Steps to Take When Your Boss Makes Inappropriate Comments
Your workplace should be a place where you feel safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, there are many instances of inappropriate behavior that can take place at work, and it can be particularly awkward if the inappropriate behavior is coming from someone who is in charge. If a coworker makes an inappropriate comment or crude joke, your first instinct may be to tell your boss, but when your boss is the source of the behavior, you may not know what to do. Here are some steps to keep in mind.
Consider offering a polite correction
Responding to inappropriate comments is situationally dependent. If the comment takes the form of a joke that your boss may not realize is offensive, it can be okay to bring it up in the moment with a polite correction. Stay away from accusations with language like “That’s racist” and instead ask a question to bring light to potential insensitivity, such as “What do you mean by that?”
Report the incident to HR
It isn’t always practical to speak up in the moment, especially if it is not the first incident that’s made you uncomfortable. Instead of saying something to your boss directly, file a complaint with your company’s HR department. This way, you won’t potentially involve yourself in direct conflict, and you will have an established record of inappropriate behavior if it does continue.
Talk to an attorney
Because it can be so tricky to navigate uncomfortable situations in the workplace, it never hurts to talk to an attorney about the situation. This will give you complete perspective on your options for recourse, whether that means reporting your employer to the National Labor Relations Board or simply keeping a track record with HR.
Mesch Clark Rothschild is a regionally recognized leader in Arizona employment law, and they can provide expert insight on your situation to help you resolve discrimination or harassment in the workplace. If you are looking for legal advice regarding your boss’s inappropriate comments, call (520) 624-8886 to schedule a consultation.