Offensive Music At Work

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about offensive music:

After several months at my job I have been told I HAVE to have music pumped into my workspace. The loudness is one issue (I have seen the info in your archives) but my main concern is that many of the songs are of the rap/hip hop genre which have some sexual lyrics that offend me. I cannot wear earplugs and have been told it HAS to be on at a loud level. Any feedback would be appreciated

Signed, Given No Choice

DearĀ Given No Choice:

For a precise legal opinion you should seek an attorney who specializes in labor issues. Most will provide a free consultation, usually by phone. We can provide you with some thoughts and perspectives that might be helpful as you decide what to do. As you note from our archives, music in the workplace is often the subject of debate. From clothing stores to grocery stores and from warehouses to dentist’s offices, many, many businesses have music on speakers throughout the work area. Usually it’s not possible for the music to be shut-off in small areas. And, from an organization’s viewpoint, there may be a perceived business reason to have music in the background in everyone’s workspace.I seem to be unable to mentally tune-out such “background” music,and am always surprised when others say they don’t hear it at all or they are so used to it they no longer notice it. So, I can empathize with your frustration about it.It’s unfortunate you didn’t know, at the time you were hired, that this would happen. However, unless you can show that some aspect of your civil rights are being violated, you have little or no recourse but to either tolerate it or quit your job and let your employer know the reason why.

read more