By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Oh that mistletoe! And those two drinks too many at the company holiday party. Now what?
In the light of day, you may have come on a little stronger than you should have at the company’s holiday party. Can you get sued for sexual harassment?
Here’s the thing about sexual harassment. A person can’t generally win a sexual harassment lawsuit on the basis of a single instance of a coworker’s – or even boss’ – poor judgment unless that single instance was egregious (like an assault or other forced, unwanted physical contact).
A simple “you sure look hot in that dress” comment, though awkward, doesn’t really have the makings by itself of a sexual harassment claim unless it was only one example of an inappropriate pattern of behavior.
That said, even a single instance of poor judgment can still violate your company’s code of conduct and you can get fired for it. So what do you do?
Well, if you feel bad about what happened and you think an apology is warranted (and unlikely to make the situation more embarrassing) then honestly say, I’m sorry and it won’t happen again. And then hope that you will have the opportunity to be at the company’s 2014 holiday party but avoid the misteltoe.