Monday, December 3, 2012

Statement Analysis and Sexual Harassment

Working with both law enforcement and the private sector (business), I have found that Statement Analysis exceeds the value of the polygraph, in particular, due to the sensitive pick ups of information which goes well beyond just "truth or deception."

Companies can take statements from accusers and those accused and can know who is telling the truth and who is not, and, perhaps, the important other details that enter into these arenas of dispute. 

Some cases are just....

Here is one from the Bangor Daily News in which we may find what is so often the case:

a little truth here, a little exaggeration there, and some bad behavior here used to cover bad behavior there...

Some cases are clear cut and we can know the truth, while other cases (many) have elements of boorish or inappropriate behavior coupled with deception, lawsuit and the seeking of money. 

What do you make of this story? 

 The former human resources director at Sunbury Medical Associates of Bangor claimed the organization’s CEO told her to hire only “young women with big boobs,” according to a complaint filed with the Maine Human Rights Commission.
Barbara Mann was fired by Sunbury Medical Associates, she claimed, for complaining about age and sex discrimination in the organization. A Maine Human Rights Commission investigator recommends commissioners find her claim has reasonable grounds when the panel meets Dec. 17.
Sunbury denies the claim, reporting that Mann was fired because of “lack of fit” and “negative interactions with employees.”
According to investigator Barbara Lelli’s report, Mann was hired as director of human resources in June 2003 and fired in September 2011.
Shortly after starting the job, the CEO, who is not named in the report, “told her that Sunbury had a ‘warm and fuzzy’ HR department and that [he] wanted to change that approach,” the report states, so the department was no longer a place for employees to “vent.”
Around June 2010, the CEO told Mann that “from now on, she should just hire ‘young women with big boobs,’” the report states. 
We do not have the full statement, only a portion.  
The semi-quote 'young women with big boobs' is to be entering into someone else's language.  
Note that it is "young women"; not "girls" or any use of slang,  "Young women" sounds more respectful.  
"big boobs" is slang, casual, crass language.  
Is there a lack of consistency here?  It is not enough to know, at this point, but the analyst should seek to find out what, commonly, the term the CEO uses for young adult females.  
Before that, the CEO had made other comments about “big boobs” and “commended her on past female hires because he thought they were ‘cute and had big boobs.’”
"cute" and "big boobs" is now different than just the coarse "big boobs"
Are these "female hires?"  It is not a direct quote.
Are they "young women" and not "young hotties" (or any casual term or slang)?
The CEO, according to Mann, made other comments and engaged in behavior related to women that Mann found offensive, such as betting with his personal assistant how big her breasts would get when she was pregnant.
the writer of the article lists comments before behavior.  We do not know what the woman said. 
The CEO told the investigator he never used any term like “big boobs.

No quote.  This is why journalists should have training.  The word "never" does not mean "did not", and, by itself, is unreliable.  What is it that he said to the journalist?
In May 2011, the CEO told Mann he was hiring a woman who was a waitress to be assistant HR director. She was not the first waitress he hired, Mann reported.
When the new assistant was introduced to staff, she was “wearing a low-cut sweater which exposed her cleavage,” the report states. The CEO later called Mann into his office and told her he did like the look on her face during the introductions. Mann replied that the assistant should “be required to wear appropriate business attire.”
She also told the CEO, according to the report, that two other women employees wore more revealing clothes when they felt they were out of favor with him, and that Mann had observed the CEO looking at their breasts “and that this situation made her uncomfortable.”
A few days later, Sunbury hired an attorney to investigate Mann’s comments. She refused to answer the attorney’s questions, believing the attorney could not be impartial. Mann also told the investigator she did not request an investigation, but rather only told the CEO about her concerns “because she wanted him to stop his behavior.”
It is the norm that the attorney would have recorded the interview and the questions asked would be of record.  The journalist did not report asking if the interview was to be recorded for all parties' protection. 
Sunbury’s president threatened Mann with discipline if she did not cooperate with the attorney’s inquiry. The attorney issued a report on his investigation on June 13, 2011, concluding there was no basis to Mann’s claims. Mann was terminated by the CEO three months later.
The rights panel investigator’s report included statements from current and former Sunbury employees who made harsh statements about Mann, including that she was “mean” and “sarcastic.
Lelli concluded that there was “at least an even chance” that Mann was fired for complaining about the CEO’s behavior, which is the standard the rights commission uses for finding reasonable grounds.


Tania Cadogan said...

