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”
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.
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.
“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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