Tuesday, October 6, 2015

#bald because of work

Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Life,

In my line of work, with people, there are all kinds of quirky things that are manifested. For instance, the other day, a guy that was going to start work (like, his first day), called to tell us that he couldn't start THAT day because his niece had been kidnapped and he needed to do what he could to collect the ransom and that he was sure it would be fine tomorrow...really? Remind me to put him in my address book in the event that I need a quick resolver to my kidnapping issues. And I say this totally tongue in cheek. I would wish that situation upon no one, but we have photographic evidence and clear knowledge that he wasn't collecting a ransom. Rather, resting from a long party weekend. Advice: if you have cousins or friends or family members that work in the same company, chances are those pics of you all strung out with your lady friends, will make it's rounds...potentially all the way to HR. And REALLY? KIDNAPPING is the ONLY excuse you could scrape from the bottom of the barrel? Not just that you were sick? Or something?

I'm also astounded by the frequency of blatant disregard of FED-ER-AL regulations. Common things, like Harassment law. And these examples are not coming from things I've seen in the organizations I've worked for (I'm totally relieved for that), but, things other professionals have talked over, things that have been brought up at State conferences, etc. For instance:

Any time you call an Asian woman a "chow mein", or if you ask her if she has problems seeing through her slanted eyes, you're begging for a kick in the teeth...or a bite out of your wallet by means of hard core litigation. And please, don't be blind by thinking that only your company will take heat for your lack of professionalism. New laws allow personal liability as well.

Any time you try to intimidate someone out of a position, by being a hole, or by pressing your people unnecessarily because you don't want to term them (to avoid paying unemployment), you're violating the law. This, friends, is called HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT. Did you know that bullying is now included as harassment? All disparaging, false, malicious, obnoxious, intent to harm comments are putting yourself in a position that creates personal and organizational liability, AKA law suit. All to avoid paying unemployment. If you have a person who cannot adequately perform, do the right thing, properly document, use every opportunity to show that you've trained, provided tools, and then progressively disciplined. There's a correct way to terminate...that doesn't make you look like a jerk and doesn't open your doors for scrutiny or fines.

Any time you move someone (who came forward to make a harassment complaint) out of a department because you just think it'll be easier on them, you risk (highly) a retaliation claim. Unless THEY have asked for it. Sometimes, your petty efforts to make nice, really create shoe-in for retaliation cases.

At any time, as a manager, if you listen to an 'off-the-record' claim, and do nothing about it, you risk a harassment claim. As a ward of the organization, you have a DUTY to bring claims forward and protect the company. The law is applied to organizations who are aware of harassment as well as organizations who SHOULD HAVE KNOWN about those issues.

Any time you demand a standard of your people that you're not applying yourself as a manager, you risk losing the trust and respect of your team. Double standards will prove only one thing: you're a poor manager.

Yes, Life, I'm griping. Because so many of these things lack common sense!! Why is it so difficult to treat people like people? Why do we become less humane with one group of people than another? And I know there's a lame amount of law and regulation that applies to nit-picky situations, but it's because there have been circumstances that have CAUSED THESE PROTECTIONS TO BE PUT INTO PLACE.

That's all. Play nice. Know your rights and obligations.

And for heaven's sakes, TELL THE TRUTH!

The end.

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