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Denver (303) 395-4773 Toll-Free (800) 746-3560

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What is considered inappropriate in the workplace?

Colorado employers must remain cognizant of proper workplace decorum. Failure to do so can lead to employee conflicts, and may even result in a lawsuit if you fail to maintain a safe and inclusive place of work for all. The following are some workplace behaviors that should be avoided to prevent damaging litigation from occurring.

Business Insider lists a number of behaviors that could be construed as inappropriate in virtually every place of work. For instance, while it is a far less common occurrence than other types of prejudicial behavior, teasing or referring to a person’s “whiteness” can still be considered discrimination in some cases. Caucasians are also covered under civil rights’ ordinances, which means even a seemingly innocent joke or statement could result in claims of a hostile work environment. Positive statements about one’s ethnicity or race may also be considered as discrimination and should be avoided.

The age of workers can also be a hot button issue in some cases. Older workers should never be quizzed on when they are expected to retire, as this is a form of ageism (which is also covered under civil rights laws). While it may simply be an innocent question, in some cases it can be regarded as an insinuation that a worker is too old to do his or her job appropriately. Even broaching the topic of one’s age can be problem, so it should be avoided when at all possible.

Lastly, compliments should also be approached cautiously. Any comments on a person’s appearance may be considered unwanted attention, which in turn could be looked at as harassment. This is especially important when it comes communications via email or text. The actual context of a message can be a bit hard to parse, and accordingly the recipient may be offended even if no offense was intended.


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