Wednesday, July 20, 2005

So Wait -- If Everybody Sleeps with the Boss, Does That Make It Okay? 

Some workplace environments are a little more hostile than others:
Sleeping with the boss may be a time-honoured route to career advancement, but the California Supreme Court has now ruled that the practice constitutes sexual harassment - not only of the employee who submits to a supervisor's advances, but also of the employees who do not, and fail to get ahead as a result . . . .

The case in question was an eye-popping one. The warden of a women's correctional facility in California's Central Valley was accused by two subordinates of having simultaneous extramarital affairs with three female employees and giving them preferential job treatment. Not only did the plaintiffs, both women, say they were consistently overlooked for promotion; they also suffered retaliation when they complained.

An internal investigation a few years ago found the warden's behaviour "was broadly known and resented in the workplace". The warden, Lewis Kuykendall, retired shortly after the investigation. One of his alleged lovers, who resigned rather than face disciplinary charges, was cited in the court ruling as bragging about her affair with the boss and saying he would have to promote her if he didn't want her to "take him down" by naming "every scar on his body".

The same alleged lover was also accused of taunting the plaintiffs and, on one occasion, pinning one of them against a filing cabinet and refusing to let her leave for two hours. The plaintiff, Edna Miller, filed a formal assault complaint with the warden the next day, but Mr Kuykendall ignored it.
We're willing to bet that the Governor of CA is darned glad to be out of show business and far away from the casting couch. Our only regret is that the case was not decided twenty years ago, when Roger Corman could have filmed a cheap knockoff for the drive-in circuit starring Sybil Danning as Warden Kuykendall.

UPDATE: Don't even think about an office fling until you've signed a love contract.

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