British fashion house Ted Baker rocked by 'forced hugging' allegations

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  • Nikki Travis

    I worked in security for a few years. One of my bosses would find me at every supervisors meeting and hug me. Not only did I pull away, I told him multiple times to stop. This wasn't just a hug in greeting but instead were almost what I would call forced holds. He would walk up behind you and hold you pressing his weight onto you and keeping your arms firmly at your sides by holding you for a prolonged period. We took company photos and in the group photos you could see the clock behind us. There are 17 pics of him holding me like that over 3 minutes and in one of them you can see his fingers digging into my arm. Also, he would place his hand on the back of my shoulder and manipulate his hand like you would a woman's breast. At the holiday party my dress in the back was at the same level as my bra strap. Amazingly it held together all night long with no problems until "Creepy Steve" hugged me. Then, all of a sudden my bra strap came unhooked! The next Monday I made a complaint with HR again. Except this time the secretary was watching the whole thing and was a witness to him unsnapping my bra.

    He was reprimanded and then a few weeks later the team in SC wanted to pay for their best Lt's to go on a business trip to take security training courses at the CSO conference in Dallas. All of a sudden my bosses were making comments such as: "What did you do to get this? Are you in a relationship with one of the managers? Finally they actually asked, "Are you having sex with the head of security from South Carolina?" I lived in Ohio and except for sending monthly reports over email I never spoke to the guy. Apparently being good at my job and never screwing up payroll and catching two fire hazards in the server room as well as saving a woman's life using an AED was not reason enough to send me to Dallas. They actually contacted the SC office and requested his travel documents to try to prove we were "involved"! The man had made 1 trip to Ohio in 7 years and it was 3 months before I even started working at the site!

    When I returned from the Security Conference I was treated horribly by my bosses. So badly that I recorded them using my work phone number with help from the company's tech support to prove I was being harassed. Mysteriously a year later our company lost the bid and the SC based company switched security companies. I was asked to stay on as the Lt and be hired by the new company. I did but sadly the new company was so disorganized I went without a paycheck for almost a month. All of the employees ended up becoming so angry with the new company more than half my staff had quit within the first month. I stayed on as long as I could but finally I had to quit because of non-payment.

    I highly doubt if these "hugs" are the same kind and friendly gestures many of these posters seem to believe are intended. Your whole body is screaming get the frack away from me while everyone else is wondering what is wrong with the little prude who can't handle a hug. Do me a favor, you go hug a child you don't know for more than 2 minutes and see how long it takes for them to treat you like a pedophile.

  • Omegacron

    Hmm... the good thing about today's culture is that kids can now sue their aunts for forced hugging & cheek-pinching. It scars for life, after all.

  • OtherMrNiceGuy

    "Come on in here!" "Are we done yet?" "My hug-o-meter says we have 50 more seconds"

  • THeJava_Bean

    Waiting for the day someone tells Europeans they have to give up the custom of the cheeks-kissing greeting, including the ubiquitous air kiss. How dare someone invade my AIR to say hello to me!

  • RB in WV

    I thought this was kind of funny till I read the part about hugging for an entire minute. Yuck! A short unwanted hug is bad enough, but a minute-long hug? I put up with short unwanted hugs that I know are meant well because I know I'm a bit of an outlier. If someone tried to hug me for a minute, though, I'd tell them that was enough and I'd break their grip. When they inevitably tried to tease me, I'd own it and tell them to keep their stinking hands off me.

  • MandalayBay328

    Maybe if we all got more hugs - the world wouldn't be such a s hit storm!

  • Art

    Forced hugs!!! OMG!!! I hope no one got pregnant as a result.

  • Rubber Banned

    I won't feel safe until we all have our own surrogates to interact with the world for us.

  • donnie vanderford

    Who would have thought hugging could ruin your life.

  • Fatesrider

    I loathe huggers. Some folks just have no idea how offensive such a thing is to others. In the legal world, any non-consensual touching is considered legal battery, and is an actionable offense. Doctors have been charged with battery simply because they didn't get permission to touch a patient before they went ahead and did so. (I've seen it happen, and it's happened to me.)

    Legally, huggers are no different. It may be the way some people say hello, but it's not a legal practice without prior consent. If someone wants to hug, and the other holds out their arms to receive it, that's implied consent, and usually that's fine. But if someone isn't responding and didn't otherwise say it's okay, that's called battery and is a misdemeanor crime just about everywhere.

    Huggers, beware. Some people take great offense at what you do to say "hi!". And a boss doing that to employees adds the dimension of abuse of authority to the battery they commit on their employees. I don't care how someone was raised, or what they think. The point is, it can be considered a crime, sexually or otherwise. If you want to hug, ask. If they say no, don't. Never assume a hug is welcome.

    It's not rocket science there.