Post # 1
My family emigrated from Russia in 1999, and most of the older family members still have an accent.
One of those family members is asked multiple times a day by the same coworker if she is a Russian spy. Or he will say “Good morning, how is the spying going?” Etc.
I think this is a very insensitive thing to say, esp considering the political climate right now. Any ideas?
Post # 2
Bee tell them to stop. Convo over.
Post # 3
SoonMrsCrocker2 : but then the person could retaliate…so far she’s been laughing off but it’s bothersome when it is every single day
Post # 4
Making a big deal with HR will make bad feelings better to say to worker herselve.
Post # 5
lauralaura123 : Please direct your family member to this site, especially the Harassment section, third paragraph down: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/nationalorigin.cfm
She can either go to HR or if she’d like to try to resolve it with the co-worker first, she could say something like “It seemed harmless at first, but your jokes now seem hostile. Will you please stop harassing me about my nationality?”
What this co-worker is doing is illegal and nobody should have to put up with it. It would be illegal for the co-worker or the employer to retaliate against your family member for reporting it.
ETA: I guess I should have asked first if you’re in the US. I’m sure Canada and other countries have similar laws, but the link is specific to the US.
Post # 6
lauralaura123 : first off what an ass munch! I would tell your family member to go to Human Resources because that’s crappy!
I hate this type of thing racial profiling and maybe I am just too sensitive about it because my whole family is mix and match 😉 lol but we see it alot too .
me and my husband were in Apple buying a new iPad for one of our boys and the guy next to us rudely said to his girlfriend or wife must be nice to be able to by your 10 yr old an ipad!
they come over steal our jobs and we suffer.?.?!!
girl I was HOT!
I cannot stand this racial climate its loke it has become ok to say hateful racist things to people now!
anyway I truly think your family member needs to talk to hr because this is not ok!!!!
Post # 7
She needs to straight up tell the coworker to stop. Keep a blank expression on her face “that’s not funny” “that’s rude” “please stop saying that to me” will get the message across. They keep saying it because she doesn’t say anything to stop them.
I am a big believer in standing up for one’s self and confronting issues head on. If that doesn’t work, then escalate to HR.
Post # 8
djbeats : This exactly.
It’s not harassment if she’s never said it bothers her in the first place. It could just be an insensitive dolt who doesn’t realize their bad joke is more than that at the moment. If you laugh along, even if it’s a fakey “that’s stupid” laugh, this coworker could be the type to not realize it’s falling flat or creating a hostile environment. She needs to speak up, then escalate if they can’t restrain themselves (at which point it is harassment)
Post # 9
skunktastic : The EEOC encourages people to confront the harasser first, but it’s not required. It’s not the victim’s responsibility to teach jackasses not to be jackasses, and sometimes it can even be dangerous. If she’s not comfortable telling this guy to cut it out, she is allowed to report it to her employer and they are legally obligated to investigate. It’s their responsibility to make sure their employees understand what harassment is and that it’s not allowed.
Also, I love love love that we both used the word dolt in separate posts within minutes of each other! LMAO!!
Post # 10
The Cold War ended in 1985, so this terribly witty person is decades behind! Russian spy? He watches too many 1960’s movies.
I would tell the person eye to eye, that joke has gotten old, and it could be taken as ethnic discrimination. With the sensitivity level of today in the workplace, that should shut him up. If it doesn’t, HR.
Post # 11
Hi bee, I would suggest your family member to stay very nice and never show spite or pettiness, but either talk seriously to this person or just give a very sweet reply of “Oh, I don’t have much time spying, I would prefer to concentrate on my job than worrying if other people are spy just because of their origin.”
If both solution doesn’t work, go to HR/see her manager/your manager and talk it that it makes her uncomfortable.
I hope this can help, bee