in your workplace you need to be professional and leave all of your emotions outside of the door. This way if your boss sees you are not feeding into their advances more than likely they will target someone else.

Set Clear and Consistent Boundaries

When it comes to your boss, you need to have boundaries in place if you feel that they are being too friendly. Tell them that you want to be treated just like the other employees and you do not need any special treatment. You may even go as far as to tell your boss that you prefer to keep your business and personal life separate. This goes for your behavior around other employees too. Do not act one way around your co-workers, such as flirting with those of the opposite sex, and another way around your boss. 

Be Honest and Transparent 

If you have had workplace lovers in the past, be honest with your boss and tell them that you are not looking to go down that path again. However, when turning them down make sure that you do so gracefully so they do not turn into the boss from a nightmare. Never lead them on to receive special benefits at work; it will just backfire in your face in the end.

Tips for Dealing with Sexual Harassment at Work from Your Boss

Sometimes the suggested options may not work for your boss and they may enter sexual harassment territory. When this happens, you have to make sure that you go about it the correct way. Below are some tips that will help you deal with unwanted sexual harassment at work from your boss.

  • Before going to the human resources department, you first have to ask your boss to stop sexually harassing you.
  • Keep documentation of everything that your boss has said or done to invade your personal life in a private place.
  • If others have witnessed this behaviour, ask them to write statements too. When you go to human resources, they are going to expect proof.
  • If the behaviour continues, contact the human resources department so they can follow up, investigate, and correct the unwanted attention from your boss.  

If your boss is getting out of hand, you need to deal with it. Sexual harassment at the workplace is a slippery slope. However, it is not something that any employee should have to deal with.

 

Image: istock

 

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