20 Days After Resuming A New Job, Woman Resigned Because Her Boss Would Not Stop Calling Her ‘Sweetie’


Sexual harassment comes in different forms that are not really obvious to many until they are pointed out. Sarah McGovern had warned her boss about calling her sweetie and he had promised to stop but didn’t stop.

A male colleague on one occasion even told her there was no difference between her name and ‘sweetie.’ Meanwhile, Sarah had been informed of how poorly her boss treats new female employers, so, she decided to quit her job when she couldn’t take the harassment anymore.

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She wrote,

I don’t post many deeply personal things online, but I want to share this. I quit my job about a month ago because of harassment. Below is my letter of resignation. I think it’s important to share this truth, and to know that many of us will not tolerate the abuse. We can and should walk out.


“Hi Elias,

This is my letter of resignation, effective today, October 31, 2017, my last partial day of employment. Since the second day of my employment, on October 12, 2017, I have asked you not to call me “Sweetie.” I have asked you not to call me Sweetie more than 5 times since then, and you have still not respected this request.

I nearly walked out because of this last Tuesday, October 24, 2017. I stayed to give you one more chance, because you said you finally understood how important this request was, and that you would stop this specific behavior immediately and for good. You only agreed to this after I told you in anger and tears, ready to quit, how important it was that you stop.

I was very upset not only from the name calling, but also because I knew you were discussing this dynamic with Tony, who just days before had come up and said to me, “Sarah and Sweetie both start with an S” – a completely inappropriate comment, seeking to instigate an upsetting situation for me, brought on by your behavior. Now, even after all of that, and with your own agreement to stop, this morning, October 31, 2017, you called me Sweetie again.

This is unacceptable. I have never heard you call any of the men at your company “Sweetie,” which shows that this is clearly only a behavior that you are directing at me as a woman. Your team is even aware of your poor treatment of new female employees. One team member actually told me, while laughing, that they take bets on how long “each one [referencing females] will last.” That was shocking to hear, to say the least.

For these reasons, I am resigning. Gender-based discrimination is one of the most overt and harmful ways you can create a hostile work environment, an environment that is very damaging to one’s health and well being. This is what you have done, and I will not tolerate it.

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Please confirm your receipt of this letter, voice any disagreements that you may have. Please also send my final paycheck (for 45 hours, 40 last week + 5 today) to my home address at …. Street, Garden Grove, CA …. as soon as possible, and let me know once it is mailed.

I hope in the future you are more careful in your treatment of others. It means more than you realize.


Sarah McGovern”

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