With the jury for the sexual harassment trial of Knicks president and coach Isiah Thomas and the rest of the Knicks organization continuing its deliberations for a third day, an interesting workplace question has been raised. Is swearing at the office okay?
Former Knicks marketing vice president Anucha Browne Sanders claims, amongst other things, that Thomas swore at her frequently, including statements like "Bitch, I don't give a f--- about ticket sales" Thomas said he never swore at Browne Sanders, but that he did swear around her. New York magazine wondered "what the heck is acceptable workplace language these days?" and spoke to some experts:
Peter Post of the Emily Post Institute says, "Revolting profanity doesn’t have any place in the office...But occasional swearing? That’s no big deal if the culture of the workplace permits it." And professor of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Timohty Jayexplains, "As long as it’s not excessive, a worker has the right to express their emotions through swearing in the workplace. And while phrases like ‘you fucking ho’ are way past the acceptable boundary, we should keep in mind that this is the sports industry, where this kind of shit happens all day long."
Browne Sanders is suing for $10 million in damages, plus for her job back (she was fired for poor job performance, though she had been promoted and given raises). And Thomas is due at training camp tomorrow.