May 31, 2013
Given the Department of Justice’s current track record – the IRS Scandal, Fast and Furious, subpoenaing the press, and other law bending activities – it is not surprising that it would reach inside its own organization and blatantly overstep the First Amendment rights of employees.
One of the DOJ’s latest directives tells managers how they need to handle Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees.
“Silence will be interpreted as disapproval,” according to the DOJ Pride office. “LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers,” was manifested by the DOJ Pride, Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Employees of the U.S. Department of Justice and Their Allies.
According to the “Inclusion” document, the government can limit your freedom of speech, expression and your thoughts.
Here are some pieces:
Make the Right Assumptions & Avoid Making the Wrong Ones:
Do assume that LGBT employees and their allies are listening to what you are saying and will read what you are writing and make sure the language you use is inclusive and respectful. Don’t assume all employees are heterosexual.
2. Use Inclusive Language: Do use inclusive words like “partner,” “significant other” or “spouse” rather than gender specific terms like “husband” and “wife.”
3. Speak Up When Appropriate:
Do communicate a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate jokes and comments, including those pertaining to a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
4. Acknowledge and Engage With LGBT Employees
5. Come Out:
Do let your employees know they’ll be treated with fairness and respect, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, by “coming out” or as a “straight ally. For example: Attend LGBT events sponsored by DOJ Pride and/or the Department, and invite (but don’t require) others to join you.
6. Ensure that Advancement, Development & Mentoring Opportunities are Fair and Effective:
Don’t let your discomfort with an employee’s failure to conform to gender stereotypes affect whether he or she gets a particular assignment.
7. How to Respond If an Employee Comes Out to You:
Don’t judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.
At the end of the document there is a claim that these habits “boost the performance and productivity of LGBT and non-LGBT employees alike. It also allows LGBT employees to build the kinds of open and trusting relationships with coworkers and managers that are necessary for professional success.”
How does anyone build a healthy relationship with a bully?
If the DOJ could start by allowing employees and citizens their First Amendment rights and follow the laws they enforce, maybe productive relationships might begin.
It is ironic that the DOJ considers itself an expert in developing “trusting relationships.”