“Doing a Sutton”

Good grief, how dense can you be?imgres

A city chief executive is being accused of kissing female staff at a company Christmas party – and joking he was acting “a bit like Roger Sutton”.

The apparently amorous boss kissed some women on their cheeks and others on their foreheads, says an Auckland employment lawyer acting for the man’s company.

He had given one senior manager a kiss on the lips, which had led to a complaint of sexual harassment.

The incident is one of at least three Christmas party-related complaints under investigation, and employment lawyers and advocates told the Herald on Sunday business would increase in the New Year.

Sutton, the former Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority boss, fell from grace after a senior manager accused him of repeated acts of sexual harassment. At the organisation’s Christmas party last year he allegedly suggested every Friday be “visible G-string Friday”. Sutton resigned and State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie said the behaviour was “serious misconduct”.

End-of-year blowouts are a danger time for misbehaviour, fuelled by the excitement of the festive season and often alcohol.

Alcohol was believed to be involved in the kissing incidents involving the Auckland chief executive, said the employment lawyer, who asked not to be named to protect those involved in the case.

He wouldn’t name the chief executive, or the small Auckland company he led, but said women were kissed on their cheeks or foreheads, and one on the lips.

“He decided he might like to spread his affection around the female staff by kissing them.”

Forcing yourself on female staff by kissing them?   What an absolute idiot.

Mind you, he probably expects to go on leave on full pay so he can prepare his press conference where he claims he did nothing wrong and is just a victim of women that can’t take a bit of Christmas party cheer.


– Cherie Howie, Herald on Sunday


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  • Blue Tim

    Booze + Staff Christmas Party = how do I explain this to the wife (or significant other)?

  • RightofSingapore

    Nothing wrong with a playful consenting kiss on the cheek or hug. Anything beyond that though is going too far.

  • caochladh

    Boy, the worm has sure turned. When I worked for HMG through the 70’s & 80’s, the male species was in the minority and especially at party time was the focus of much attention. Not that I complained, nor can I recall anyone else complaining either.

  • LabTested

    Why would any male manager even risk going to a staff Xmas party these days. I’m not saying what this bloke did was right, but it appears there is zero tolerance when a kiss on the cheek makes the news. – why risk turning up.

  • Chris EM

    In the good old days it would only require a slap on the cheek and said Romeo would be suitably embarrassed to cease this practice. Now people have to lay an official complaint.
    What a sad pathetic world these whingers are creating, a world they are going to have to live with.

    • Pharmachick

      Kindof. Having been in this position (at a staff lunch, not Xmas) I simply outed the offender loudly to all and sundry (“get your hand off my [rhymes with pass] and don’t ever touch me like that again”), delivered loudly and coldly. Retaliation from the boss was swift and sneaky.

      • Chris EM

        Well done. Being shown up and embarrassed in front of work mates usually sorts it out quick smart.

  • Goldfish

    I got the opinion of the missus on this one, and she agreed that it should have been dealt with at the time either with a slap or a two word bon voyage missive ending with “off”.

    IOW, what happened at the party should have stayed at the party. Otherwise the complainant should just stay home. Any “senior manager” that cannot handle that situation doesn’t deserve the job title.

    The MSM should also hang their heads in shame for running stories like this. It’s not news. Not now, not ever.

  • Blue Tim

    Good grief Goldfish. You need to be publicly flogged for referring to your significant other as “The Missis”. I was severely reprimanded a couple of years back for referring to my wife as the missus or the wife, not to mention being sent to the naughty chair for walking into an office and say good morning ladies. They’re women!

    • dgrogan

      I’ve always found, “Morning guys” overcomes those sorts of gender obstacles. “Guys” is not too gender specific these days.

    • Pharmachick

      I always think that referring to “women” as “ladies” is much more classy – it’s certainly not derogatory. But then, I’m a chick and what’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander :-)
      EDIT: grammar

  • Michael_l_c

    Apart from any sexual inference, would he kiss one of the male colleagues? Guess not but it is ok to impose himself on the women.
    It would have been very interesting if one of the women had slapped him on kneed him in the ooooh!
    Just because it used to happen when women couldn’t really stop it, doesn’t make it right now.
    Wonder what his wife/partner thinks about it or what he would say if his wife was at the do & started kissing the males.
    The best advice for him is a proper apology NOT a ‘Sutton’ apology.