A warning from HR: Now that's not funny

11/30/2008 | WashingtonPost.com

A remark that you intended as humor prompted one of your employees to file a complaint with HR. What should you do? How to Deal columnist Lily Garcia says it's not the end of your management career, but you must take the warning seriously. "When it comes to workplace humor, it is best to play it safe," she says. And that means no jokes about sex, race, ethnicity, disability, age and sexual orientation, religion and politics, among other sensitive topics. "As a supervisor, it is doubly important that you internalize and apply these guidelines. Otherwise ... you risk offending and alienating the people who work for you."

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