I was shocked to hear a story about alleged sexual harassment in the workplace. I’m curious if you have heard similar horror tales — or if this incident was just an unfortunate, hoary, happenstance.

The hoariness started when a female worker with a disability was able to have her employer hire a male to be her assistive co-worker. The assistive male was a legal accommodation under the equal access aspect of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Their relationship blossomed beyond the workspace. They moved in together. They contemplated marriage. They were together 24/7. Then the assistive male, during working hours, became less assistive. He would disappear from the office for hours during the day.

When the disabled female needed her assistive male, he could not be found. The disabled female fell behind at work — yet she refused to blame her assistive male because she was in love with him — even though he was the reason for her downfall. One day, the female Boss of the Office cornered the assistive male in the coffee room and confronted him on his wretched performance in the workplace. The assistive male growled a lie to cover the truth, “If you speak to me again on this matter, I will file sexual harassment charges against you.”

Knowing any inquiry would come down to the assistive male’s word against that of the female Boss’, he smiled and slipped away from the office for the rest of the day. The disabled female continued to protect her assistive male because it was her right to choose her accommodation — even an unworthy one — under the ADA and, because, she really liked him much more than just as an assistive device at work.

What do you make of a person who would use the false charge of sexual harassment in order to retain the benefits of — and the payments for — a job that was not being done?

22 Comments

  1. You’re right about that, Dananjay!
    The finally got rid of the guy with video surveillance and by tracking the proximity card he used to gain access to the building. It took over a year — but they were finally able to fire him for cause — and he walked away without making any formal accusation of sexual harassment. He was street smart and cunning: He knew by making that one allegation, he’d buy himself at least a year of continued “benefits” both at work and at home.
    The disabled female was the one left shattered by the experience. She was made a fool at work. She was played at home. When you have a severe disability — sometimes you take affection wherever it is offered in any form — even if it is false in its integrity… and you protect it as long as you can in order to defend your own invented sense of fleeting happiness.

  2. This kind of story is sadly so prominent that it has been featured in just about every single lawyer-based show created by David E. Kelley – ie Ally McBeal, The Practice, and Boston Legal. The “good side” doesn’t always win, either.

  3. Look at Law & Order and you see that a lot of their episodes in the last few years have been “straight from the headlines”.
    I can visualize art and life with huge arrows pointing to each other. Art influences life which influences art which influences life which influences art which sometimes influences other art, which often then influences life. Whew!

  4. We live in dangerous times, Gordon. Art can heal or create hate — and when entertainment venues seek to monetize the the darker pockets of life by re-birthing the dismay of life on mainstream television for profit, I think we’re sinking in trouble as a community of less-than-righteous people.

  5. It’s all about the intent. With the Vampire Bear project, for example, I want to create art and something that could possibly help people that have questions and want a friendly face to answer. The Daily One Inch Button is something where I try to make something pretty every single day. In writing my serial novel I aimed to reflect how I saw a group of people living and falling in love in Manhattan.

  6. Gordon!
    Let’s do a culture test! Ask your Seattle rabbi this question:
    “Is it Talmud Torah-approved for a Good Jewish Boy to celebrate Paganism on a website dedicated to a bear that is a Vampire?”
    Report back the answer here so we can learn the how and why of that kind of promotion of the dark side and Judaism’s take on it!
    :mrgreen:

  7. When I gave VB his rename (he was dubbed “count cocoa” originally) I looked at him, his cape, his sharp pointed teeth, and he looked at me as if to say, Vampire Bear, silly!
    There is a concept in Judaism of teshuva – returning. Even the most hardcore bacon eating Jew can turn into the brightest scholar. I think of VB as a former ne’er do well who, when I adopted him, decided to turn his life around and help people as much as he could.
    Also, Gordo Bear would be too similar to his older friend Goobie Bear (and a bit nihilistic) and Torah Bear would be just… I don’t know… too Uncle Moishey for him. 🙂

  8. Shrimpy is one year younger than Goobie Bear. He was adopted at TJ Maxx around June of 1987. He got his name because he is extremely small and so can be quite timid. However, he can be quite clever.
    You can see the three bears here – note GB is in the background, hanging out in the Man Tote.

  9. Gordon —
    I am seeing a lot of bear abuse in those photos! Clicking through the images, it looks like there’s some sort of fornication happening on a table from behind and one bear is being attacked by a catsup bottle while another image shows a bear tossed on his head!

  10. Hmm. My brother told me that the way a person perceives things reflects more on the person and less on what is being perceived. Should I be worried? 😉 The bears like to joke around sometimes. Also, the ketchup is high in their esteem because it is so cute and small and so they wanted to pose with it. 🙂