By Jon Hyman
We have all had those bosses. You know, the ones whose mere presence strikes fear into employees. I remember mine. A page from his assistant made you shudder. He only had one way of communicating when he spoke to you: yelling. And God forbid you challenged him or questioned his authority. To call him difficult was an understatement. He was — pardon my French — an a-hole to work for. But, here’s the thing. He was an a-hole to everyone, which protected him from liability to anyone. For harassment to qualify as “unlawful” harassment, it must be because of a legally protected characteristic. For example, in the case of sexual harassment, the complained-of misconduct must be of a sexual nature, or it must single out women differently than men. Nonsex-based conduct that targets women and men the same, no matter how harsh, is not sexual harassment.