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NEWS | March 19, 2013

Inappropriate Conduct at Work

By Toby Housey 628th Air Base Wing Equal Opportunity

Do you occasionally make jokes or engage in discussions about sex while at work? Do you utilize racial or religious slurs in the duty section? Do you feel since no one complains about these behaviors nothing is wrong? Do you feel these behaviors are acceptable because you work in a predominantly male or female duty section?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's likely you are engaging in inappropriate conduct at work that may have unlawful discriminatory and sexual harassment overtones and you are in violation of Air Force policy. These types of violations can result in corrective actions to include separation or termination. While making jokes in the duty section based on race, color, sex (to include sexual harassment), national origin, religion, age or disabilities may be funny for some individuals in the short term, these types of behaviors have long term effects on a unit.

Despite the intent, these actions cost units thousands of dollars and reap havoc on unit cohesion and pride, which results in unnecessary spending and unhealthy organizations. Individuals who are affected by these types of behaviors tend to become emotionally consumed and struggle at times to accomplish their portion of the mission.

While individuals affected by such conduct should resolve these concerns at the lowest level by confronting the offender, no one wants to be perceived as the odd man or woman out. Just because someone does not state they are offended by your conduct does not mean they are not. Should an individual really have to ask someone to cease conduct or behavior in which the Air Force already has policies in place to prevent?

At the end of the day, we should strive to create and maintain duty sections conducive for all, not some. We must be respectful and mindful of our actions and constantly ask the question; is this helping or hurting my unit?

Unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment are preventable. Let's do our part to prevent it!