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  • sexual harrassment

    Just a question out there>..is it sexual harrassment if your partner willingly converses with you about sexual issues. or how about if your partner is a nursing mother and she pumps at the station and puts the milk in the common area freezer in the kitchen...please reply with your thoughts.
    sexual harrassment

  • #2
    well your poll isnt right ..........as there are really 2 issues at hand here. I am only answering the second part with my opinion. As long as she does it in a discreet manner, and the bags are sealed who would care ? I may ask her to label it so it is not confused with something else, but past that whats the deal ? The first part of your post is WAY to vague to comment on.
    Last edited by Weruj1; 09-21-2003, 07:43 PM.
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    • #3
      Weruj1...Excellent post... I am also not sure how the last item in the poll relates as it is two seperate issues in my opinion.

      However, you are right on target with your reply. I would add that in the discrimination laws, not making accomodations for this is a touch subject. I would remind folks of those clauses in these type laws that require "reasonable accomodations."
      09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
      IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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      The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.


      • #4
        Brother this is only my "2 cents", deal with it. If you make a stink about it you will find yourself in a jam...
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        • #5
          I would guess by the first part of your posting that you don't particularly like the sexual content of your conversations with her. It becomes sexual harassment once you have said to her or him that you don't like that kind of conversation.

          When it comes to breast feeding or pumping as you mentioned, you're gonna have to take this as the most natural process out there right next to childbirth. There's absolutely no shame for the woman or need for embarrassment on your part. Don't pursue the breast pump issue, as you'll only cause undue stress and aggravation to your coworker when she's just doing what she has to do.

          Take care!
          Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
          Dennis Miller


          • #6
            Originally posted by kghemtp
            I would guess by the first part of your posting that you don't particularly like the sexual content of your conversations with her. It becomes sexual harassment once you have said to her or him that you don't like that kind of conversation.

            Thats the way its on our Department after a recent implament of a Sexual Harrassment policy. When who ever you are talking to you says they dont want to hear it, and you continue then its sexual harrassment, but on the other hand if no words of stopping the conversation is brought about then the conversation of any content can continue, I think its also stated that if some one thats not part of the conversation hears the conversation and they say they dont want to hear it, you must stop no questions asked, even if they have no subject in the conversation.
            Ok enough of my babbling.

            I.A.C.O.J. Probie

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            • #7
              I agree with the previous posts......

              The first issue will be ignored.

              The breast pumping thing...deal with it. It is totally natural and protected by law. This became a small issue at my deparment a couple of years ago. The only thing you may have her do is to double bag it to make sure it doesn't spill (technically it is a bodily fluid and a biohazard) and label it to avoid confusion at supper time. Also she should be doing it in the bathroom or someplace private, not in the open for others to see. Other than that, you bring it up and you will be in a heap of hurt morally and legally.

              Keep your head down and your powder dry.
              Lt.Jason Knecht
              Altoona Fire Rescue
              Altoona, WI
              Jason Knecht
              Township Fire Dept., Inc.
              Eau Claire, WI

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              • #8
                Don't know about your firehouse, but in mine, there are some downright nasty things in our refrigerator (left by the other shift, of course ) . Breast milk would be the least of my worries. I agree that proper labeling is a must.

                As for pumping in the stations, you may have some state statutes that allow a woman to breast feed anywhere she pleases, public or private. I'm not sure how pumping fits in there, but a little respect for and from everyone involved would go a long way toward avoiding problems.

                As for conversations of a sexual nature, remember that this is a two way street - it's not always the woman who can feel uncomfortable. Being up front about the "boundaries" of conversation and good taste is essential. If it feels awkward, it's probably better left unsaid.

                a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for


                • #9
                  sexual harrassment

                  My opinion, as for sexual harrassment. There is a fine line and I won't go there.
                  But as for pumping. I agree with a lot of the others, it is as natural as childbirth, and as long as it is labeled, back off or you will find your self in a heap of trouble. I feel as long as she does it in private, then get over it. If you have never had to deal with breast feeding then you have no right to complain. It is a natural thing get over it and move on. I have seen some things in a frig. that was a bigger concern than breast milk. Somethings in there looks like science project is being growen in there. [QUOTE]
                  Rem. to live to day as your last day, because it very well could be.


