Many workers spend more time on the job than they do with family members. It is important that the workplace, where so many hours are spent, feels safe. Unfortunately, many employers do not make their offices safe. There may be inappropriate and offensive behavior. Recently, New York employment lawyer Parisis G. Filippatos, a partner at Phillips & Associates, provided the Augusta Free Press with helpful workplace etiquette rules that everyone should follow.
Mr. Parisis explained that there are certain tips that you can follow to help create a respectful work environment. It is important not to interfere in your colleagues’ personal lives. You may be close friends with a colleague who wants to share certain information about their life, but it is important to respect the colleague’s decision to keep certain things private. Not everyone wants to share information.
Sometimes a workplace is diverse, and a colleague adheres to a different culture or comes from a different place than you. It may be the case that a colleague has a different socioeconomic background. It is important for people who work together to respect differences and take their lead from others regarding whether they are comfortable talking about those differences.
When racial or sexual harassment creates a hostile work environment, a lawsuit becomes more likely. It is important to realize that complicated feelings or attractions can arise, yet you still need to make sure that they do not affect your work behavior. Often, unprofessional or illegal conduct like making vulgar comments, stalking, assault, or sending obscenities is caused by emotions left unchecked. If you face this type of behavior on the job, you should consult an experienced sexual harassment attorney. Neither you nor anyone else should need to face treatment that makes you feel endangered or violated.
Many people do not realize that they are taking steps that are hurtful or offensive. It is critical to realize that you cannot retrieve your words. Once you have said them, they are out there. In the workplace, you should be considerate and thoughtful with what you say. You should not use phrases or words that could harm other employees’ feelings.
In the workplace, you should pick your battles. Not every unprofessional behavior is equal to every other unprofessional behavior. Colleagues may irritate you, and it is important to step back and look at whether the actions are just annoying or rise to the level of offensive or harassing behavior.
There are instances in the workplace in which it is important to stand up for yourself. It is never acceptable for colleagues to sexually or racially harass, discriminate, or retaliate within the workplace. You should not tolerate comments that disparage you or others in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, gender, or race.
You should report any inappropriate conduct in the workplace to your supervisor. The main reason is that the employer will likely look at your concerns in an appropriate way, and reporting misconduct gives the employer a chance to fix it. Additionally, notifying the company creates a clear record of what transpired. In many cases, you must be able to show that you tried to obtain a resolution through the corrective opportunities that were provided by your employer, or you will not be able to obtain damages in a lawsuit. Your complaint should be in writing; email is a good method of creating documentation.
In general, it is wise to follow the Golden Rule when it is not clear what the appropriate course of action toward a colleague should be.
Consult an Experienced New York City Attorney
If you are not sure about your rights, you should seek legal advice. Mr. Filippatos and the other employment law attorneys at Phillips & Associates may be able to counsel and represent you. Our firm has experience fighting for workers on a range of different fronts. We handle lawsuits on behalf of clients in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn, as well as Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, and in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or contact us through our online form.