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”
Over the last several years there has been a lot more sensitivity shown in the workplace with regard to co-workers putting up pictures of near-naked women, provocative calendars, or other erotic or suggestive pinups. Many workplaces accept and understand these kinds of pictures can make employees uncomfortable.
Interestingly, women who put up pictures of provocative male poses, such as Fire Fighter or Chippendale calendars, often feel this is acceptable. Why is this? It could be because they feel they’re “getting back” at men, or “if it’s ok for the guys, it’s ok for us,” “it’s harmless,” or even “it doesn’t bother the guys.”
But we’re looking for respect and fairness in the workplace. Pinups and drawings, even in private places such as a locker, the bathroom or in an office, can lead to a hostile work environment. You can think of it this way – if a guy would get into trouble for pinning up a sexual picture, but a woman wouldn’t for pinning up something similar – where is the fairness? Plain and simple, all such material needs to be removed or not sent around via social media. But before you approach anyone else, make sure you are not contributing to the issue in your own area. If you have in the past, see "But I used to say that" for ideas on what to do.
Talk to the person one to one. Explain your concern about the pinup, and allow an exchange. If she says any of the above excuses, such as “it’s harmless” or “the guys don’t care,” then ask how she would feel if a sexual picture of women was pinned up. If she responds, “that’s different,” ask how so? Discuss that the workplace environment needs to be comfortable for everyone, and it doesn’t matter if no one has complained.
“I’d like to talk to you about the calendar you have posted at your desk. The picture is very suggestive, and I don’t feel it belongs in the workplace. We need to be respectful of all our employees, and the calendar is objectifying men.”
(after an excuse that it’s ok) “I understand you feel that way; however, I’m sure if a male co-worker put up a nearly-naked woman it would be a concern to you and/or to others. Even if you said that would be ok, either picture would make this place seem like it’s ok to treat people as objects.”
“Pictures such as these silently tell visitors, guests, and all our employees that we are fine with having sexy pictures. This is unprofessional – it doesn’t belong in the workplace. Having a picture like this at your desk also sends a message about you. We need to make sure we respect ourselves and have others respect us in turn.”
“It’s unfair to say men are ok with it. They might not feel comfortable telling you, as you might tease them about their sensitivity.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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