                  • #10
                    incident with the milk

                    The same girl put her milk in the freezer and another ff filled a bag she uses for milk with vanilla italian ice and started eating it when she walked in the room. should she offended by this practical joke? she wasn't she laughed. the piont is she is alledging harrassment against me for some of the conversations we have had but she freely conversered on the subject at hamd and never objected or stated she was uncomfortable. Her mouth is just as bad as anyone if not more. What do i do for a defense? Help!!!


                    • #11
                      my .02

                      You would seem to be confusing two separate issues. As has been said above with respect to the second issue," reasonable accommodation" should be made and if she is doing the pumping in a discreet and private manner, as long as it is labeled I do not see the problem with her keeping it in the fridge.

                      You did not give much information about the first issue. Was there anyone else in the room when you had the conversations? Did she ask you to stop with the sexual conversations? Who initiated the conversations? Men can be harassed as well as women.
                      I'll stop there but if you are at all concerned, if I were you, I would go speak with my captain and get this sorted out very quickly.

                      Hope that helps some.
                      Last edited by superchef; 09-22-2003, 12:52 PM.


                      • #12

                        Murphy's Laws of Firefighting states...

                        "There are two sides to every story..sometimes three or four..."
                        ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                        Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY


                        • #13
                          First I will say that I had to re-read through this a few times and think pretty deep thoughts here.

                          I have a mixed level of response on this one. Some of it from a Father point of view, some from an Army Geek perspective and still some from a firefighter angle.

                          To keep it simple I will just say that overall I agree with everyone for the most part on the fact that the Lady in question is well within her rights as a nursing mother to extract and store breast milk in the work place. This I know because my ex did that when she was at work and there were no problems with that. She kept it discrete, and everyone else afforded her as much privacy as could be given.

                          Sexual harrassment is usually defined as an action, event or conversation that has, can, or is making one party to feel uncomfortable or to cause offence to that person, where the content is of a sexual nature. There is a "duty" or responsibility from that person to identify immediately that conduct of that nature does cause him/her to be uncomfortable. It is the responsibility of the "harrasser" to cease the conversation or activity that caused the discomfort. Unless the problem is dealt with very quickly things can get out of hand just as quickly. It is also the responsibility of the "harrasser" to refrain from such activities, at least in the presence of the person who feels discomfort from such.

                          The sticky part comes about when two parties regularly engage in such actions, and then one or the other takes offence to some part of that conversation. It is up to both parties to sit down and discuss the problem and work out a solution. That is my suggestion. The two of you have to get together, and between you decide what is considered "fun" and what is "offensive" and proceed from there.

                          However, it would seem to me that there are some missing details to this story that are rather important. Further clarification would be appreciated by all participants.
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                          • #14
                            AHHHHHHH...so the truth comes out... You are trying to jam her for her child's maternal needs while she is at work. However, ther truh is you and her had some conversations and now she is complaining about harrassment. As some one else said...."What's the hole story?"

                            It seems to me that sometime in the last 12 months an east coast Florida Firefighter posted the same question on here relating to her return to work and the need to nurse her child. It addressed concerns about privacy, safety, discretion and other issues. I thought she received some very positive input from us.

                            In your case...I believe at some point you apparently said something that was off base or received as off base by her. Had you already expressed your problem with her and her maternal responsibilities or are you doing this in retaliation for her complaint?

                            As for the ice milk incident, if she was not offended by it then it is all good. Whether it bothered her or not is up to her.
                            09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
                            IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
                            "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
                            BMI Investigator
                            The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.


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