Dear Evil Skippy:
My department is working from home. One of my employees called me to say she was offended because another employee told her she was looking great and he wished they were quarantining together. She said this happened when they were talking on the phone one-on-one about a project. I asked if this was a harassment complaint. She said no, she just did not want him bothering her. This seems so unreasonable to me. Is it even possible to harass someone from a distance?
— A Supervisor
Except for unwanted physical touching, of course is it possible to harass from a distance (or as I call it, “Tele-Harass”). These days, it is unpatriotic and dangerous to humanity for one to harass any other way. You should commend your employee for taking social distancing seriously.
Love from away,
P.S. Be careful to enunciate carefully when you say “tele-harass” or the term itself sounds a little harass-y.
If you have not already done so, ask your employee to tell you the details about the call that is bothering her (what was said and how it was said). Also ask if anything in the past between the two is a concern to her. Something in your Supervisor Brain made you ask if she had a complaint – that is enough for you as a supervisor to look into the matter whether or not she “complains”. The usual law of harassment applies (If a reasonable person would be offended, etc.) as well as your usual workplace rules (e.g., be respectful).
You’re a supervisor. So supervise.
Jim can speak at your conferences and seminars. Contact Jim (and/or ES) here, on Twitter, Instagram and through the “Evil Skippy at Work” group on Facebook. (Twitter: @EvilSkippySays and @JimWebberLOL; Instagram: EvilSkippyAtWork and JimWebberLOL)