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”
Free speech and free assembly are very important aspects within Canadian culture and law. With that, there are plenty of times people say and do things we don’t like…in fact we might hate it. If these actions are in violation of the law, such as human rights law or the Criminal Code, then there’s a problem. And in those circumstances, an employer may take action against an employee, even when all the comments or actions are outside the workplace. Illegal activities can have a negative impact on the workplace, even if they are unrelated. However, let’s say in these circumstances, the white supremacist employee and their group are doing nothing illegal. Then that gets tougher for an employer to do anything, especially if the employee doesn’t say a word about it at work. For an employer to intervene, you’d have to show that the actions of the employee outside of work have a negative impact back at work or have some negative impact on the employer’s reputation.
Ask the concerned employee if her white supremacist colleague has ever said or done anything at work related to the repugnant issues. If there isn’t anything, then explain that from what you know, this colleague or the group has not done anything that is illegal. And from what you know, there’s nothing that is having a negative impact on our reputation. If there is, then you want to know about it and you could have a word with that particular employee. If not, the outside involvement of any employee is not a concern of the workplace. It’s a fine line, but speech and workplace employment is sometimes a balancing act.
“I know you’re concerned about the activities of your colleague. However, you’ve given me no indication that anything has been said at work and I’ve certainly not heard anything coming from this employee. We certainly have to look after our reputation, but part of that reputation is following the law and so far I don’t see any laws this employee has broken. If that changes, then please let me know.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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