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上班不要乱讲乱话,后果可能很严重

上班不要乱讲乱话,后果可能很严重

Sophie Mellor 2022-05-09
工作场所的“玩笑”越来越多地被用作涉嫌歧视性言论或骚扰的辩护。

图片来源:GETTY IMAGES

重返办公室工作的乐趣之一就是和同事开玩笑。但新的研究表明,工作者们可能需要对他们在工作场所的调侃内容更加谨慎。

根据总部设在英国伦敦的雇佣律师事务所GQ Littler的数据,2021年英国雇佣法庭关于工作场所 “玩笑”的案件数量增加了45%。据该律师事务所称,英国雇佣法庭涉及雇员和雇主的与“玩笑”有关的案件数量从2020年的67起上升到2021年的97起。

该律师事务所写道:“在雇佣法庭上,律师越来越多地援引‘玩笑’作为涉嫌歧视和骚扰的辩护。”

据该律师事务所称,一名员工认为是玩笑或轻松的调侃,在法庭上,这个玩笑可能被另一名员工解释为欺凌或骚扰,特别是当歧视性的评论是针对某人的年龄、性别、国籍和/或种族。

这不仅仅是部门经理和老板的问题。据该律师事务所称,即使员工在工作时间外发表不恰当的评论,公司也会被认定对员工在雇佣过程中发表的言论负有替代责任。

GQ Littler律师事务所的高级合伙人丽莎·里克斯说:“工作场所的幽默很重要,它有助于鼓舞士气和减轻压力。然而,员工应该保持警惕,不让玩笑变成人身攻击。但这并不意味着工作场所乐趣的终结:员工们可以开笑话,只要这些玩笑不构成骚扰!”

开玩笑出问题了

最近,工作场所的玩笑成为头条新闻。

2021年9月,巴克莱银行(Barclays)的女员工安娜·拉卡图斯对该银行的雇佣诉讼胜诉,因为她说她的部门经理多次称女性为“鸟”。在她建议他不要使用这个词语后,她表示部门经理詹姆斯·金霍恩继续使用这个说法,让她感到不舒服。金霍恩、第二任经理阿弗纳沙·辛格和巴克莱银行被告上法庭,在法庭上,金霍恩说自己认为拉卡图斯已经认识到这些笑话是“轻松的玩笑”。

法院支持拉卡图斯,认为金霍恩的玩笑包含“性别歧视语言”。巴克莱银行在判决后发表声明称,金霍恩使用的语言“不恰当且不可接受”。

根据GQ Littler律师事务所的说法,还有其他一些涉嫌歧视性言论的案例,这些案例通常违反英国的《平等法》(Equality Act)所保护的民众权利。除了性别,这些涉嫌歧视性言论还包括在工作场所发表的对性取向、宗教、种族、残疾和年龄的歧视性言论。

该律师事务所指出,如果公司制定了“关于平等、多样性和包容性的最新而全面的政策”,这些案件是能够避免的,并补充说雇主还应该关注他们的工作场所文化,以确保工作场所文化专业、适当而有趣。

总而言之,该律师事务所对在工作场所开玩笑的建议很简单:己所不欲勿施于人。

里克斯说:“人们应该想一想,如果把这个笑话反过来讲给他们听,这个笑话听起来怎么样?如果被问及这些言论,他们是否会因为试图为这些言论辩护而感到不舒服。”(财富中文网)

译者:中慧言-王芳

重返办公室工作的乐趣之一就是和同事开玩笑。但新的研究表明,工作者们可能需要对他们在工作场所的调侃内容更加谨慎。

根据总部设在英国伦敦的雇佣律师事务所GQ Littler的数据,2021年英国雇佣法庭关于工作场所 “玩笑”的案件数量增加了45%。据该律师事务所称,英国雇佣法庭涉及雇员和雇主的与“玩笑”有关的案件数量从2020年的67起上升到2021年的97起。

该律师事务所写道:“在雇佣法庭上,律师越来越多地援引‘玩笑’作为涉嫌歧视和骚扰的辩护。”

据该律师事务所称,一名员工认为是玩笑或轻松的调侃,在法庭上,这个玩笑可能被另一名员工解释为欺凌或骚扰,特别是当歧视性的评论是针对某人的年龄、性别、国籍和/或种族。

这不仅仅是部门经理和老板的问题。据该律师事务所称,即使员工在工作时间外发表不恰当的评论,公司也会被认定对员工在雇佣过程中发表的言论负有替代责任。

GQ Littler律师事务所的高级合伙人丽莎·里克斯说:“工作场所的幽默很重要,它有助于鼓舞士气和减轻压力。然而,员工应该保持警惕,不让玩笑变成人身攻击。但这并不意味着工作场所乐趣的终结:员工们可以开笑话,只要这些玩笑不构成骚扰!”

