The background

About three years ago, I worked for a small retail company managing two staff in my team - let's call them Jim and Jane. Jane had been working for the company on a temporary contract for around ten months. Her output was low despite lots of training and support from myself, and she did not get on particularly well with other staff, often being standoffish and short tempered. This was realised by the managing director, who fired her on the spot. It was harsh and definitely not the right way to do it, but the company did benefit from her no longer being in staff. A replacement staff member was hired and we carried on as usual.

Fast-forward two years the company has gone under. I'm working in a similar job in the education industry, and am privately contacted by Jane who invites me and Jim for a drink as a catch-up. I agree, and we meet at a bar the following week. The evening goes well - it turns out Jane has been on another temp contract working in the same industry as me and Jim who is also secure in another job. Later on, Jim has to leave to go home, though Jane has just bought a drink so I agree to stay for another. After Jim leaves, Jane tells me that she has always been in love with me and that she would care for me much better than my wife does (worth noting my wife is pregnant with our first child at this point!) She repeatedly tries to touch and kiss me and I continue to refuse her advances, before firmly having to put an end to the night to go home. I have since blocked her number to avoid any further contact.

Fast-forward another year and we are hiring for a new position in our team, and my manager asks me to review some CVs/resumes with her for interview selection. In her pile is a CV/resume from Jane! I didn't say anything, and thankfully she was not selected for interview.

The issue

A member of our team is now about to go on maternity leave and a temporary replacement will be hired. The role is a similar position to the one Jane previously applied for, so I am worried that she will apply for it again. I may not be involved in any selection process, so is it wrong to warn my manager about both Jane's performance issues and the issue I may have working with her after her advances on me?

  • Three years has past. People do sometimes change. Are you worried from a performance standpoint or because she made an advance on you? the latter should not affect her application Feb 13, 2019 at 14:13
  • 2
    @JonasPraem I am worried about both, essentially, but perhaps moreso the personal element. The issue with her advances are that, arguably, her actions were tantamount to sexual harassment as I repeatedly told her to stop, and I am not comfortable working with someone I have that kind of experience with.
    – risko
    Feb 13, 2019 at 16:01
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    "her actions were tantamount to sexual harassment " ... drop the "tantamount ", that was sexual harassment, to the extent that you could probably get a legal restraining order against her
    – Mawg
    Feb 14, 2019 at 8:10

2 Answers 2


The current responses suggest that you should not mention the "personal" stuff, but I disagree. I think it's relevant. Not telling management about it, is a big "no no" because essentially it's the sort of thing that if you don't tell them... they'll be like... "How did we NOT see that coming?".

You can mention it, without being personal and in my experience, managers are professional people, they'll consider the position and then make a decision based on it but you should say something.

She was attracted to you, made advances, you turned them down because you're married and you have a concern about this person being brought into the organization. None of this is your fault. Simple as that and also considering her unsolicited advances, to me, not bringing it up could be masking a potential issue with sexual harassment. In a bar is one thing, but if in the workplace she's doing the same thing... that would be... not ideal.

From the sounds of it, there were many applicants, it's likely they'll go with someone else. I'm not sure my response is the right answer, but I feel like not mentioning it would create the potential of sort of a "hidden" issue. Especially if she interviews well.

Decision making requires all information. This is a key piece of information.

  • 3
    "In a bar is one thing" - No it is not, not really, unless you will make the same exception if genders are swapped. Trying to touch, kiss etc when clearly unwelcome to do so is not OK.
    – Mołot
    Feb 13, 2019 at 14:38
  • @Mołot The difference between a bar and the workplace should be self evident. In a bar there's alcohol and judgement can be impaired on all parties sides. That's what I meant but the bar part. I'm not implying it's ok, I'm saying it gets complicated when alcohol is involved and the environment can lend to misunderstandings, easily. Feb 13, 2019 at 16:30

I am going to break this apart into two separate pieces.

so is it wrong to warn my manager about both Jane's performance issues

No, but do it in factual way and do not make this personal. Be sure to cite specific instances clearly without adding any sort of personal slant. You can mention how well she does from a "get along with others" perspective would be justified to bring up.

and the issue I may have working with her after her advances on me?

I would not mention this as it could reflect poorly on you, and it really doesn't matter much in this situation.

In short, bring up the issues you saw in a factual way with performance and work related tasks, and don't sweat the other stuff.

  • 3
    It does matter, arguably. It might eventually put the OP's marriage in a place it doesn't need to be. But I agree it shouldn't be mentioned, or perhaps mentioned last, if all else fails.
    – rath
    Feb 13, 2019 at 14:07
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    @rath I understand your position, but most of that will be he said she said stuff..
    – Neo
    Feb 13, 2019 at 16:46

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