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Do your best to promote workplace civility, but don’t sweat faux pas that weren’t meant to offend

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Good employers strive to create a workplace that’s as respectful and civil as possible. Achieving that goal requires banning sexist, racist and ageist attitudes and talk. That not only improves overall morale, it also reduces the risk of lawsuits.

But even in organizations that try their best, supervisors and managers sometimes mess up. A poor choice of words or an ill-timed joke can create tension and inflame passions.

Mistakes like those don’t necessarily mean the employer is destined to lose if an employee sues. Judges understand that an isolated incident isn’t grounds for a lawsuit—as long as it isn’t obviously over-the-top.

Recent case: Mark Greco was 49 years old when he was hired by T-Mobile as a senior business analyst. He was 51 when he was fired for alleged poor performance. T-Mobile based the termination on an incident in which Greco lost his temper and got into a screaming match with a co-worker. That incident wa...(register to read more)

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