Dealing with workplace harassment, bullying and discrimination to create a respectful workplace

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Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

ARTICLES

#6
EMPLOYEES PUTTING UP REVEALING/PROVOCATIVE PICTURES OF THEIR SPOUSE, GIRLFRIEND OR BOYFRIEND

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Telling an employee to take down pictures of nude or provocatively dressed men or women should be easy to do. There’s a really good chance someone at work isn’t going to be happy with the pictures and more than likely the pictures objectify either men or women as mere sexual objects. However, if one of these pictures is of spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend, then it might not be that easy.

 

How do you tell someone that a picture of a loved one is not appropriate for the workplace? After all, if the employee thinks the picture is good enough to have in his work space, then it shouldn’t be bothering anyone else, right? This is where you have to be tactful.

 

Don’t wait for someone to complain – if you know the picture could be seen as too sexual or provocative for the workplace, then take action before someone else has to speak up.

 

TRY THIS:

 

Tell the employee any pictures that are too revealing or sexual in nature, aren’t appropriate at work. You might know the picture is of a loved one, but you might not until you have “the talk” (although it might be obvious if the picture is framed). Regardless of whether you know this or not, be prepared that the employee might think this is an intrusion into his personal space. Let him know that regardless of the relationship, this particular picture needs to go, however he’s welcome to have a more appropriate picture in its place. Don’t say the picture is “offensive.”

 

HOW ABOUT:

 

“I know you want a picture of your wife at work, but that one is just a bit too revealing. We’ve been quite good about asking people not to post provocative pictures at work, and although this is a picture of your wife, the same applies.”

 

“I hear you when you say this is your personal space, but it’s not. This is company property and everyone should feel comfortable to enter your office. This picture is too provocative for what I think is appropriate. I know it’s your boyfriend, but that doesn’t change what we accept and don’t accept in our workplace."

 

“I know you like this picture and you might think I’m being a prude. If you want another picture that isn’t so revealing, or you want to keep this picture in your wallet, you have every right to. Needless to say, you have every right to take this picture home and display it there. But when it comes to our workplace, this picture crosses the line.”

 

 

Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP

 

If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.

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© STEPHEN HAMMOND - HARASSMENT SOLUTIONS INC.    
 
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Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

© STEPHEN HAMMOND HARASSMENT SOLUTIONS INC.
 
  
 
CONTACT