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Spanking Isn't Sexual Harassment?

Spanking Isn't Sexual Harassment?

In a sexual harassment case last summer, a woman was awarded $1.5 million because she was spanked in front of co-workers. The California Court of Appeal recently overturned the decision because the spanking was part of a larger "camaraderie-building" exercise that included other male and female staff at the home security company Alarm One Inc.

According to CBS News, "Employees were paddled with rival companies' yard signs as part of a contest that pitted sales teams against one another. The winners poked fun at the losers, throwing pies at them, feeding them baby food, making them wear diapers and swatting their buttocks."

What do you think of the appeal court's decision?


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davetherave davetherave 8 years
Being struck for ANY reason is physical abuse and can be ground for having said parties fired. Suing is about seeing how much a jury would award. I would have waited until the "fun activity" was over, then gone in the NEXT DAY and done the same thing right back at those who assaulted me in the first place. Had they then complained, I would calmly say - "Well, just TRY suing ME!" It was wrong and someone should have stopped it. Yes, it sounds like "Animal House" activity. Stuuuuupid!
bunnystack bunnystack 9 years
The minute weird stuff happened, she could have opted-out--no one was forcing her to. It seems that everyone here is getting worked up, but it seems like a good portion of this story is incomplete, Savvy.
erinsugar erinsugar 9 years
THe whole incident sounds awful. If that's not sexual harassment, I'd re-sue them for assault.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I want to work there! Sexual harrassment....Panda
d_et_g d_et_g 9 years
This woman has a horrible lawyer. I can see why she wasn't sexually harassed, but she was obviously in an insane work situation. I bet she never complained until one day she decided this would earn her some money. Learn your lesson ladies! Complain to your boss at the time, don't put up with it and think it'll go away! Hopefully the company learned its lesson and will stop allowing this hazing (which is what it actually is).
chancleta chancleta 9 years
overall i think the company's procedures are in poor taste
chancleta chancleta 9 years
it sounds like there's more to this story than meets the eye i feel as though there might be some details missing that will keep me from making or forming a decision or opinion where the rules of the game outlined clearly before hand? did she originally agree to take part in this game? and then decide she didn't want to?
Cathy3385 Cathy3385 9 years
I wonder if she had refused to participate if she would have been fired for "not being a team player" or singled out by her co-workers as frigid. I'm not sure if this is really a sexual harassment issue, but in general when adults speak of spanking one another there is a sexual overtone. Would the company have felt this bonding activity was appropriate if they happened to have all male employees? We have no way of knowing and therefore no real way of understanding the situation.
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
its wrong
Kelshine9 Kelshine9 9 years
Isn't that typically called hazing? Or maybe degrading. They aren't in 2nd grade on Field Day.
kissmesteph kissmesteph 9 years
Based on what they said about it being part of a team building exercise, I would say that awarding $1.5 million is kind of ridiculous. I mean, she could have just refused to participate. I think overall it was just a case of really poor judgement when it came to choosing an activity for the staff. Any moron could have figured that something that involved smacking a bum might offend someone. But I don't think it warrants a $1.5 million settlement.
pinkdragonfly pinkdragonfly 9 years
What the heck?? This does sound like a college fraternity...
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
Technically speaking this isn't sexual harrassment. First of all it wasn't repeated so she didn't have a chance to object and then have it happen again. And the situation didn't have a sexual overtone to it. So the ruling is legally sound. However this is obviously not appropriate behavior for the work place and the woman should have brought suit against the company for the multitude of valid charges against them. I hate the idea that a company can get away with this type of humiliation of it's employees simply because the claims laid against them are worded improperly. Obviously none of this should have taken place ina work environment are we now going to have to lobby to have anti - hazing laws extended to private businesses as well as college fraternities?
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Oh you have got to be kidding me. Are the people who set this "corporate bonding" up idiots? Yes. But I cannot stomach a 1.5 million dollar sexual harrassment suit for it. Puhlease.
foxie foxie 9 years
Frivolous suit much? I'm SURE her dignity was the reason she sued, not the money. I guess I was just raised to solve problems OUTSIDE the courtroom.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Given the situation as described above, I don't think this is "sexual harrassment." Nevertheless, it is inappropriate. Particularly the wearing diapers part and (certainly!) the spanking part. They stepped over the line. The people that were humiliated in this manner probably have a good case.
LibbyEAW LibbyEAW 9 years
What I can't figure out, even beyond this obviously ridiculous company, is why any of the employees agreed to this in the first place? There is nothing about this scenario that any thinking adult should willing participate in. Either on the loosing side, or the winning side. I can only imagine what the employee reviews must be like...
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 9 years
SpoiledRTC SpoiledRTC 9 years
She was offended at the spanking but not at having pies thrown at her or wearing a diaper?
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Who doesn't enjoy a nice spanking every now and again?
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
This sounds like something Michael Scott would do at Dunder-Mifflin. Tobey would say over and over not to do it and then go to event and shake his head with his teeth showing...and then Michael would use it as an example of sexual harassment and that really this was sexual harrassment training. And Dwight would be there with a real paddle, or switches, because we all know how Dwight is. This is insane and I can't believe anyone would even participate, let alone this be a company sponsored event.
telewyo telewyo 9 years
I think it's appalling and I wouldn't work for a place that did it but if they were doing it to everyone then I don't think it was "sexual harassment" but you would think it could be labeled as a hostile work environment or something like that.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
cubadog cubadog 9 years
The headline was a little misleading to me I am sorry when you said she was spanked I fully thought it was with someones hand not with a sign. I do think the whole thing was stupid, sexual harrassment no but if your uncomfortable speak up at the time this kind of crap is taking place. I have little sympathy for people that don't stand their ground then sue.
megania megania 9 years
It might not be sexual harassment. The harassment, after all, wasn't necessarily sexual or gender based ... but it was still completely inappropriate. This woman needs to bring a hostile work environment suit instead of sexual harassment.
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