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Everyone has them, everyone knows them. The class clown, office prankster, and all around good guy that loves life and loves to have fun. Recently a friend of mine attended their annual charity golf event where a fellow employee decided to break out planking on stage during the raffle give-a-ways. The crowd responded with roars and cheers. So he exited the stairs coming off stage and bent down in all his glory and struck a TEBOW, also known as Tebowing. The crowd again applauded and he then took a bow. The night went off without a hitch and they had a wonderful event.


This is where the story perked my interest. My friend, Doug, told me that the following Monday office talk surrounded the wonderful golf tournament and John doing his famous planking and Tebow impersonation.  Late in the day Doug was about to head out when John walked by his office so he said, “John, strike a Tebow.”  Immediately, John drops to a knee in front of about 15 employees and Tebows. Doug chuckled while a few other employees smile with delight. Here is where the issue gets interesting. One of their colleagues walks by his office and says, “That’s so inappropriate in the work place.”  The next day, Doug and John are called into the boss’s office. They are told to refrain from making religious gestures or statements in the workplace, because someone felt like it was harassing toward their personal belief system!
This got me wondering what was so harassing about doing the Tebow at work. So much that I had to look up the law surrounding this incident.
I have no idea the religious makeup of the person who reported the gesture, but my friend Doug is a faithful and devoted Christian that only meant for John to do the gesture in good fun. Is it farfetched this actually made some type of negative impact upon the person that reported the gesture who felt they were being mocked or even harassed? 
Under the law does the employer have the right to instruct the employees to refrain from making such a simple gesture in the workplace, and is this really considered harassment?  In my opinion I don’t find anything harassing, but only innocent fun.

Chris Lawson, President, Eli Daniel Group says “the employer has the power in most cases to enforce company policy rules that they believe would infringe upon freedom of speech.  You may get a “sit down” with HR for behavior that might be offensive or considered harassment by another employee. Ultimately, you will have to weigh the potential cost of further repercussion from your employer by doing things that might disrupt the unity in the workplace.  More often than not, the employer will choose to remove disruptions, especially if it impacts productivity and the bottom
dollar.”

My advice, the next time you decide to break out Tebowing in the workplace you may want to think twice. You just might be offending the person next to you or even worse, harassing them!

Source: Brandon Foster Eli Daniel Group

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