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When Office Jokes Cross the Line

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Office workplaces bring individuals together, forming friendships and bonds that often last for years. However, having the ability to distinguish between friendly and casual office conversation and jokes that are crossing the line is important to understand office etiquette at all times regardless of your position. Having a clear understanding of how to properly communicate in your office workplace is a way to avoid potential issues and conflicts with any colleagues you are working with in your building.

Racial Jokes and Comments

Overhearing racial jokes and comments is one form of harassment that should not be tolerated within the workplace. Whether the individual telling the joke is of the minority they are referring to it is likely they are offending another. Keeping racial jokes and comments to yourself is imperative when you are working together with others regardless of how much of a sense of humor those in your work group have with one another.

Sexual Harassment 

Sexual harassment occurs in many offices around the world for both men and women. When jokes begin crossing the line they often include sexual innuendos or even inappropriate touching. Sexual jokes and harassment are not permitted in professional workplaces and should be reported immediately to higher-ups and individuals who are working in human resources. Be sure to document times and dates of any harassment you have dealt with along with details of the assault. If you know someone in the workplace who is being sexually harassed it is essential to inform them of their rights while taking a stand with them. Ridding sexual harassment in the workplace is not always simple, especially when it is a boss or individual in charge committing the acts, which is why it is important to consider legal counsel.

Personal and Degrading Humor

Singling out an individual in the workplace to embarrass or harass them is never acceptable in an office workplace. When an individual is being singled out and harassed in front of others it is a clear violation of ethics in the workplace and is also known as bullying.

The more you know about inappropriate office jokes or commentary the easier it is to determine the right steps to take in order to keep your position without drawing too much attention to yourself professionally. Whether you have been harassed or if you witness harassment on the job it is important to know how you are protected and when to seek legal counsel if an issue arises.

Have you or a loved one been a victim of harassment? Call 312.332.6733 or contact us online today to speak with one of our dedicated attorneys.