Top Trumps?

Date: 07 April 2016

Donald Trump is an American businessman, television personality and candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America in the upcoming election. With his outrageous comments and lack of political correctness, it’s no wonder MPs recently had to debate whether he should be allowed into the UK following more than 570,000 signatures on a petition to ban him from the country.

Whilst we hope that you have never heard anything quite as shocking in your workplace, political correctness (or lack of) is a phrase that regularly gets banded around. So we thought we’d take a look at some of Trump’s best (or should we say worst) quotes and apply them to everyday workplaces.

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”

Focusing on the ‘young’ part of this comment; too often, age-related banter goes too far, leads to hurt feelings and ultimately, Employment Tribunals. The recent case of Dove v Brown & Newirth Ltd saw Mr Dove, a long-serving sales person, awarded £63,000 after being nicknamed ‘Gramps’ by the Head of Sales.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with them. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…”

Instead of concentrating on the blatant racism displayed here, let’s apply the criminal aspect of Trump’s comment to recruiting. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 makes it unlawful for anyone to be excluded from a position on the basis of having a spent conviction. And with 1 in 3 UK males having a criminal record, employers must not let their preconceptions get in the way when hiring.

“If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’”

In the United States there is no single ‘wrongful termination’ law, but instead there are several state and federal laws that define this concept. In contrast, the UK has Employment Law, which protects employees from unfair dismissals, meaning you can’t just dismiss someone without good reason. Having a “fat, ugly face” would most certainly be ruled unfair.

“The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.”

We’re very happy for you Mr Trump, really we are, but many companies have a culture which actively discourages people from talking about what they earn. The Equality Act 2010 provides that an employer cannot prevent their employees from making a ‘relevant pay disclosure’ for the purpose of finding out whether there is unlawful pay discrimination. And with companies employing over 250 people soon having to report on gender pay gaps, there is no better time to make your pay tables transparent.

“All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

Unwanted sexual harassment, in all forms, is a prevalent topic in the UK of late. Take ‘Project Guardian’, an initiative created by Transport for London in association with the British Transport Police, to “raise public awareness of unwanted sexual behaviour and encourage their victims to report these under- reported crimes”. The campaign released a hard to watch clip in 2015 in which a woman is sexually harassed by a man on The Underground. It seems that historically, behaviour such as this on British transport has not been reported, which makes you question whether the same thing is going on in Britain’s workplaces.

If you’re concerned about your employees being in a grump after speaking like Trump, give us a call on 01935 411191 or email and we can talk you through how to deal with your situation without causing offence.