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

 

While Canada’s Christian population is declining and our non- Christian religions are growing, there is still a great deal of interest in the celebration of Christmas. I don’t think it’s too far off the mark to say it’s the biggest religious celebration in our country. (Yes, for the truly religious, I think Easter may be bigger, but it doesn’t have the same participation in Canada as Christmas.) And according to the last census, 1 in 4 Canadians said they had “no religious affiliation.” Again, that doesn’t mean all those people are atheists or don’t like the celebration of Christmas, but we have to realize that a number of people don’t like religion. But how do you balance the large number of people who like to celebrate Christmas, even at work, and those who say religion – even Christmas – should not be forced on others in the workplace? It’s not always easy.

 

Every workplace gets to decide what celebrations they recognize. And if “recognizing” is going too far, at least which ones they allow employees to celebrate in some way. If it’s “no outward displays of any kind,” that’s fair enough. If it’s “full blown symbols and celebrations” that’s fair too. As long as employees don’t have to take part in a religious celebration, then it shouldn’t be a problem. Just try to understand where people come from on this issue.

 

TRY THIS:

 

Tell employees who aren’t happy with Christmas decorations, they don’t have to put up any in their work space. While it’s obvious they aren’t about to, explain that this is a big Canadian celebration, for many religious, for others family and for others it’s a happy time. There is no company policy saying everyone has to sing Christmas carols or take part in the celebration, but we shouldn’t take away the enjoyment others derive from some simple participation in the holiday. Christmas decorations are a part of the celebration for many people and you don’t think it makes sense to take that away from everyone.

 

HOW ABOUT:

 

“I understand you don’t like the Christmas decorations in our workplace and no one asked you to put them up, or to revel in them. However, Christmas is a huge Canadian celebration and the simple participation of our workplace and a number of our employees in putting up some decorations doesn’t hurt anyone. If you’d like other religious celebrations to be recognized, I think that’s a good idea and we should be including others in their celebrations. If you don’t want to see any religious recognition at work, that’s a different matter. As long as you’re not being forced to participate, I think it’s a good compromise. And I’m sure you don’t have to shield your eyes every time you walk past the decorations, because if you did that, you’d be shielding your eyes from our entire country from about mid-November until the first week of January.”

 

 

Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP

If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.

#29

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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