Watch Your Mouth: Swearing in the Workplace
1 hour 30 minutes
Understand the legal issues, and potential claims, surrounding the use of profanity at work and potential efforts to restrict swearing.
“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” Mark Twain.
Today, the use of profanity in everyday speech is pervasive. Swearing can be a spontaneous expression of strong feelings, like anger, fear, frustration or passion, and help us vent our stress and cope with difficulty. We swear to fit in with a group or to be funny. And we swear for emphasis or to be heard. Swearing at work, though, can have significant negative consequences. Use of profane language can damage one’s professional reputation and drive away co-workers, business partners or customers. Swearing can distract from effective communication, escalate conflicts and create even more stress on a team. And swearing at work can invite a myriad of legal claims. This topic helps business leaders, human resources professionals and attorneys to understand the legal issues, and potential claims, surrounding the use of profanity at work and potential efforts to restrict swearing. The information also offers some helpful advice on managing the use of foul and profane language at work. This material is critical for employers so they can understand an employee’s rights at work and avoid surprising claims that can arise from workplace swearing.
• You will be able to discuss different ways to address disruptive workplace swearing.
• You will be able to identify the legal risks surrounding workplace swearing and efforts to stop swearing.
• You will be able to recognize the rights of employees to express themselves.
• You will be able to review work guidelines for managing employee conduct.