my coworker watches porn in our shared office

This one is gross; stop reading right now if you’re squeamish. A reader writes:

I share an open office space with 2 guys. When I came back from FMLA in September, I discovered that one had picked up a new habit: watching porn while I was working 5 feet away from him. Long story short, he scrubs everything everyday and IT has never been able to catch him, so the sexual harassment is without proof. My boss’s solution: everyone’s desk now faces the wall and we have a new firewall.

Said coworker is cordial to everyone, except now when we are alone together in the office, he rubs his thighs and grunts and adjusts himself and I catch him blatantly staring at me throughout the day. It’s unnerving. I have not spoken with the boss about the new behavior because I don’t want to sound paranoid. Any advice?

It doesn’t matter that you can’t “prove” this. You need to report it — all of it, not just the porn-watching, but his behavior toward you as well — and you need to insist on being moved.

And frankly, if anyone is telling you that they can’t catch him, it’s BS. It doesn’t matter that he’s scrubbing his browser history at the end of the day; if I.T. actually wanted to address this, they could easily monitor his computer and Internet usage, browser cache cleaning or not. If his computer is on their network, they can know every keystroke he makes if they want to.

But that’s not your problem to worry about — your problem to worry about is getting moved into a different office, and you need to insist that that happen immediately. Go to your boss and HR, explain what’s happening, and say that you want to be moved, immediately. Refuse to spend a single day more being subjected to a coworker’s sexual behavior. And please don’t worry about sounding paranoid; the person who should be worried is your coworker, not you.

Go right now, before the next round of rubbing and grunting (!) begins.

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