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How's this for a holiday greeting from your boss: Best wishes for incredible sexual relations!
It happened in one workplace -- a police department, no less. And it came from the very top -- from Police Chief Euclides Santos of Coimbra, Portugal. His greeting was replete with racy images of scantily clad women, The Huffington Post reports.
While the chief may have hailed his holiday message as hilarious, his colleagues at work felt it was in ho-ho-horrible taste.
Chief Santos sent his holiday card via email, in PDF format, according to The Huffington Post. (Reuters, however, reports it was a PowerPoint presentation.) Next thing you know, the suggestive greeting went viral, and Chief Santos was summarily suspended.
The exact words that got Santos in trouble are in Portuguese, but the message is not lost in translation:
"Enough with insincere and useless words. What I wish you from the bottom of my heart, is that you have incredible sexual relations, live a merry and happy life, work hard and get well paid."
A well-intentioned gesture, perhaps? That's up to Chief Santos to explain at his disciplinary hearing. But had this happened in the United States, Santos could be held liable for sexual harassment in the workplace.
Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual conduct on the job that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Courts determine what's "offensive" by asking whether a reasonable person should have to put up with the conduct in question.
Also, it doesn't matter if the offended workers are women or men. Anyone can sue for alleged harassment if it makes a workplace uncomfortable.
In Chief Santos' case, about 1,500 city employees received his x-rated Xmas greeting. Santos has apologized, saying there was an error in the email's attachment -- but he hasn't retracted his holiday wish of incredible sexual relations for all.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.