Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

There's no LOL in "Textual Harassment"

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 19 comments

Sending offensive and inappropriate messages via texting can land you in court.

Law.com is reporting on "textual harassment," a growing problem within the workplace where text messages are inappropriate or offensive, and leading to eventual lawsuits. Employment lawyers are warning that texting is now a growing liability for employers, landing them in court and are ultimately tough to dispute, especially when pulled from employees' cell phones. Who are the biggest culprits? The male bosses. Cases surrounding text messages between male bosses and female employees should be rather obvious: asking them out on dates, promising promotions for sexual favors.

"We're actually seeing it happening ... lawsuits are being filed, where an employee will testify that one of the means that they were harassed by someone was through text messages," said Clint Robison of the Los Angeles office of Chicago's Hinshaw & Culbertson, who is handling several textual harassment lawsuits on behalf of employers. "[Text messages] come up in pure harassment claims and wrongful termination lawsuits, where employees are being deposed and saying, 'Well, I can prove [harassment] because the dinner date invitation from by boss was sent to me by my boss late at night.'"

Just in the past year, employee-rights attorneys have discovered that text messages serve as powerful ammunition in legal disputes. Law.com's article details various lawsuits concerning textual harassment: two female soccer players and their coach; four waitresses at Famous Dave's restaurant, even texting within the World Wrestling entertainment company.

"Those have really been a gold mine in terms of finding evidence to support and corroborate claims of sexual harassment in the workplace," employee-rights attorney Jennifer Salvatore said of text messages. "In the he-said-she-said cases, you look at the texts and you can see who is telling the truth."

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Android Smartphones forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    wasteoftime , July 17, 2009 8:19 PM
    mlcloudSo something used as a tool to compensate for one's lack of guts turned around to stab them? Next time try asking someone to dinner personally.


    I'm pretty sure trying to exchange a promotion for a hummer is going to get you in trouble regardless of the method you use to communicate.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    mlcloud , July 17, 2009 7:39 PM
    So something used as a tool to compensate for one's lack of guts turned around to stab them? Next time try asking someone to dinner personally.
  • 7 Hide
    Camikazi , July 17, 2009 7:51 PM
    mlcloudSo something used as a tool to compensate for one's lack of guts turned around to stab them? Next time try asking someone to dinner personally.


    Pretty sure even that can get you in trouble if the person being asked takes it the wrong way.
  • Display all 19 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    maigo , July 17, 2009 8:14 PM
    DAMNIT! DAMNIT! DAMNIT!
    Why must that ruin EVERYTHING fun on the internet?
  • 10 Hide
    wasteoftime , July 17, 2009 8:19 PM
    mlcloudSo something used as a tool to compensate for one's lack of guts turned around to stab them? Next time try asking someone to dinner personally.


    I'm pretty sure trying to exchange a promotion for a hummer is going to get you in trouble regardless of the method you use to communicate.
  • 4 Hide
    Clintonio , July 17, 2009 8:20 PM
    And let's be honest, most of these people doing this are probably slimy gits who already have a family and just want a bit of fun with their employees that they lust over.

    If someone is legitimately asking someone out, it's highly unlikely it'll end this way.
  • 2 Hide
    kingnoobe , July 17, 2009 8:50 PM
    I actually agree with clintonio. Although for those few people that do get in trouble for simply asking an employee out, but she takes it the wrong way *will usually they just want money anyways* I feel bad for.
  • 7 Hide
    tenor77 , July 17, 2009 9:01 PM
    Great, time to attend another harassment seminar, put on by a woman with a large rack.
  • -4 Hide
    LATTEH , July 17, 2009 9:09 PM
    this is when you can tell how bad lawyers are getting
  • 1 Hide
    KyleSTL , July 17, 2009 9:26 PM
    Is anyone really this dumb? C'mon text messages ... sound like a prime opportunity for some black mail (ala American Beauty) with undeniable evidence. Way to go pervs, you're leaving an excellent trail of evidence behind you.
  • 1 Hide
    skykaptain , July 17, 2009 10:58 PM
    great pic
  • 0 Hide
    croc , July 18, 2009 10:17 AM
    Internet communications are forever. Emails are forever. SMS / MMS are forever. 'Social networking' sites are forever. Shitting in your own backyard is forever, and messy to boot, especially when you step in it.

    Don't do the above, it generally ends up being painful, sticky and / or smelly for all concerned
  • 0 Hide
    ricardok , July 18, 2009 1:31 PM
    More and more we see lawyers trying to squeeze every drop of blood from others..

