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”
It’s tough to tell someone that they just have to “suck it up”…or perhaps something way more polite than that. An employee might feel they are right and they just have to get a person at the next level to see the light. Take someone like Dianna Janzen and Tracey Govereau, who went through years of litigation, winning, somewhat winning, losing and then ultimately winning at the Supreme Court of Canada for the sexual harassment they endured while waitresses at a restaurant in Winnipeg. If they, and other parties gave up when Manitoba’s top court knocked them right down, we wouldn’t have had the Canadian definition from our top court for years to come. So when someone at work keeps fighting and appealing, they might just be right. Many, many (I mean many) workplaces think they have done a good job, even doing what they think is a thorough investigation, and they get slam dunked in the courts or some tribunal. But this issue is where you know (and truly know) the person feels something, but it isn’t a violation of your policies or laws or common sense.
When this kind of situation happens, you have to do your best job to explain that thoughtful people have looked it over and you are not going to take the action the person wants. It’s not easy, but you have to find a way to say “move on.” If they can’t, the unfortunately alternative is that they have to “move out.” Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
“We have been talking about your complaint for a long time. We have now exhausted every avenue in our workplace. It’s not that we think you’re lying. You’ve give us your facts, arguments and reasons why we need to take some action. After thoroughly looking at all the evidence, we have come to a different conclusion and I believe we have explained the reasoning. You don’t accept it. Unless you can tell me how we’re going to get past this…I have to ask you to get past this. People see things differently and you see this situation different than we do. I want you to think about how you can move on, so that others can move on too. Why don’t you think about it overnight and we’ll talk about it tomorrow.”
When tomorrow comes, hopefully the person has come to realize the complaint must come to a close…for everyone’s sake. If not, then you have to say, “I can’t have you disrupting the workplace any further with this. You need to move on, or we need to talk about alternatives to working here. I do not want that, so please, let’s find a way to move past this.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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