In my consulting practice I get to hear a variety of issues that happen between coworkers. Recently, a business owner shared with me that one of his employees was having a difficult time with her coworkers and he was unsure of what to do.
When I asked further about the problem he said one young woman felt that her coworkers were mean to her because she did not follow the same clothing styles that they did. Two of his office staff were very much into fashion and always had the latest handbags, shoes and clothing styles. The other woman was not interested in fashion, she dressed very nicely from the local department store but not name brands.
This woman’s two coworkers would make (what they called) “fun” comments about her purse, shoes or other clothing items. They also would make sure she overheard them in the lunch room when they looked through fashion magazines. They told their employer they were just having fun and their coworker should “just get over it.”
This employer said that he was afraid that he might lose this employee, yet he did not know if he should step in or let them resolve it on their own.
I suggested that he immediately develop an office policy that forbid “making fun of or teasing other employees” and also to implement the “Golden Rule Policy” in his practice. There should be no tolerance for behavior that caused others at work to feel bad or less accepted.
The workplace must be a safe place, if not, he could be in for big trouble legally.