Workplace harassment takes on many forms making it difficult to tell the difference between normal office banter and offensive or unlawful behavior. Companies need to be aware that employees have different backgrounds, senses of humor, sensitivities, and disabilities. Good humor to one person may be perceived as offensive to another.
Business owners have the primary responsibility to set the tone for their organization and to make sure the managers and employees understand
Sometimes even well-intended managers act in ways that they’re ashamed of. Take Jan, for example. Jan is known for his slightly off-key and mildly insulting humor — it’s even been noted as one of his strengths. He gets the laughs. But he’s told me that he cringes every time he makes a joke at someone else’s expense. He despises the fact that his behavior directly contradicts his personal values. And yet he continues. Then there’s Marty, who is lauded for her ability to pick t