The emergence of cell phones and text messaging has significantly changed how people interact with one another. If you are like most American workers, you undoubtedly communicate with coworkers frequently via text message, phone call, and email. Unfortunately, text messages’ causal nature occasionally leads to people saying inappropriate comments to their work colleagues or employees.
Unauthorized texting from work associates can result in major workplace problems, such as allegations of discriminatory practices, harassment, and retribution. Consequently, you may be tempted to ask, “is it appropriate if a male coworker texts me every day?” Yes, it is appropriate, especially if such messages are work-related.
But hold on, does that imply that receiving daily texts from a male coworker is acceptable? Of course not. However, on the flip side, receiving daily texts from a male coworker could seem strange and unpleasant. Sometimes, it is so because you don’t have a good work relationship.
It is too simple for your coworkers to text you in a way that is either too intimate or unpleasant. Written communication is always misleading since it is void of body language or tone of voice.
Texting, on the other hand, has a tighter feel between the sender and recipient. Thus it is crucial to pay a lot of attention to text messages from your male coworkers. Sometimes those texts can be detrimental to professional relationships without the sender’s knowledge.
This article briefly discusses some regulations governing work harassment and the precautions employees can take if they get harassing texts.
Is It Prohibited For A Male Coworker To Text You After Work-Hours?
It is not prohibited by the law for a male coworker to text you after hours. In case you were wondering. However, if texting turns into harassment, it can be against the law.
Outside of the workplace, texting can lead to sexual harassment. This means that texting has crossed the line and is now prohibited if you receive texts that include indecent messages, unwelcome sexual advances, or other inappropriate interactions.
Such messages qualify as a reason to complain to your employer officially. And to do so, you must demonstrate that a coworker harassed you sexually and sent you unwanted, improper texts.
Suppose a male coworker texting you daily makes you feel very uncomfortable. In that case, you should tell him to stop messaging immediately and, if possible, block him from messaging you in the future. If your work routine or project assignment requires that you communicate with that person, you should let your superior or supervisor know about the unpleasant situation.
Unwanted forms of communication or interaction via texting can have a negative psychological and emotional impact on you. This is because it will foster a hostile or standoffish working atmosphere.
Where such harassment is permitted to continue, this could result in decreased performance, missing duty, and possibly your decision to quit the job. To halt the behavior and guarantee that you are fairly treated, you have privileges and options at your disposal, which you can exercise.
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Do Daily Texts Qualify as Harassment?
Although “harassment” is defined differently under state and federal law, all forms of harassment center on persistent and offensive behavior.
If unwanted, creepy texts are constantly sent to your phone, even before work, during breaks, and at odd hours on the weekends, or probably for a whole week, it’s safe to say that your coworker’s inappropriate behavior corresponds to the definition of harassment
However, the messages in question must be offensive for them to be considered harassment. According to the definition of offensive from the viewpoint of a reasonable person, the majority of individuals in the same circumstance would find the content of the messages objectionable.
What Kind of Texts from a Male Coworker Are Considered to Be Inappropriate?
Please be aware that you are under no obligation to put up with offensive texts sent to you by a coworker if you have received them.
Suppose you decide to pursue a complaint for inappropriate behavior against the coworker from whom you constantly receive indecent text messages. In that case, you may be able to utilize the messages as supporting documentation.
Where your employer fails to take a firm decision on misconduct after you get continuous offensive texts from a coworker, you may be eligible to sue them for creating a hostile work environment.
One of the most prevalent types of inappropriate text messages is intimidation through text, which can take many different forms, including;
- Crude jokes
- Requests for explicit sexual photographs
- Demands for sexual acts in exchange for promotion
- Embarrassing flirting
- Messages that pose a severe threat to life
When a coworker sends you an inappropriate text message, you should report it immediately to your Human Resources department. The human resources department will also expect to look into it. If you decide to pursue an employment law action against your firm, they may be liable for compensation if they fail to address the infringing coworker.
No one deserves to receive offensive or disturbing text messages in the workplace. You must take protective measures as soon as you discover that a coworker has sent you offensive content.
What Effect Do Daily Inappropriate Texts Have on the Workplace?
Workplace harassment can happen in a variety of contexts and ways and depending on who is the source of the offensive information and what the firm does to stop it. These variations may subject the organization to varying degrees of culpability. The two basic kinds of work-related misconduct are as follows. Sexual harassment and hostile work environments.
You can be the victim of sexual harassment if a male coworker repeatedly contacts you and offers you benefits or job security in exchange for agreeing to their sexual advances.
However, hostile workplace harassment has the potential to be considerably more subtle than sexual harassment in exchange for favors. It might begin with your coworker messaging you about work-related inquiries or projects before moving on to more personal ones.
Either situation could result in an unpleasant work atmosphere, which would impact both your work output and emotional condition. Such abuse at work must not be tolerated; therefore, you should try to retain all records necessary to prove your case.
If you consider taking this up legally, you may need to submit a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Also, get in touch with a lawyer who handles harassment cases in your area. If appropriate action is not taken to guarantee that the harassing texts are stopped
Once this is done, the EEOC will look into your claim and contact your employer. After reviewing your supporting documentation will allow your employer to provide any opposing documentation.
Afterward, your employer must demonstrate that they dealt with the situation appropriately and were confident the offensive texts had stopped.
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How Do I Respond If a Male Coworker Sends Me an Offensive Text?
The following are decisive steps you should take if you continuously receive a disturbing or unwanted text from a male employee.
1. Save all unwanted direct message
Ensure you save all unwanted text messages the accused person sends. This is important because your chance of succeeding in your employment law action for workplace harassment against a coworker with the proof you have to back up your assertions and demonstrate what took place.
2. Make a screenshot of any offensive photos emailed to your mobile device or computer
Dates and times are preserved, which is significant. A reliable timeline might be helpful when the investigating panel or committee is taking a witness’ deposition or cross-examining them.
3. Inform HR of the situation
You must notify your superior of the problem, provided your workplace has an HR department. This is so because the organization is informed about the issue and looks into it.
Before reporting a case of harassment, ensure you adhere strictly to all the steps stated in the employee handbook.
It is highly inappropriate to receive text messages from a male coworker. You must report if they go against your company’s policies and personal comfort levels.
Not all examples of harassment include physical contact; they might also involve obscenity in text messages. It also involves implying excessive messaging that is upsetting.
Being the recipient of unsolicited text messages may be quite frustrating, particularly if the sender of the creepy message is a male coworker you have no relationship ties.
When your work and professional reputation are at stake, acting responsibly is critical, especially if the unwelcome texts get more serious and cross the line into harassment.
Do not believe that a text-based harassment offense is not serious or continue to ask, “is it appropriate if a male coworker every day?”. Do not question your emotional discomfort if you notice harassment and believe you are a victim. Take action to stop the text messages before things get worse.
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