The environment at work has certainly changed during the last few decades. The combination of more working women, an emphasis on office diversity and increasingly proactive HR departments has lessened the locker-room atmosphere that was once so prevalent in many workplaces.
In fact, what used to pass for good-natured banter has become cause for discipline and even firing. Discussing sex, religion and politics, or telling off-color jokes are often frowned upon at work.
Earlier this week, ESPN fired longtime announcer Ron Franklin after he called sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards “sweet baby” and used a derogatory term after she objected to his behavior. Although ESPN initially pulled Franklin from radio coverage of the Fiesta Bowl, “Based on what occurred last Friday, we have ended our relationship with him,” network spokesman Mike Soltys said Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
While many people agree that today’s workplace environments are a great improvement over the boys-club climates of old, others think that political correctness has gone too far and strangled free speech.
What do you think? Was ESPN right in firing Franklin? Are people too sensitive at work or is it imperative to promote professional behavior at all times on the job? Have employers overreacted and become “PC police” or are they justified in insisting on civil treatment in the workplace?
- by John Brieske, Blog Break
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