    What if the dinner was for a meeting? What if the "Boss" is really interested in her and SHE did accept the dinner offer? Who is the "wrong side" of the story? There's no such thing since the "Boss" is always the strong part of the equation and the "Boss" is always harassing the "employees".. Yeah, right.. Most of the time it can be true, but sometimes it's the other way around. So, should we call a lawyer to sue the employee that is harassing his/her boss??

    Thanks America. Let's sue the president now because he want's us to stop playing our XBoxes.. ^^ I wonder where America is going.
  • 0 Hide
    Hatecrime69 , July 18, 2009 2:31 PM
    KyleSTLIs anyone really this dumb? C'mon text messages ... sound like a prime opportunity for some black mail (ala American Beauty) with undeniable evidence. Way to go pervs, you're leaving an excellent trail of evidence behind you.


    nobody ever said pervs were smart :p 
  • 0 Hide
    thejerk , July 18, 2009 3:21 PM
    RicardoKMore and more we see lawyers trying to squeeze every drop of blood from others..What if the dinner was for a meeting? What if the "Boss" is really interested in her and SHE did accept the dinner offer? Who is the "wrong side" of the story? There's no such thing since the "Boss" is always the strong part of the equation and the "Boss" is always harassing the "employees".. Yeah, right.. Most of the time it can be true, but sometimes it's the other way around. So, should we call a lawyer to sue the employee that is harassing his/her boss?? Thanks America. Let's sue the president now because he want's us to stop playing our XBoxes.. ^^ I wonder where America is going.


    Well, I dunno how the last sentence in your rant relates to the rest... but, whatever.

    Yes, it's true that Americans generally aren't face-to-face problem resolvers. We tend to wait until it gets bad enough to sue, and then we go ahead and sue.

    The problem is that our litigious society rewards such behavior with payout settlements. Litigation should be the LAST recourse, not the first.

    Anyway, at least such cases can be heard in front of judges and juries. It's a shame though, because most are settled out of court to avoid publicity. It's my opinion that all such cases should be heard in court, to either get a third-party (judge) or peer (jury) evaluation on the matter.
  • 1 Hide
    bin1127 , July 18, 2009 8:28 PM
    thejerkWell, I dunno how the last sentence in your rant relates to the rest... but, whatever.Yes, it's true that Americans generally aren't face-to-face problem resolvers. We tend to wait until it gets bad enough to sue, and then we go ahead and sue. The problem is that our litigious society rewards such behavior with payout settlements. Litigation should be the LAST recourse, not the first.Anyway, at least such cases can be heard in front of judges and juries. It's a shame though, because most are settled out of court to avoid publicity. It's my opinion that all such cases should be heard in court, to either get a third-party (judge) or peer (jury) evaluation on the matter.


    I will sue you for calling us a litigatious country!
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , July 19, 2009 12:17 AM
    i got fired by txt once - i called the coward up and abused him and managed to keep my job because he had no right to fire me and stood my ground - fkn coward.
  • 2 Hide
    astrodudepsu , July 19, 2009 4:30 AM
    textual harassment panda!
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , July 19, 2009 11:41 AM
    CamikaziPretty sure even that can get you in trouble if the person being asked takes it the wrong way.


    Disturbingly true.

    Some people find almost anything offensive. Grow up.
    Hatecrime69nobody ever said pervs were smart


    Hey!
    I R hurt!

    thejerkWell, I dunno how the last sentence in your rant relates to the rest... but, whatever.Yes, it's true that Americans generally aren't face-to-face problem resolvers. We tend to wait until it gets bad enough to sue, and then we go ahead and sue. The problem is that our litigious society rewards such behavior with payout settlements. Litigation should be the LAST recourse, not the first.Anyway, at least such cases can be heard in front of judges and juries. It's a shame though, because most are settled out of court to avoid publicity. It's my opinion that all such cases should be heard in court, to either get a third-party (judge) or peer (jury) evaluation on the matter.


    I persoally hate juries. Bunch of idiots generally. I'd rather rely on a single person who hopefully has a better sack of balls and common sense, a judge.
  • 0 Hide
    ubernoobie , July 19, 2009 11:45 PM
    idk if these laws apply in canada or not but i'm assuming not because the court in this article is in us :D 
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter
  • add to twitter
  • add to facebook
  • ajouter un flux RSS