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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The joys of "anti-harassment" training

I did learn one thing surprising thing in this bunch of nonsense. It is against the law to discriminate against someone because they have a dishonorable discharge from the military. What kind of nonsense is that? I thought part of the purpose of a dishonorable discharge was to let everyone know that this is a person to harass and ridicule.

According to the drivel I have to watch there were over 82,000 claims of harassment turned in to the EEOC in 2007 and there may be another record number for 2008. I don't know if the numbers are out of date or if they just haven't finished counting yet. I do suspect that a huge number of those are made up cases from jilted lovers, disgruntled employees that were passed over for a promotion, racists that want to make some point that nobody else can understand, and other forms of silliness too numerous to mention.

The best part is that the "training" is not intended to reduce harassment. It is intended to reduce the companies liability if there is an accusation of harassment.

I also found out that "retaliation" is "revengeful behavior in response to a complaint" - not a complaint that is determined to be true, just any complaint. This is illegal and "retaliation" can include "giving the employee a cold shoulder". As I read the rules in this training, if some bozo makes a false claim against you and you aren't nice to them in return, then you have broken the law. That sounds about right for anything that the federal government is involved in.

Another funny thing I've found out over the years is that body odor is a right. If management is careful they can suggest hygiene improvements to the offender but in the end, if someone wants to smell bad or wants to save time and money by bathing once a week or wants to "save the planet" by never bathing, then there is nothing the company or the coworkers can do about it. It might be considered harassment if you say anything about how bad they smell because their religion might prohibit bathing.

It gets better. If someone physically assaults you and you defend yourself, that is physical harassment. If I read the rules correctly it seems to only apply to other employees, so if some bum off the street walks in and starts assaulting people, the bum better watch out.

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