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

#33

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

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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.

 

TRY THIS:

 

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.

 

HOW ABOUT:

 

“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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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