How can I do my job with my hands tied?

Subject: How can I do my job with my hands tied?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "'Rock, Megan'" <Megan -dot- Rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 09:07:18 -0400

An increasingly unfortunate subject line given the context. <g>

Megan Rock wondered <<At our sexual harassment awareness training a few
months ago, we learned that discussing work-related topics in the restrooms
can constitute "sexual harassment" because people of the opposite gender are
being discriminated against due to the fact that they can't join you in the
restroom to participate in what might be a discussion that relates to their
ability to do their job. Who woulda thunk it? Is this just a U.S.

I recall reading about this, and it was for a very specific case: where
those who were doing the discussion (a group of men accused of perpetuating
the "glass ceiling") were doing so systematically with the explicit goal of
excluding women from important information. (And it was a "discrimination"
case, not harassment.) Don't recall the outcome of the case, but that kind
of toxic corporate culture deserves a rap on the nose.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer

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