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HR Tip: Racially based nicknames

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Q: “Our Glaswegian security guard is called "Jock". Is this race discrimination?”

A: I don't know. Ask him. If he is offended by the nickname then yes, it is racial harassment and must cease. Ask him what he wishes to be called and use that form of address. I am sure that you do not intend to cause the man offence and indeed you may feel that you are being particularly friendly. But consider how you would feel if everyone called you "Limey" because you are English. I guess you would feel that they care so little about you that they cannot be bothered to ask your name. Get the point?

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Annie Hayes

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