开玩笑出问题了

最近,工作场所的玩笑成为头条新闻。

2021年9月,巴克莱银行(Barclays)的女员工安娜·拉卡图斯对该银行的雇佣诉讼胜诉,因为她说她的部门经理多次称女性为“鸟”。在她建议他不要使用这个词语后,她表示部门经理詹姆斯·金霍恩继续使用这个说法,让她感到不舒服。金霍恩、第二任经理阿弗纳沙·辛格和巴克莱银行被告上法庭,在法庭上,金霍恩说自己认为拉卡图斯已经认识到这些笑话是“轻松的玩笑”。

法院支持拉卡图斯,认为金霍恩的玩笑包含“性别歧视语言”。巴克莱银行在判决后发表声明称,金霍恩使用的语言“不恰当且不可接受”。

根据GQ Littler律师事务所的说法,还有其他一些涉嫌歧视性言论的案例,这些案例通常违反英国的《平等法》(Equality Act)所保护的民众权利。除了性别,这些涉嫌歧视性言论还包括在工作场所发表的对性取向、宗教、种族、残疾和年龄的歧视性言论。

该律师事务所指出,如果公司制定了“关于平等、多样性和包容性的最新而全面的政策”,这些案件是能够避免的,并补充说雇主还应该关注他们的工作场所文化,以确保工作场所文化专业、适当而有趣。

总而言之,该律师事务所对在工作场所开玩笑的建议很简单:己所不欲勿施于人。

里克斯说:“人们应该想一想,如果把这个笑话反过来讲给他们听,这个笑话听起来怎么样?如果被问及这些言论,他们是否会因为试图为这些言论辩护而感到不舒服。”(财富中文网)

译者:中慧言-王芳

Part of the fun of going back into the office means joking around with colleagues. But new research indicates workers may need to be more careful about what they quip about in the workplace.

The number of U.K. employment court cases concerning the use of “banter” in the workplace rose 45% in the last year, according to GQ Littler, a London-based employment law firm. And the number of employment tribunals—court cases in the U.K. involving employees and employers—related to ‘banter’ went from 67 in 2020 to 97 in 2021, according to the firm.

“‘Banter’ has increasingly been invoked in employment tribunals as a justification for alleged discrimination and harassment,” the firm wrote.

What one employee thinks is banter or light-hearted teasing can be construed as bullying or harassment by another in a court of law, according to the firm, particularly when the discriminatory comments are directed at someone's age, sex, nationality, and/or race.

This isn't just a problem for line managers and bosses. Companies can be found vicariously liable for comments made by staff in the course of employment, even if the comments deemed inappropriate were made outside working hours, according to the law firm.

“Humor in the workplace is important—it can help boost morale and reduce stress. However, employees should be wary of making jokes that stray into offensive territory,” said Lisa Rix, senior associate at GQ Littler. “But this doesn’t mean the end of workplace fun: It is possible to make jokes which don’t constitute harassment!”

Banter gone wrong

Workplace teasing has made headlines recently.

Last September, Ana Lacatus, a female Barclays employee, won an employment lawsuit against the bank after she said her line manager repeatedly referred to women as “birds.” After she suggested he not use that phrase, she says the line manager, James Kinghorn, continued to use the expression to make her feel uncomfortable. In the tribunal brought against Kinghorn; a second manager, Avneesh Singh; and Barclays, Kinghorn said he thought that she had recognized the jokes were “light-hearted banter.”

The court sided with Lacatus, concluding that Kinghorn's attempt to be ironic “used sexist language.” Barclays later released a statement after the ruling saying that said the language used by Kinghorn was “inappropriate and not acceptable.”

There are several other cases of derogatory references often made at the expense of characteristics protected under the U.K.'s Equality Act, according to GQ Littler. Beyond gender, these include discrimination in workplace against sexual orientation, relgion, race, disability, and age.

The firm notes that these cases could be avoided if companies institute “up-to-date and comprehensive policies on equality, diversity, and inclusion," adding employers should also keep an eye on their workplace culture to make sure it is professional and appropriate, as well as fun.

All in all, the law firm’s advice about workplace banter is simple: Treat others the way you want to be treated.

“People should think about how that joke would sound being repeated back to them and whether they would feel uncomfortable trying to justify the comments if questioned about them,” Rix said.

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