Recently here in Missouri (a right- to- work state) an employee was released from her job, because she wore a button to her place of work stating this: ‘I love being black.” In that instant she was called into her office by her manager and informed that it made other co-workers feel very uncomfortable and she was asked to remove the button. With that request she was enraged. She went on to state how people wear such items reflecting other cultures and holidays like: St. Patrick’s Day and so-forth. She stated that she has been made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace because she didn’t like getting pinched when she didn’t wear green for the St. Pats holiday!
Now this woman, not being to savy on the Labor and Employment laws for the State of Missouri seeked legal counsel. Here is where she went wrong. The lawyer she retained, visited her place of employment to take the matter up with her manager. Well you should know that the company fired her for being rebellious in their request for her to remove the button. If she would have sat still, went about her business (took her own note that maybe the company truly had some racial issues) and immediately found another place of employment; she would not be in the fight of her life trying to prove that she was terminated for discrimination, while still trying to find a way to provide for her family because she is now unemployed! That is the hardest thing to prove, simply because of the right to hire act; a company may end all relationship with an employee with or without reasoning, long as it is not against someone with a handicap, religious belief, sex, age, and race.
My whole out look on the matter is: LEAVE YOUR HOOD AT HOME! What ever you feel socially or racially, those feelings should be left at home. Millions of Americans make their journey to a workplace on a daily basis. You only have to work with other individuals for 8,10,12 hours. We all know our job duties, the company polices and we are expected to uphold all of our assigned duties with the up most professionalism. You must be respectful of your co-workers and understand that they may not racist, but possibly… racially In-sensitive to your ‘struggles’ or your ‘walk’ in this life.
If you feel an individual (co-worker or member of management) is making remarks about another ethnic group which is making you feel uncomfortable by language use –Ebonics, slang, jive, and etc– feel free to stand up for yourself as an individual that just wants your workplace atmosphere to be very neutral while also inviting at the same time. Talking about certain issues at the workplace –religion, war, race issues, politics– is simply not professional, nor the place for these type of topics to be discussed. If for some reason you feel you have to voice yourself or take a stand all the time be careful on how you present you case, and try to remain respectful to your co-workers at all times.