!!politics (kinda)

Here’s a gem from our recent harassment and diversity training at work:

Speaker: “All of these things are protected from discrimination in California! Wow! It’s a huge list, isn’t it? Now let me ask you a question: is a single white male under 40 protected?”

Everyone: *crickets*

Fucking really?
After immediately jumping on all of the other speaker’s questions, you can’t answer this one?

And later, here’s another gem:

Speaker: “If you witness an employee harassing another employee outside of work and work hours, completely unrelated to work, should you report it? What if you ask the person being harassed and she says no?”

Speaker: “Always report it! While it’s not *technically* required by law, you must report it! Why? Because you have the same protections she would! And maybe it’s easier for you to say something than for her.” (Surprise gendering was her own addition)

Fair on that last point, but against the person’s wishes? Totally not cool. Maybe it wasn’t harassment, or you don’t know the situation. Heads up: you probably don’t. Or maybe it wasn’t a big deal at all, but you think it’s earth-shattering. But all that reporting it against someone’s wishes does is create drama and possibly legal trouble. And if it wasn’t harassment or the case goes poorly, you just created enemies for yourself, or for one or both of them if you’re reporting it anonymously, and possibly even ruined one or both of their jobs/careers by doing so. Good fucking job, asshole.

Snitches get stitches.

  • 24
    There was also a lot of questions like this gem from the CEO: “is it harassment or illegal to fire someone if we see a video of them attending a political rally we don’t like, say for the current administration?”

    To which the speaker said: “No, it isn’t harassment or bias to fire someone if they’re a white supremacist and they attend a protest against the peaceful removal of statues”

    Exact fucking words.

    Waaaay out on left field there. Like holy crap that’s a leap.

    I don’t know how much longer I can stand being around these people.
  • 2
    The only people I know that would do it better would never do this for a living because they are healthy people with a desire to create something new.
  • 4

    Is this really legal...

    .... ?!

    (I don't doubt what @Root said, and America is worse than most Mexican telenovelas ATM... But honestly, if I didn't knew the context, I'd guess it's an attempt at incitement of people... )
  • 6
    @IntrusionCM They’re all super lefties in an echo chamber.

    I do wonder about the legalities of firing someone over their political views, as I’m pretty sure it’s illegal, but in the mind of the speaker, that Trump supporter was a white supremacist being violent against peaceful protesters. And videos of an employee being violent and breaking the law would indeed be grounds for termination. So in that light, she’s right that it isn’t illegal to fire them. She just answered a very different question than what the CEO asked.

    However, everyone just accepted it and moved on, which (along with everything else I’ve heard them say lately) speaks volumes about their collective headspace.
  • 6
    @Root i think I communicated my question wrong...

    My question was more meant like: is it really legal to hold at work something that sounds like the brainwashing of a cult inciting people to "do the right thing"...

    I've never worked at large american company... And I heard some weird stuff of larger hip companies here in Germany...

    (Eg Naked day at work... Don't ASK)

    But that """Seminar""" sounds really like a cult thing Oo
  • 5
    @IntrusionCM If it was illegal, Google wouldn’t exist. Seriously. Some of the things I’ve read, and heard from people who have worked there...

    Neither would Facebook, the Huffington Post (or really most of our media), etc.

    I think a lot of companies are cultish to some degree. I remember the robotics company I worked for was that way — all of the upper management acted and talked and behaved in a certain way, except for the president of the company who they all looked up to and basically bowed down to as if he was an emperor. (He definitely did a good job, though he was kind of an asshole. The rest of the management, though? They acted tough but were secretly pushovers.) In order to join their circle, you had to act like them. I think that sort of thing is pretty common, unfortunately.

    But to answer your question: groupthink / collectivism / echo chambers aren’t illegal, and I’m not sure how they could be. How do you rigorously define them? But I absolutely agree that they are destructive.
  • 0
    Well technically speaking we’re technology possessed animals.

    What other do you expect from animals than herd rules.
  • 5
    @vane some semblance of sanity and civilization.
  • 3
    @Root Well 5-10 generations ago we were riding horses and burning people alive so I don’t know what do you expect.
  • -1
    @vane the witches kinda deserved it to be honest šŸ˜›
  • 2
    @ars1 I have no idea what people accused of witchery actually did, but do you have the slightest idea just how horrible burning to death is? It can take up to half an hour to pass out if it's humid enough and one's strong enough. I don't think anyone deserves that. Not when hanging is an option.
  • 0
    @ars1 You’re a witch. Hope you like hickory.
  • 0
    @ars1 I miss public humiliation tools like stocks
  • 3
    About two years ago we hired a female designer.

    At least, we thought we did. Not feminine in their way of acting or dressing, but still easy to immediately slap a "woman" label on.

    On a Friday afternoon someone said to her: "Hey you just left the guy's bathroom", to which she responded: "Yeah... I identify more as a man". Someone asked "Why didn't you correct us when we use the wrong pronouns?" to which she replied: "Because for me personally, there are no wrong pronouns".

    That was the end of that, I thought.

    That Monday HR sent an email that they removed the toilet signs. They were now unisex, to be inclusive.

    That lead to a two week chain of mails, with people arguing that the signs should be put back with some toilet stalls having a third "type" of sign, and other people arguing in favor of the removal of the signs.

    Eventually, that discussion was ended when our designer responded: "I just need to poop. Please fix the toilet paper shortage instead of the signs"
  • 2
    Sometimes employers getting scared that "something must be done" preemptively IS the cause of harassment.

    Basic rule: Just treat all of your coworkers as humans. The content of their pants and their relationship with those contents are in no way relevant to the professional setting.

    Most languages are kind of weird in the sense that it needs to know sex/gender for grammatical reasons in situations where it's not that relevant, but that's resolved by just telling/asking what is preferred.

    And yes, a company should have a generic way to deal with ALL harassment, whether it's about gender, unwanted sexual advances, race, plain old "bullying", unethical treatment of customers, etc

    But you can't preemptively make assumptions or hard rules, except "Make sure all your coworkers feel comfortable and safe around you".
  • 1

    I'm not a libertarian, but I think it's not specifically libertarian to have at-will employment.

    I think even unionized labor isn't incompatible with libertarianism — having a small government/public sector and fewer/simpler laws doesn't necessarily mean you disagree with strong agreements between employers and employees.

    I think developers for example have a reasonably strong position, so you'd be surprised what demands you can make from an employer.

    There's a clause in my contact which states that I refuse drug testing and can't be fired for evidence of drug use unless it severely impacts my work performance, and another one which specifies an SLA for coffee machine availability šŸ¤·

    So it's more dependent on your negotiation position.

    I do think a libertarian would state that it's a worker's own responsibility to either become skilled in a sector where you have such a strong position individually, or join/form a union which can make demands for the group (as long as membership is neither made prohibited nor mandatory by a government).

    I think it's rather a calvinistic corporate fetishism ("wake up early, work hard for your boss, don't complain, and you'll make it") which has led to poor employee rights, than lack of government oversight.

    A lot of Americans feel like it's unamerican to demand safe labor conditions or fair pay for over time, so they don't — and ridicule those who complain by calling them spoiled or lazy.

    To change that, you need a cultural change, not necessarily political change in my opinion.
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