Problem Supervisor

Question:

I am a manager of a department. I have a supervisor who reports directly to me and she supervises 20 employees. One employee who is a foreign born national, came to me today to tell me that the supervisor treats him differently than other employees when it comes to discipline. When I asked for examples of such treatment, he as able to provide me with documentation of dates and time where he was counseled and threatened with write ups by the supervisor and others were not for the same issues.

He also said that she yells at him in front of other employees and customers and he feels embarrassed and that she sometimes makes fun of his accent.

All of the above is a recipe for an EEOC complaint and I intend to meet with the supervisor ASAP. However, I would like advice on how best to handle this meeting with her – Your suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you, KD

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My Role In A Meeting About Racist Remark Complaint

Question:

I have made a complaint to the AA coordinator about racist remarks by a coworker, and an investigation was initiated. Monday morning our clerical union rep, me, the person accused, and the Affirmative Action coordinator are meeting. I have approached the accused before about this and she consistently lies and denies, so I made a formal complaint.

My question to you is how should I prepare myself for the meeting, as in, what type of guidelines, questions I should ask, consequences I should recommend (management asked what I would like to happen) and how do defend myself when the accused may lie/deny everything I have heard her say?

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Racial Comment

Question:

I overheard one of my employees, who is white, talking about getting out of a ticket to another employee, who is black. The second employee was teasing the first about getting out of a ticket from the police and the first employee said, “I wasn’t drinking and I’m white”. The second laughed, however I need to talk to the first employee about this statement. I just don’t know exactly how to word this to him. Any suggestions?

Signed,

Uncertain

Answer:

Dear Uncertain:

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How Do I File A Discrimination Complaint?

Question:

I am a Native American woman and on a daily basis I have interactions with a co-worker who is black.

On several occasions she has made rude and insulting comments about my heritage and my Native Amerian faith.

What would be the best way to place a formal complaint to my employer and to the state?

Signed,

Upset and Wondering

Answer:

Dear Upset and Wondering:

Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. In a situation like this, talk to your employer–or the HR section for your employer–first. The purpose of going to governmental agencies is to find a resolution when your employer has not done so. Put your complaint in writing. You may want to start it by saying that you enjoy your job and want to ensure that the work environment is good for everyone. Then, you can state the general problem that has concerned you. After that, list the approximate dates, or general time frame of each event, and what was said or done. Also note what you did about it at the time. For example, if you indicated you did not like the remark, or if you frowned and left the room, or whatever. You are not required to react at the time, but it does help to show that your co-worker was aware you did not like the remarks. Sometimes employees joke back and forth and get so caught up in the joking they don’t realize they have stepped over a line.

State anything else about each event that would help explain it to others. List witnesses, or describe the facial expression or other behaviors, of the person making the remark.

It may also be useful to state what your interactions are like otherwise. If you get along otherwise, that is good to know. If you have ongoing conflicts that is also worthwhile to note. It is also a good way for you to evaluate the totality of the situation.

In your memo say that you would like to have the matter investigated and are available to discuss it at any time. That makes it clear that you DO want something done–if only making sure your co-worker stops the remarks.

Take or send your memo to your immediate supervisor. You may want to verbally reiterate that your primary purpose is to have an effective workplace. Then, wait for a response. If, after about a week, you haven’t heard anything, ask again. If there still is no action, THEN you can go to government resources. The federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunities, listed in the yellow pages, would be the best place to check.

I’m betting though that you will find your organization to be very concerned if another employee has said or done anything inappropriate concerning your ethnic background or any aspect of it.

What you will want to be careful about is to make sure you are not seen as using this issue to create problems for someone you don’t like, merely for that reason. Have your facts straight and write each allegation clearly. Show yourself to be logical and reasonable, but firm, about the things that have happened.

If your email address is an indication of your employer, you should have ample support and assistance for any complaints you make that can be verified. If you feel you are not getting that support, ask to talk to a supervisor about how the matter is perceived by others. That may lead to a resolution as well.

Best wishes with this matter. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

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Called Me A Fat F#@k8#^ Bi-Polar Bitch!

Question:

I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask this or not. I’m really at a loss. I’m currently employed at a private country club. It has recently come to my attention that the Executive Chef has referred to me as, pardon the language, a “fat fucking bi polar bitch”. His words came to me directly from his Sous Chef, who works directly below him in the chain of comm. and. I’m not doubting this as he has called me “bi polar” to my face on several occasions as “a joke” in his words. Now, I take offense to this. I have also heard him talking about other employees out loud in public areas using the “N” word in reference to African American employees and joking about not having a green card with Hispanic employees. His Sous Chef asked me to not go to the general manager with his name because he fears for his job. The general manager has also just put into effect a new dispute resolution policy today of all days, where the employee must contact his direct supervisor with any complaints. The Chef IS my direct supervisor! How can I handle this? Thank You.

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Black And Incompetent?

Question:

I have been employed at the same company for fifteen years. There is a black woman in her early 60’s that was hired by a former manager. This woman has been with the company for 10 yrs. The former manager to assistant trust officer promoted her. Although she has been with company for 10 years she still has no idea what she is doing. She continually makes mistakes and cost the company money but management is afraid to fire her because she is an older black woman. Isn’t this reverse discrimination to the white employees? I believe if I had made as many mistakes and cost the company as much as she has I would no longer be there. It’s very difficult for some of the other employee’s because we are expected to watch out for her and check her work to make sure she doesn’t make mistakes. Isn’t this discrimination?

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What Is Known About Different Work Cultures?

Question:

What cultural issues may an employer need to take into account concerning communication, uniforms, beliefs, and traditions? I am a year 12 high school student in New Zealand studying Marketing. The question I have concerns my perception of one of many parts to a workplace communications assignment. Being from New Zealand and having never been overseas I haven’t got to experience many cultural differences. What is normal? I have studied the Maori (native New Zealand culture) in school so I am somewhat aware of different customs. Maybe you have encountered or know information that would be really interesting. That would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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