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”
Most Canadians need workable knowledge of one (or sometimes both) of our official languages. Sometimes that’s not a requirement because of the tasks involved in the job, or they may have another person who can translate for them – of course that’s the choice of the employer to allow that. For all other jobs, you need to speak English or French, depending on the working language of your workplace. However sometimes the employer thinks a person’s English is good enough while an employee is unwilling to work with that person, saying their English skills aren’t good enough. Sometimes the concerns are legitimate, such as when safety is an issue. Other times it might be a bit frustrating as conversations need to be repeated. However, let’s say our example involves the employee’s English being “good enough” and not a safety risk, but you have to convince the other employee to keep working with this employee.
It’s best to acknowledge frustrations or concerns about the language skills of your colleague. Then it’s important to listen to the concerns the employee has over the language skills of their co-worker and why he feels he can’t work with him. While language, on its own is not a protected ground of discrimination in most of Canada, there are other protections, that depending on the circumstances, could bring in the protections of race, ancestry, and place of origin. Again, it depends on each unique situation. You don’t want this employee or your workplace to get enmeshed in a formal human rights case, or lose a good employee, as tensions can get high around language.
“I understand your frustration understanding everything Wei says and how you sometimes have to repeat yourself to ensure he completely understands what you tell him. However, from what you’ve told me, this doesn’t come down to a safety problem because you ensure there is proper communication when something might get dangerous at work. I thank you for being diligent on that, as you should be. However, I need us to work things out so you will continue to work with Wei. He’s been very good about improving his English and he continues to do so. From the employers perspective, while we know his English isn’t perfect, we think it’s good enough and we are glad he’s getting much better. Let’s talk about the problems you’ve encountered and the effective ways you can ensure there is proper communication…”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
Stephen's NEW Book