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Oct. 5—“If she's pregnant, she doesn't want a career,” although “in many respects women are people too.”
These are not comments one would expect to hear in any 21st century workplace, but according to a survey by British law firm Thomas Mansfield, these statements and many at least equally offensive are not uncommon.
As partner Meredith Hurst said in a post on the firm's blog, “Legalities in an office/workplace can be very difficult. What some people see as ‘banter' others see as ‘bullying.' Flippant comments can have heavy repercussions for both employers and employees. Making sure a zero-tolerance culture is implemented is always the best solution but this said, there are stillgoing to be cases where people are offended by comments made.”
Among the “most shocking” comments reported to Thomas Mansfield, in addition to those above, were:
• “You can't contribute. You're only 20.”
• “Bisexuals are just greedy.”
• “She's only here because she knows somebody.”
• “Eat your lettuce and shut up” rather than brag about your diet.
• “The French are always on strike.”
• “Why is he so angry? Must be ginger [redhead] rage.”
• “She's tiny. She's the perfect height for a . . . .”
The conclusion of the final comment Ms. Hurst left to the reader's imagination.
To contact the reporter on this story: Rick Vollmar at email@example.com
The Thomas Mansfield blog post is available at http://www.thomasmansfield.com/blog/posts/offence-in-the-workplace.
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