I’m in a difficult situation. A man who was fired for harassing women at my last agency is currently employed at an agency I’m interviewing at. This job would be a promotion for me and it’s a good company. But I’m really hesitant to work where this man is. The thought of being at parties or in meetings with him is unbearable. I keep asking myself if a promotion is worth it? Or should I go with self preservation and say no thanks?

My ladies, have you got some thoughts for me?

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Don’t let this as*hole keep you from getting where you want to be! Of course document from day one and be ready to advocate for other women but get that promotion. You deserve it! (Also don’t stress about pre-Covid parties just yet, you have some time)

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It’s worth mentioning if only to see how they handle it. It could be the kind of place where that behavior skates by and then despite any promotion you wouldn’t want to be there! I’d wait until you have an offer and bring it up as a concern.

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If you can - tell the management at the new company and be upfront cause I doubt that they will want to lose out on talent on behalf of this person. And actually may not want to employ someone who got fired for harassing women at all -it is likely that they hired him without knowing.

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And since you worked with them at your previous agency I feel like it’s fair. It’s not someone being a general asshole, or catty, he harassed team members which is more than enough of a reason to not want to work with someone and to have great concern about working with them again.

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Be absolutely sure they were fired for harassment. For real, not rumors. The old company may have officially fired him for something else or have laid him off to more easily rid themselves of the problem. If he claimed innocence and agreed to leave, even, you saying he was fired for harassment could get you sued.

You could maybe say there were rumors about him and ask what their HR is like or if they have any history with harassment claims… but actually that could get you sued, too. Maybe just say your old firm had issues and ask how they handle?

If you were not involved in his firing or cases against him, you need to be sure of your facts before you slander him. Yes, this sucks, and it’s how people skate by…but it’s true. He still has rights. And if he’s lost one job bc of this he may be quite ready to protect this one.

I say take the job if you want it, but document anything with him and be ready to stand up if he steps out of line. Do not, though, tell your new coworkers the rumors. But be open and ready to listen and tell HR your background on him if/when it’s relevant.

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Good to know! Thank you!

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You should write in to Ask A Manager, I feel like the author would have great advice.

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