As an employer in Houston, it’s important to ensure that your place of work is welcoming for everyone. In this case, certain inappropriate behavior in the workplace can be extremely problematic, especially when supervisory personnel fail to intervene. To this end, your business could be subject to a damaging lawsuit, which can have a wide range of harmful effects.
As stated by Business Insider, there are a range of behaviors that can be considered inappropriate in a working environment. While it’s considered a less common form of discrimination, continuously questioning a worker about his or her family’s health history can be problematic. It’s not acceptable to inquire about a worker’s likelihood of contracting a serious illness based on family background, even when done in a joking manner.
Gendered language can also land an employer in hot water. Gender-neutrality is typically preferred in this case, as intimating that a person’s skills or abilities (or lack thereof) are based on gender is typically seen as inappropriate. In some cases it may even be construed as harassment, which is an actionable offense according to state and federal laws.
Religious topics should also be broached delicately. Unless a person is willing to openly discuss and disclose religious beliefs, it’s best to steer clear within a workplace. Even a seemingly innocent comments may be misconstrued, which can result in offense being taken. There are a range of other behaviors that should also be avoided. These include asking a person to represent an entire race or gender, inquiring when a person plans on retiring (which can be considered ageism) and generalizing about an ethnic group or race.