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Lahle Wolfe

Mistletoe: A Kiss, Or Grounds For Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?

By December 18, 2012

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Mistletoe and Sexual Harassment

Mistletoe is an evergreen plant easily obtained during the holidays.  So common, and associated with Christmas traditions, dried sprigs can be found in grocery, craft stores, and even hardware stores.  The tradition is relatively simple:  Mistletoe is hung, and those caught under it are supposed to engage in a kiss.

While this may sound like an innocent, playful holiday tradition, hanging mistletoe in the office is not a good idea.  Diefer Law Group, a California employment law firm, cautions employers against allowing mistletoe at work:  "It's entirely possible that if a manager invites a kiss under the mistletoe the employee in demand will consider the ramifications of rejecting the manager. This places undue pressure on an employee and creates a textbook sexual harassment scenario in which an employee worries about their terms of employment if rejecting the sexual advances of a superior. A simple word of advice, skip the mistletoe."

Learn more about why mistletoe at work can expose you to a sexual harassment lawsuit, in "Mistletoe: Playful Holiday Tradition Or Lawsuit Waiting To Happen?"

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