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Dealing with workplace harassment, bullying and discrimination to create a respectful workplace

Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

ARTICLES

#22

WHEN SEVERAL EMPLOYEES MAKE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, WHO IS NOT PRESENT, AND OUTSIDE OF WORK

 

While this scenario is on someone’s own time, it’s still something that has gotten back to someone at work…or you are one of the people who is part of the group making the derogatory comments outside work and perhaps you don’t like what is being said. If the comments made outside work end up getting back to the person others are talking about, it could be considered harassment or bullying if it fits into one of the legal definitions. If it doesn’t go that far, it’s most likely to be hurtful (unless the person doesn’t really care about the opinions of those making the derogatory comments). In this situation, let’s assume you weren’t there when the comments were made, but you heard about them back at work…and we’ll assume what you heard was in fact true (the derogatory comments, not whether there is truth to what they said).

 

TRY THIS:

 

Talk to one or more of the people who made the comments and let them know that you are not going to interfere with what goes in their personal lives and on their personal time…especially if it has no negative impact back at work. But point out that if you heard about these comments, there’s a good chance others did as well, including the person they were speaking about. We’re not always going to have the courage, or desire, to speak directly to someone who is “bugging” them, but if there is a better alternative than to “blow off steam” behind a colleague’s back, perhaps they could improve the relationship by being direct with the employee they were speaking about.

 

HOW ABOUT:

 

“What you do on your own time is up to you and I’m not going to babysit everything you say and do outside work…however, since I heard about your conversation, there’s a good chance others will have heard it too, including the colleague you were speaking about. If you have a problem with this employee, I’d encourage you to talk to him directly. If it’s not that big a deal and you really don’t want to speak to this person directly, I’d suggest you not speak behind people’s back…in the same way you don’t want others to speak behind your back. And if you don’t want to control the conversations of others, you can at least do your part and not get involved, or try to steer the conversation towards more interesting discussions. Just a thought.”

 

 

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

 

If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.

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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