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De Blasio Faces Criticism For Kissing Women Lawmakers Hello

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio's behavior in Albany was called into question Tuesday night – by some who say that a kiss is not just a kiss.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, de Blasio smooched his way through Albany this week – bestowing kisses on female lawmakers while men got a handshake and maybe a pat on the back.

Workplace experts said the mayor was out of line; that his charm offensive was not charming and was more than a little bit offensive.

"Absolutely horrible," said workplace expert Steven Viscusi.

Viscusi, an expert in workplace etiquette, was not feeling the love over Hizzoner's actions.

"It's absolutely inappropriate in any business environment today -- with the new #MeToo movement -- but even before that, that women should be hugged in an intimate way," Viscusi said. "Why should a woman have to be pushed close to you and rubbed up against?"

And with the flu season so dramatically upon us, Viscusi said the mayor was guilty of a double faux pas.

"In church, the bishop has told people to give a special signal like this," Viscusi said as he put his palms together to demonstrate, "as opposed to shaking hands."

De Blasio asked the mayor about the way he greets women lawmakers.

Kramer: "I wonder if you think that's an appropriate greeting for an executive at a business meeting."

De Blasio: "I think certainly for the last 30 or so years that I've been involved in professional and public life – 30-plus years – that has been a norm and it's been a respectful norm."

But on the street Tuesday afternoon, some New Yorkers did not agree. When asked if it was appropriate for an executive to kiss a woman hello, Hilda Greenfield of the Upper West Side said no.

"I don't know, it's just too intimate," she said.

"I don't think that would be appropriate, and I've worked for many organizations where that wouldn't be tolerated," said Darryl Roberts of the Upper West Side.

"No, definitely not," said Erica Blum.

"Here in the states, a handshake would probably be the better course of action," said Olivia Broome of Washington Heights.

"If it's his wife," said Peter Roth. "In a business situation, usually you don't behave that way."

But not everyone said it was unacceptable. When asked whether an executive kissing a woman hello was appropriate, Rose Lipman of the Upper West Side said, "Sure."

At least there is some good news – de Blasio said he got a flu shot.

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