Bloomberg often covers compelling issues that affect working people. Today it examines how transgender workers struggle to deal with their transition while on the job. Co-workers often ask ignorant questions or make hurtful comments. While we’re becoming more aware and hopefully sensitive, this area needs to be addressed by HR and department managers. Like any major social transition, it will take time. But three cheers to Bloomberg for helping to remind us of how our actions and words – however innocent – can be hurtful to those who are changing genders. It is that person’s choice, and it should be respected in the workplace.
Several companies have instituted policies related to the use of social media. I’ve met people in the insurance and financial service industries who are not allowed to have Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts. In some cases, the company is afraid that employees could give advice or make statements that would open the company to litigation. In other cases, disgruntled employee has post rants about their boss or company. Employees have been fired for making disparaging comments or violating policies. Be careful about what you post on line. Don’t let a moment of anger or the need to give advice cost you a job.
I have a new client that we’ll call Fred. He’s worked as a manager in the hospitality industry at the same company for over 10 years. His boss recently put all the wait staff on a tips only pay structure, which is illegal. Fred pointed this out to his boss, who then demoted him to a bartender position that is paid tips only. Fred says that his boss treated him fairly in the past and doesn’t understand what’s happened. That said, he’s getting a resume and moving on. He’s been loyal. He won’t be stupid. In this economy, workers have to be loyal to themselves, especially when bosses steal their wages.