A few days later, Sunbury hired an attorney to investigate Mann’s comments. She refused to answer the attorney’s questions, believing the attorney could not be impartial.

What was stopping her hiring her own attorney to be present when she was questioned or having a ubion rep or supervisor or friend with her as a witness.

I would assume the interview would have been recorded or at a minimum notes taken which she could have asked for a copy of.

Since the attorney was hired by Sunbury he wouldn't be impartial same as if she hired her own attorney, he would be biased on her behalf.

As you point out Peter, the term 'Young women' doesn't match liguistically with 'big boobs' i would expect something alng the lines of chicks, women, girls.
Young women is too polite.
if hiring big boobs it would be a given they would be young, you don't go around hiring middle aged women or old women with big boobs.

Since we don't have a full statement it makes it harder to come to a conclusion since we don't know the context of what was said when, by whom and in response to what.

Me thinks it wasn't as she claimed.

Mainah said...

Not much to go on, but, I find her claim at least credible enough to warrant further investigation. Plus, the CEO says he'd "never" say "big boobs" which is not a reliable denial.

I worked in an environment that was similar, where the Dept Director hired his lunch waitress one time and several rapid promotion followed, she became manager over more qualified and experienced people...he later offered a young cute receptionist whose secondary education was as a "Nail Technician" the position of: Residential Mortgage Loan Officer, with NO prior experience, but she did flaunt her chest. This was two years case you were thinking it was back before women "Lib".

Anonymous said...

I think the boss was hiring unqualified good looking girls and the HR manager did not approve of how he was hiring. I think then that a "war" of sorts began and this is the outcome. I am certain he know what a crass woman the HR manager was and probably "never" said to her that he wanted girls with big boobs, but if he was close to other female employees, I am certain he did. So perhaps he "never" said that to her, but to others he did. That is why the HR manager is using those words in her suit. She probably overhead the "talk" at the watercooler, became enraged at what was going on and here she is. I'm on the side of the boss.

rob said...

I'm thinking she is an heavy-set, middle-aged, bossy, know-it-all, and when she overstepped and got fired, she blamed him AND the good-looking younger ladies for it.
If what she said is true, everyone in the office knows it. should be easy for either side to prove the case.

Mainah said...

geesh rob,

"...Heavy-set, middle-aged, bossy, know-it-all..." that's what you got out of her statements? Weird. I didn't get that all all. You must be better at this SA stuff then me. I read it again and I still couldn't guess her weight. What gave it away? I'd love to learn that phase of SA. (pfft....)and, are there other groups that are immune to gender bias and civil rights violations on the job; or is it just fat, old, bitches that can't be victims?

rollin' my eyes...smiling...reminding myself: I've come a long way, "baby"! -gag!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you totally Mainah. (Take note Mainah, isn't this a man defending another man?) Slam the b'tch woman; par for the course. Furthermore, I believe the HR Manager's statements, and likely much much more that has yet to be revealed.

Apparently some people are totally ignorant to what goes on out there. The work place is filled with CEOs like she had and the managers under them are expected to dance to their tune, no questions asked, keep mouth shut. I too have lived it and I see it going on every day.

The CEO like she had makes her job hard as hell, defeating her at every turn when the big boobs walk in the door, daring her to speak up, or to hire the most qualified. It's the knockers and hot legs they want sitting in their offices and she'd damned well better hire them, or else. It's HER job on the line.

As to the HR Manager answering any questions posed by the company's hired gun attorney; are you kidding? In a pig's eye! Smart woman. Ain't NO WAY I would allow myself to be set up like this! NOR would I rush out and throw down my hard earned money hiring my own atty to counteract THEIR scheming cockroach, sent to trap and make a fool out of me. How dumb is that!

In the end, this HR Manager did exactly what she should have done: Hire an atty on a contingency basis and sue the sox off this CEO & Company, and I hope she wins!


dbailey114 said...

I'd love to see who currently holds her position since she got the boot...I'll go out on a limb and guess it's a "young woman with big boobs".

rob said...

In reading the article, the 'negative interactions with employees', statements from employees that she was 'mean' and 'sarcastic' just gave me a mental image of a person, who felt she had a lot of power and let underlings know it. Then, when she is fired for it, 'Oh yeah, he only wants young, big-boobed girls working here'.
Like I said, anywhere I have ever worked, everyone in the office knew the score, if the boss was a womanizer, or it the HR person was a bitch. Hard to keep it a secret.
NOTE, that was not statement analysis, just a humorous image that came to mind.

rob said...

Oh, I forgot one: heavy-set, I'm picturing bull-dog.