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”
Employment equality seems like such a simple concept, therefore it’s sometimes difficult to understand when equality isn’t always about everything being exactly equal. If a policy, law, procedure or employment requirement comes into conflict with a person’s human rights, there must be an accommodation unless it creates undue hardship. When we’re talking about employment, that means an employer must find some way to accommodate the employee, but to be clear, if it creates an undue hardship on the employer, then no accommodation will be necessary. Hence, if a woman has a job in a workplace where most (if not all) of the employees are men, it could be because the strength requirements will be too difficult for the average man and therefore for most women (I’m generalizing here, but this is our scenario). However, let’s say in our scenario, the woman can do 98% of the job, but there is one task where she doesn’t have the upper body strength to do it. This could be an example where it does not create an “undue hardship” on the employer. However, if the employer makes some simple adjustment so she doesn’t have to do this one task, that might get some flak from the guys. A simple discussion will be necessary.
Talk to the guys to spell out the law and the employer’s requirements. It shouldn’t be a law class, however, most people can understand the law. Perhaps at the end of the conversation, some of the guys won’t agree with it, but you don’t need agreement all the time. You just need them to know what is expected and if there is any grief to you or another employee, there can be consequences (but hopefully it doesn’t get that far). Let employees know that what you are doing is not something new or terribly special. It’s the law and the employer can be held liable if they don’t comply with the law. Just be sure you have the woman’s agreement that this discussion will be going on.
“I’ve heard some grumblings about how work is assigned and how Susan is no longer required to do one work task because she has some difficulty with it. We all know that Susan is no slacker and she has done weight training and has had added instruction to help her with this task. However, she and I have concluded that it makes no sense for her to kill herself just to do this one task. She can do it with the help of one of you guys, but we’ve decided that she’s no longer going to be required to do this task. However, she’s not sitting around twiddling her thumbs. She has agreed to take on another task that one of you guys would be doing instead. The law is very clear that if a person’s human rights are in play, we have to accommodate the employee to the point of undue hardship. After discussions with Human Resources, we concluded this new arrangement is nowhere near an undue hardship for us. We don’t want to lose Susan, who we all know is a great asset to this organization. Someone else would scoop her up and that would be our loss. I just want to make it clear that Susan is doing nothing wrong and neither are we. Therefore, I don’t want anyone bugging her about this. If you have issues with your work assignment, talk to me, not Susan or anyone else. And if you have more trouble understanding how this works, I’m more than happy to talk to you about it. Now do any of you have any questions....”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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