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Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers/hostile work environment


A coworker whom I have not spoken to in 5 months is going around stating that I am sleeping with a married man. This coworker has even asked other individuals if I ever had any sexual interactions with them. Does this constitute as a hostile work environment?

Only if you hit her. (Sorry silly joke, but you might have to lighten up a little to get a good result out of this.)

Be the adult and pull her aside and tell her that you don't appreciate the school yard rumors, and just ask her to stop. Typically, once someone knows that you know she is talking about you, she will stop.  If she doesn't, just ignore her.  She can't hurt you unless you let her.

If you haven't been sexually active with anyone at work or with a married man, just make jokes about it with everyone.  Humor has an embarrassing effect on rumor spreaders.  If you have done some of the things she is claiming, you might want to alter your behavior around folks you work with. Rumors that have even a little basis in fact can be more difficult to deal with.  

Dealing with Bosses and Coworkers

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Doug Staneart


Doug Staneart can answer questions about gaining cooperation from, motivating, and influencing coworkers and employers. He is also an expert on how to avoid and resolve conflicts as well as other issues dealing with long term business relationships.


Doug Staneart has been a speaker and trainer for over ten years specializing in public speaking, leadership training, and team building. Doug is CEO of The Leader?s Institute® (Team Building Events) based in Dallas and author of the books 40 Ways to Influence People and Fearless Presentations. He has accumulated over 2700 hours of classroom coaching and training with over 400 of the Fortune 500.

BA Business Management

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