Gym Members are Hitting on My Trainers. Is that Harassment?

A Kantola Learning Minute

The manager of a gym says that male members are hitting on her attractive and fit female trainers. She's worried about a sexual harassment lawsuit. Should she be worried? Find out in this week's Kantola Learning Minute with workplace trainer Linda Garrett, JD.

Hi, I'm Linda Garrett. We had a question from the manager of three gyms, and her concern was that her male members were sometimes hitting on her trainers who were, in many cases, young women with, you know, great bodies. Let's face it, they had toned muscles and wore gym attire, and these male members would flirt and come on to them, and she was worried about a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Here's the thing to think about: Part of the important elements of a sexual harassment claim is the element having to do with 'unwelcome conduct'. So, she needs to ask her trainers, do they find this behavior to be unwelcome. If the answer is 'No, we think it's fun, it's great, it's not a problem', then she really doesn't have to do anything. She should monitor the situation going forward but doesn't have to make any changes now.

On the other hand, if any of the trainers say, 'Yes, we find that conduct to be very unpleasant, very intrusive, or unwelcome in any way,' then she needs to talk to the members and explain to them that they need to dial it back.

Thanks for joining us.
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