The Highway

Speaking out in the workplace/grievances

Posted By: AC.

Speaking out in the workplace/grievances - Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:37 AM

Just wondering what is the general consensus about advocating for yourself in the workplace if you feel there is a climate of favoritism, and possibly discrimination and even hostile environment......see I am a state worker and we have civil service regs that favor the employee if he feels he's been treated unfairly by administration and there are grievance and appeal protocols.......

Can we be go against God's Will by taking on the roll of whistleblower or are there times that it's warranted?

Posted By: li0scc0

Re: Speaking out in the workplace/grievances - Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:35 PM

We can go against God's will if we fail to report workplace indiscretions. Not sure what you are getting at by going against God's will by being a whistleblower, unless you mean by reporting people who are praying at work or other Christian activities encouraged by God but discouraged by the state?
Posted By: AC.

Re: Speaking out in the workplace/grievances - Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:48 PM

I believe there's a great deal of unfair promotional practices occurring my workplace....that's the major issue, it's become the culture there and most people just accept it.....but favoritism is promotions is not illegal even though it is unfair....
Posted By: Robin

Re: Speaking out in the workplace/grievances - Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:00 PM

As people of God we are "to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). Perhaps a Christian might not "protest" on his own behalf, but I think he or she is "doing justice" when they stand for the oppressed against the oppressor, even when that oppressor has some functional authority over them.
Posted By: chestnutmare

Re: Speaking out in the workplace/grievances - Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:48 PM

Without more information, it is difficult to say what is right to do. This parable came to mind though and might help you in your thinking about the matter. If your employer is paying you what you and he agreed to, then you are not being done an injustice. He is free to promote who he wants to promote regardless of whether you think it is fair or unfair. It might well be based on factors not related to skill or experience. However, you have nothing to report if that is the case and if you decide to report this, you might want to have your updated resumé in hand or better yet, another job offer as you will likely put your job at risk.

Just my my2cents

Matthew 20:1—16 "1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that was a householder, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a shilling a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing in the marketplace idle; 4 and to them he said, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing; and he saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard. 8 And when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the laborers, and pay them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a shilling. 10 And when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received every man a shilling. 11 And when they received it, they murmured against the householder, 12 saying, These last have spent but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat. 13 But he answered and said to one of them, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a shilling? 14 Take up that which is thine, and go thy way; it is my will to give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? or is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last."
Posted By: Jobeluan65

Re: Speaking out in the workplace/grievances - Tue May 01, 2012 4:24 AM

The late John Murray, longtime theologian at Westminster Theological Seminary, summarized the burden of work from these texts this way in his important book, Principles of Conduct [87-88].

It is the consciousness of divine vocation in the particular task assigned to us that will imbue us with the proper sense of responsibility in the discharge of it. The New Testament lays peculiar stress on the God-oriented motivation and direction of all our toil. This is, of course, the specific application of the governing principle of all of life – “whether therefore you eat or drink of whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). “For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself: for if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord” (Rom. 14:7-8). But the specific application to the sphere of labor receives particular emphasis. There is a good reason for this. When labor involves drudgery, when the hardship is oppressive, when the conditions imposed upon us are not those which mercy and justice would dictate, when we are tempted to individual or organized revolt, when we are ready to recompense evil on the part of our master with the evil of careless work on our part, it is just then that we need to be reminded, “whatsoever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive an inheritance as a reward” (Col. 3:23-24).

It is in the context of this exhortation that the apostle lays his finger on the cardinal vice of our labor: we do it to please men. “Servants, obey your earthly masters in everything, and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord” (Col. 3:22).

Working for over 40 years in various locations I have found fellow some employees having a much better work ethic than mine, some having about the same passion for work, and some having a lesser passion for their work. For me there was and still is an internal tension when working alongside with others – both believers and non-believers. The challenge for me when working has always been to completely understand I don’t need to be recognized for my good deeds at work, at home, or in the Church.

