Perceived Harassment

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by W.C. Dean, Feb 17, 2020.

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  1. W.C. Dean

    W.C. Dean Puritan Board Freshman

    Greetings, I recently got my first official job (operating a roller coaster at a theme park) and I have to read and understand some documents, and one of them pertains to the Equal Opportunity workspace laws, and particularly I'm wondering about the harassment codes. It states that any verbal or written communication that is directed at a person or persons because of their religion or sexual identity that is seen as offensive by them is harassment, and I could fired for it. Would this mean I would have to (in very specific situations) have to keep my mouth shut on my Christianity, or parts of my Christianity to keep my job? For example if a future coworker asked me something about my views on gays, or other religions, and I answered truthfully, am in danger of losing my job? I'm not too concerned about this happening, I won't hide my religion but I also don't plan on making a habit of discussing my theological problems with Muslims and homosexuals. Obviously it's worth it to defend the faith and lose my job. Looking for some advice here. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  2. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    My advice is to work with quietness and eat your own bread. As much as lies within you, you must seek to live at peace with all men. So, do not raise controversial points unnecessarily, but, when questioned, try to explain your perspective as politely as possible.
     
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  3. wcf_linux

    wcf_linux Puritan Board Freshman

    Honestly, it depends on who at the Human Resources department hears the complaint, and how angry the complaining coworker is. It pays to get to know your coworkers, both to know what pleasant interactions you might have with them and to know who is likely to be trouble. Remember that you're always not just talking to the person you are talking to, but to everyone who might reasonably overhear you.

    If someone asks, I would still suggest you politely suggest that it's not a workplace-appropriate topic or broadly hint that they might not like your answer. If they press the issue and you then answer in a way that is truthful and not needlessly antagonistic, you will probably be okay unless someone in the chain is a bit of a zealot.

    Also, remember Matthew 7:6: "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." If you know someone is hostile to the faith, then don't let them steer the conversation in a way that gives them a chance to run to HR with a (hopefully) exaggerated account of how hurtful you were. Don't deny your faith, but that doesn't mean you have to volunteer to be an axe for someone to grind.
     
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  4. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Yes, and never forget the wise counsel of Admiral Akbar.

    Someone asks you a loaded question, the proper response, particularly if in the midst of a driving rain, is "nice weather today, isn't it?" Stay away from discussions of religion, race, sex, gender, personal relationships, etc.
     
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  5. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Junior

    Sometimes an intern or temp will ask me a question, and I will humorously answer them with a most unhelpful reply: "You're doing it wrong; you need to do it right." Gives them a laugh.

    Christ did that when asked about taxation. Since it was a trap and He knew it, Christ with a serpent's wisdom gives an answer that is true and right, but so broad that it helps no one resolve the question.

    Had it been someone who really wanted to learn, the answer would be different.

    No need to give pearls to those whom you know will trample them. We are forbidden to answer scoffers and mockers. Though, if circumstances permit a discussion, a Biblical answer may be the means of saving a soul. Part of salt and light is discharge of lawful duties, but also an honest and wise seasonable testimony to the truth.

    I do wonder if we are usually guilty of saying too little. I oftentimes regret not the things I have said, but things I haven't.

    If the worst happens (or I should say best, if you count yourself blessed to suffer with Christ, and you count yourself as gaining an exceedingly great reward), losing a job is not a sign of a lack of wisdom. Some are out to kill for liberal indoctrination, and we were told to count the cost. And, when that sweet moment of revenge comes, give food and drink to those who hurt you. Burning coals, and true overcoming of evil.

    But as 1 Thessalonians(?) 1 says, your suffering for righteousness is an affirmation of your salvation, and a testimony of their destruction, and they will feel it in their conscience.

    That too is a powerful witness.
     
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  6. Seeking_Thy_Kingdom

    Seeking_Thy_Kingdom Puritan Board Freshman

    The route I took was to make sure that everyone knew I was a dedicated Christian and I act at work accordingly. I read my Bible or other texts on lunch breaks and when people ask why I don’t go to the Xmas lunch or debate the NFL scores I explain to them why.

    I work with several gay men, one is ‘married’ the other comes in boots with heels. They know I am a Christian and that I do not treat them any different than anyone else, but interestingly enough they also know not to approach me on the subject and neither do I discuss it with them. I have had other coworkers blaspheme Christ in front of me and then apologize and I have had more than a few heated debates on abortion.

    I may be lucky that I am in the more conservative Central California, I don’t think I would be as accepted in the major cities.

    Be cunning as serpents and innocent as doves, pick your battles wisely.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  7. Charles Johnson

    Charles Johnson Puritan Board Freshman

    Harassment is unsolicited.
    If they ask you what you think, the response, barring some exceptional circumstances, is solicited.
     
  8. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    The "Invited Comment" defense might work. But it is unwise to count on it doing so.
     
  9. wcf_linux

    wcf_linux Puritan Board Freshman

    H.R. departments sometimes have nonstandard definitions of “harassment”, as conveniently-timed H.R. all-hands reminded me. :)
     
  10. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    The intention of the accused is irrelevant. All that matter is the subjective perception of the accuser.

    I had a co-worker dragged before HR on a bias complaint. His offense? He spoke with a southern accent and it triggered the secretary with thoughts of slavery.
     
  11. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    So, was there a resolution to the complaint? Did he have to undergo speech therapy?

    (I'm only half joking....nothing surprises me these days)
     
  12. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I think this is good advice. I usually follow something along these lines.

    To the persistent I might get a little direct: "that question is not relevant to my work."

    I once admonished a deputy prosecutor for mocking God while he was talking to various employees in a clerk's office. But it was easy for me because I am self-employed.
     
  13. Wretched Man

    Wretched Man Puritan Board Freshman

    I once had a gay boss who was always very respectful to me and would often ask about my family. At one point I heard rumors he was engaged (to another guy) and I greatly feared the quandary I’d face in how to respond if he ever shared the news with me... would I be condoning homosexuality if I offered the expected “congratulations”? And if I offered anything short of that, would it put my job security at risk? Fortunately he never shared the news with me.

    Generally speaking, I have shied away from expressing my faith in the work place (which I’ve struggled with - am I hiding the light I’ve received?). Though I will say various opportunities have arisen for me to share the Gospel with people after spending months or even years of developing relationships with them. I have found these to be extremely profitable because you have shown you care about them and they are thus more open to hearing you out. That said, be prepared or even anticipate an awkward interaction and subsequent falling out with them. Ultimately the Gospel is offensive to those who reject it.
     
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