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

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#26

WHEN AN EMPLOYEE MAKES DEROGATORY COMMENTS
ABOUT A COLLEAGUE BEING SHORT

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In the past, general bullying in the workplace wasn’t protected by law (for the most part). Most laws and policies used to just protect the human rights grounds, such as sex, race, place of origin, etc. However, for years, workplace policies included all forms of bullying and many provinces caught up with these with similar protections through health and safety legislation.

 

However, even if you live in a Canadian jurisdiction without general bullying protection and even if your workplace doesn’t include similar protections, there is nothing stopping people at work from taking action to deal with derogatory comments about a person’s height. Often short or tall people are expected to go along with jokes and inappropriate comments…but they shouldn’t have to.

 

TRY THIS:

 

Tell the employee to knock off the comments about their colleague being short. If policies and laws cover general bullying, you can mention the more formal protections. However, whether you have these protections or not, you can just let the person know that inappropriate comments about a person’s height…or any characteristics…is unacceptable.

 

HOW ABOUT:

 

“There’s no reason any employee has to put up with derogatory comments about height, weight, or any other characteristic about them. Whether we call this bullying or just inappropriate behaviour, it’s unacceptable. There’s no indication this employee enjoys these kinds of comments or thinks they are funny, so please stop making these kinds of comments. I’d like your word that you won’t say anything more and it appears that can be the end of it. If you carry on in any similar fashion, then we’ll have to talk about formal discipline…but I’m sure we can avoid that.”

 

 

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