Here are ways I would like for God, the Holy Spirit to change me:

Charles Simeon, the great Anglican evangelical of the 18th and 19th centuries, speaking to himself in his diary: Talk not about myself.

Thomas à Kempis in his masterpiece, Imitation of Christ: “Desire to be unknown.”

Jeremy Taylor the saintly writer of the spiritual classics Holy Living and Holy Dying, “O teach me to love to be concealed.”

Archbishop Leighton, the godly Scot of the Second Reformation, “Be ambitious to be unknown.”

The crest of the French catholic mystic, François Fénelon, “ama nesciri”, that is, “love to be unknown.”

And, better still, Bonaventure tells us in his Life of St. Francis of Assisi [229] that when people extolled the holiness and piety of Francis – in other words, when Francis got precisely those plaudits that Jesus here warns his disciples not to seek (and, of course, he got lots of such praise) – he commanded one of his friars to do the opposite. That is, Francis would depute one of his monks to follow him wherever he went and whenever people praised him for his piety, this monk was under strict orders to whisper spiritual insults in Francis’ other ear. So, when someone praised Francis for his holiness, this monk would tell him that he was boorish and mercenary, unskilled and useless. And Francis would reply, “May the Lord bless you my beloved son for it is you who speak the very truth and what the son of Peter Bernadone should hear.”

When I read Psalm 55:1-8, 12-19, and 22-23 I have thought what am I to think about when there is or has been treacherous activity in my workplace. At times I moaned about it, but I do not believe I should have. According to verse 22, there is a better plan or way for me. That is to cast my cares on the Lord and he will sustain me. It is Satan who wants to work into my frustrations. He wants me paralyzed in giving 110% when I saw awful workplace politics and poor leadership – from both believers and non-believers. I needed always to run to the Lord. He is my shelter, and he deals with unfair policies in the workplace. This has always been helpful and given me peace about unfair practices in the workplace.
Posted By: chestnutmare

Re: Speaking out in the workplace/grievances - Tue May 01, 2012 10:47 AM

Interesting quote. I did find it confusing to not have quotation marks around Murray's quote.

There is a difference between drudgery and treachery and might suggest that the one we must endure and the second we must, as Robin noted above, call out or resist the temptation to sin. Treachery as it tempts the Christian to sin must be resisted. We might consider Daniel's refusal to obey the King when it demanded that he sin against God. Yes, there will be consequences but no less is required of the Christian.

If there is treachery in the workplace, I hope you do more than just moan, and will stand firm upon the word of God. If it is merely drudgery, then chin up and do your work as unto the Lord. Work in the world is a travail amongst thorns and weeds. Yet, the Lord has not left us without comfort.
Posted By: AC.

Re: Speaking out in the workplace/grievances - Tue May 01, 2012 1:41 PM

Thanks guys....the main issue is favoritism, and I believe it's clear I have to grit my teeth and bare it.....

what about having to be cordial and polite, sometimes it's easier to not even acknowledge those who I believe hurt my career chances due to their own selfish and self-serving motives, is it ok for me to refrain from even saying hello out of priciple or would that also be unChristian? I know we need to love our fellow man but we don't have to necessarily like them, right?

thank you for the excellent and thoughful responses, this really helps me!

Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Speaking out in the workplace/grievances - Tue May 01, 2012 6:04 PM

We must at least try to be respectful and cordial to all men. When the Scripture commands us to love our neighbor as ourself, it isn't referring to our emotions, but rather to our actions. We are to do what is most beneficial for them rather than harmful to them. And this must NEVER be construed to mean we are to restrict our actions to those things which the world has classified as "positive". The Church is most loving when it excommunicates an unrepentant member. Thus, our actions must be prudent, just, done with the sole intent of the other person's good and motivated by one's love for God and the desire to glorify Him. Sometimes, wisdom would dictate that we remain silent too. wink
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