Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.
WHEN A PERSON IS CALLED ON THEIR COMMENTS OR JOKES,
THEIR RESPONSE IS "IT'S ONLY A JOKE" OR “CAN'T YOU TAKE A JOKE?”
A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED WORKPLACE GETS LESS THAN KIND
COMMENTS FROM THE GUYS AND WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT QUIETLY,
SHE SAYS IT DOESN'T BOTHER HER, OR SHE CAN TAKE IT
ASKING A PERSON WHO IS CONSIDERED A "MINORITY"
TO DO TASKS OTHERS ARE REQUIRED TO DO, YET THEY CRY FOUL
EMPLOYEES WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT MANAGEMENT AND MANAGERS WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT UNIONS, GENERALLY
WHEN SEVERAL EMPLOYEES MAKE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT
ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, WHO IS NOT PRESENT, AND OUTSIDE OF WORK
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A JOKE, MOST PEOPLE LAUGH, BUT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY FOR ONE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, BUT NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING
WHEN EMPLOYEES DON'T WANT TO PICK UP THE SLACK BECAUSE A CHRISTIAN EMPLOYEE NEEDS TIME OFF FOR MASS AND WON'T WORK ON SUNDAYS
WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TAKES PART IN REPUGNANT, BUT NOT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS A WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP, OUTSIDE OF WORK
YET NEVER SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING AT WORK
WHEN TWO EMPLOYEES WERE VERY GOOD FRIENDS, BUT HAD A PHYSICAL FIGHT OUTSIDE WORK AND NOW ONE OF THEM WON'T WORK WITH THE OTHER
OVER SOME OPEN FORM OF COMMUNICATION (RADIO OR GROUP EMAIL) AN EMPLOYEE STATES ABOUT ONE OF THE GUYS, "IT MUST BE THAT TIME OF THE MONTH" BECAUSE THIS FELLOW WAS BEING TOO EMOTIONAL
WHEN A WOMAN CAN’T DO THE SAME PHYSICAL WORK
A MALE CO-WORKER CAN DO, BUT IT’S ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE JOB
WHEN A PERSON APPEARS ALMOST RUDE IN EMAILS, BUT IN PERSON THEY COME ACROSS DIFFERENTLY – CONSIDERATE
WHEN SOMEONE WON’T TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER – THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL APPEALS AND PEOPLE DON’T SEE IT HIS WAY
WHEN SOMEONE IS AFRAID TO SAY ANYTHING TO SOMEONE WHO IS “DIFFERENT” FOR FEAR OF A COMPLAINT OR INSULTING THESE PEOPLE
PERSONS LOWER THEIR VOICES WHEN TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS (WHISPER) “BLACK”
With freedom of speech and of the media, there are wonderful articles and even cartoons that get right to the point and may be very biting. We should be thankful that people are allowed to speak their minds so freely. However, even within the media, there are limits to what can be said or even drawn – very few limits, but limits nonetheless.
Sometimes an article or political cartoon will be posted at work, which has every right to be written or drawn. However, when it gets posted, it is meant to bring attention to a certain issue or to make fun of someone. Many times the article or cartoon is good-natured and there’s rarely a problem. Other times it isn’t good-natured and is meant to take a swipe at a fellow employee. An obvious example would be an article about reducing immigration when an employee has recently immigrated to Canada. It may be legitimate in a newspaper, but not on the wall at work.
If the posted item is in a person’s cubicle, you’ll have to talk to that person directly. If the item is posted anonymously on a wall, then you need to talk to a wider audience.
Take down the article or cartoon immediately. See if you can identify who may have posted it. If you can work it out, or you know who put it up, speak to that person in private as soon as possible. If you suspect, but are not sure, ask them in a non-judgemental way if they posted it. If they say yes, discuss why it’s not appropriate. If you don’t know who did it, speak to the groups of people who have access to that area. You don’t need to witch hunt to find the person – convey your message and reinforce your workplace standards in how you want to treat people.
“I wanted to let you all know I took down the article on the bulletin board that was making derogatory fun of (group). The reason I did this is twofold. One, we should never hold up any person or group as being a target for malicious humour. We show lack of respect when we do so, and we encourage people to laugh at those different from ourselves. Second, any guest or visitor who comes through this area may see this article and be deeply offended. Some of you may be offended by it and not feel comfortable in speaking out. So I’ll do the speaking out. Please don’t post cartoons, articles, jokes or any other printouts that show a disregard, contempt, prejudice or derogatory comments against any other group, belief, race, ethnic origin, and so on."
“I appreciate that some people find this political cartoon funny. It pokes fun at a stereotype about (group). While there can be good-natured fun in differences between people, I took this cartoon down because its humour relies on negative stereotypes. That’s not how we show respect to and acceptance of others, and it’s not how I want our department to be seen by any guests or visitors. Please keep all this type of material out of the workplace.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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