Author Topic: How to tell them it's discriminatory?  (Read 4867 times)

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wolfie

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2013, 12:10:21 PM »
If you go to your boss and he brushes you off and then you file a complaint with the appropriate government agency your boss is going to know who filed the complaint. So I would only go to your boss first if you are sure there won't be any retaliation against you.

whatsanenigma

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2013, 12:14:22 PM »
I would bring it up informally with your boss first.  "Boss, during the drill, the warden said that women wearing heels have to wait and let the men go first.  Is that seriously the policy?  Do you realize how ridiculously sexist that is?  Because if it's not the policy, someone needs to make sure that warden is set straight."  Then you can judge based on your boss's reaction whether he (I assume it's a "he") takes you seriously or tries to brush you off - and if he brushes you off, I would definitely take it up the chain.  Especially since you have that in juxtaposition with the "women must wear heels" thing.

I agree, but I would just say the first two sentences and not go to the next two unless needed.  Because once you say what you were told the policy is, your boss might be very shocked and you might not have to push farther.  You might even phrase it as "Boss, I have a question about something I was told during our drill the other day.  We were told that women wearing heels are expected to let the men go ahead of them.  Is this correct?"  and say it in a neutral tone, as if you were asking about which door to go out during the drill, or some other potentially confusing point.

 The reaction of your boss might dictate what you do after that. If your boss says "Wait, what?  No way, that is wrong and I will see what the misunderstanding is", then you won't have to even bring up discrimination or other factors.  But if the boss says "Of course that's correct.  Were you raised by wolves or what?" then you can pull out the bigger guns.

And ultimately, I think the issue needs to be addressed in terms of how to deal with awkward footwear during a crisis, should you take them off or what, because that's what is really the issue, I think.

whatsanenigma

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2013, 12:15:30 PM »
If you go to your boss and he brushes you off and then you file a complaint with the appropriate government agency your boss is going to know who filed the complaint. So I would only go to your boss first if you are sure there won't be any retaliation against you.

Posted while I was typing!

This is a very good point but I think if the OP asks in a neutral, non-accusatory way like I suggested in my post, it wouldn't be such a problem.

wolfie

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2013, 12:20:06 PM »
If you go to your boss and he brushes you off and then you file a complaint with the appropriate government agency your boss is going to know who filed the complaint. So I would only go to your boss first if you are sure there won't be any retaliation against you.

Posted while I was typing!

This is a very good point but I think if the OP asks in a neutral, non-accusatory way like I suggested in my post, it wouldn't be such a problem.

I don't think it matters how the OP asks - if the boss says "yes that is the policy" and then a week later he gets a call from a government agency saying they are investigating him for discrimination about safety issues he is going to put 2 and 2 together and realize that the OP reported him. Whether that is a problem is something only the OP can answer.

TootsNYC

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2013, 12:25:00 PM »
Your company consists of 13 people. I take it that you work in a large building with multiple companies, then? So are the wardens employed by your company to direct your company in a drill or are they general wardens for the building? Were they only saying this to the 13 of you who work for your company or was it directed at the general crowd?

What kind of training do they receive? Is it from your company or some kind of outside entity like the fire department, for example?

The reason I ask is because it seems that the directive came from the wardens, not the bosses. If the bosses are providing the training or instructions to the wardens, then yes, they are the ones to whom you should complain. My first step would probably be to approach the wardens to find out where this directive originated. Was it part of their training? Is it a company policy? A building policy? Did the wardens take it upon themselves to decide this?

This might be an actionable situation where you want to get the government involved. On the other hand, it might just be someone thinking that it was a good idea without actually thinking it through.

This is what I'm thinking.  I'd take this to the fire wardens as a question with a partial complaint.

I'd want to ASK them, "Where did this directive come from?" And then quiz them a bit about the logic, etc.

Erich L-ster

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2013, 01:10:44 PM »
Wow what ever happened to "women and children first"? Also, the drill shouldn't be such a mad dash that women with heels will be trampled by bulldozing men. This is a complete safety eff-up on all sides.

MrTango

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 01:36:33 PM »
The last time I worked in a high-rise office building, the instructions given were that women should either wear shoes in which they can comfortably get down the stairs or be prepared to take their shoes off in an evacuation.

nuit93

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2013, 01:39:29 PM »
The last time I worked in a high-rise office building, the instructions given were that women should either wear shoes in which they can comfortably get down the stairs or be prepared to take their shoes off in an evacuation.

