To promote equal employment opportunity for all employees, XYZ Company ("XYZ") strives to maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding in the workplace. Toward that end, XYZ considers the use of demeaning, belittling, humiliating, insulting, or other forms of disrespectful language toward or about yourself or others to be unacceptable. One or more of the following tests may be useful in determining whether particular terms are unacceptable under this policy:

  1. Whether you would feel discriminated against or insulted if someone else who is different from you were to use that term when referring to you or speaking to you about someone else;
  2. Whether referring to yourself or another person in such a way would tend to segregate yourself or others on a minority basis;
  3. Whether such terminology tends to perpetuate racial, ethnic, gender, or other minority stereotypes; and
  4. Whether such terms would make a normal person feel belittled, needled, or picked on.

While the context of such statements can be important in judging whether the statements violate this policy, in general, XYZ will consider any such language unacceptable and will follow up on any complaints it receives.

The following examples illustrate what is unacceptable under this policy (the list is not exhaustive and is only a general guide):

It is no excuse that you apply an unacceptable term to yourself. Such terms inevitably disturb others, even if they do not say so out loud. Further, they perpetuate unfavorable stereotypes and foster a hostile work environment. While we are all different, and appreciate everything that makes us unique individuals, there is no need to dwell upon those differences to the point where we become preoccupied with ourselves and what separates us from one another. We are all employees here, we are team members, and we are united in working to give our customers the best possible value and experience with our company.

In sum, using unacceptable language in the workplace calls into question the speaker's maturity, judgment, and suitability as a team member. Such language will not be tolerated. Depending upon the severity and repeat nature of a particular offense, a violation of this policy will result in appropriate corrective action, up to and potentially including termination of employment. XYZ hopes that no such action will be necessary, but will act where action is needed.

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