Diversity no-no in Delaware

Secretary apologizes for newsletter that lists which racial slurs employees shouldn't use
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/15/2009

Delaware's department of transportation has learned that even the best of intentions can have disastrous results.

The transportation secretary has issued a formal apology after a diversity newsletter, spelling out which racial slurs and other derogatory words shouldn't be used in the workplace, offended minority employees.

The spring edition of Diversity Spotlight, a newsletter designed to combat workplace discrimination and distributed to all 2,600 employees, featured “Workplace Faux Pas – Comments you never want to make to a co-worker.”

The newsletter contained a racial epithet often directed at blacks and advised employees not to use this word and other, listed, derogatory terms for homosexuals and Asians, as well as offensive phrases regarding Asian, Hispanic, and lesbian, gay and transgender co-workers.

The goal of the newsletter was to directly address workplace issues by letting employees know what is not acceptable, said Transportation Secretary Carolann Wicks.

"I personally apologize if any of the words offended people, and I know that they have," said Wicks.

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