That makes a lot more sense.  Besides, most heeled shoes are easy to remove, aren't they?

MrTango

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2013, 01:53:46 PM »
The last time I worked in a high-rise office building, the instructions given were that women should either wear shoes in which they can comfortably get down the stairs or be prepared to take their shoes off in an evacuation.

That makes a lot more sense.  Besides, most heeled shoes are easy to remove, aren't they?

I wouldn't know...I've never been interested in women's clothing.  :P

baritone108

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2013, 02:08:44 PM »
In the event of a fire don't accept the directions from the appointed wardens if that information is just plain ridiculous and stupid, just evacutate calmly and safely from the building.  In the end it is up to you and only you to see to your safety, and if the directions given to you sound stupid, follow your own instincts every time.

This actually works.  [BG] A few years ago my department, and a few others, were moved into a new building which had been recently renovated.  We work at a federal facility where there are a large number of buildings and we have our own first responders. [ end BG]

After a few weeks we were issued a copy of the building evacuation plan and about a week after that we had our first fire drill.  I hadn't looked too closely at the evacuation plan because I literally sit next to the front door of the building.  I exited out the front door, as did many other people, while a first responder stood just outside the door and tried to block the way.  After the fire drill I took a close look at the evacuation plan and it had NO ONE exiting out the front door.  We were supposed to walk through the building and exit out one of the back doors.  :o

A couple of weeks after the fire drill we were issued a new evacuation plan which included exiting out the front door.

Twik

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2013, 02:10:13 PM »
I'd say one of the most annoying problems with pumps is their tendency to slip off at the wrong time, unless they are very well fitted.
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reflection5

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2013, 02:26:26 PM »
OP, Iím all for fighting discrimination.  However, my advice is to pick your battles carefully.  Is this the hill you want to die on (figuratively speaking)?

laceandbits

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2013, 02:28:44 PM »
In the event of a fire don't accept the directions from the appointed wardens if that information is just plain ridiculous and stupid, just evacutate calmly and safely from the building.  In the end it is up to you and only you to see to your safety, and if the directions given to you sound stupid, follow your own instincts every time.

This actually works.  [BG] A few years ago my department, and a few others, were moved into a new building which had been recently renovated.  We work at a federal facility where there are a large number of buildings and we have our own first responders. [ end BG]

After a few weeks we were issued a copy of the building evacuation plan and about a week after that we had our first fire drill.  I hadn't looked too closely at the evacuation plan because I literally sit next to the front door of the building.  I exited out the front door, as did many other people, while a first responder stood just outside the door and tried to block the way.  After the fire drill I took a close look at the evacuation plan and it had NO ONE exiting out the front door.  We were supposed to walk through the building and exit out one of the back doors.  :o

A couple of weeks after the fire drill we were issued a new evacuation plan which included exiting out the front door.

A room with two exits where I used to teach had one designated as a fire escape, not the other.  As the fire escape door was over the kitchen and down a wooden staircase, we always felt that we would exercise common sense as the kitchen could easily be the source of the fire.

And another example, a hotel where I stayed in a ground floor room had the fire escape marked as down a long corridor, through three fire doors (passing the kitchen en route) and out via reception.  My room had sliding patio doors leading out onto a very large green with an open air pathway to the carpark.  No contest.

wolfie

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2013, 02:30:48 PM »
OP, Iím all for fighting discrimination.  However, my advice is to pick your battles carefully.  Is this the hill you want to die on (figuratively speaking)?

I am not sure how being possibly left to die in case of a fire is something not to fight? Worst case scenario she has to stay behind until everyone else leaves the building and ends ups succumbing to the smoke and dying.

reflection5

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Re: How to tell them it's discriminatory?
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2013, 02:35:41 PM »
OP, I’m all for fighting discrimination.  However, my advice is to pick your battles carefully.  Is this the hill you want to die on (figuratively speaking)?

I am not sure how being possibly left to die in case of a fire is something not to fight? Worst case scenario she has to stay behind until everyone else leaves the building and ends ups succumbing to the smoke and dying.

Or, take the shoes (heels) vs dying.  That would be my choice.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 02:39:10 PM by reflection5 »