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Colorful Conversation Leaving Faces Red?; Rather Than Relieving Stress, Blue Language Heightens Workplace Tension and Projects Poor Attitudes
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Language; Stress; Work environment; Pornography & obscenity
Author: Joyce, Amy
Date: Jul 7, 2002
Start Page: H.06

A few people have benefited from listening to [James V. O'Connor]'s (curse- free) talks. John R. Wagner, founder of the Chicago-based Wagner Group advertising agency, realized that his "loose" creative workplace was also one of constant swearing.

Ultimately, he said, swearing in the workplace can result in legal issues. "Cases of sexual harassment and violence never talk about the swearing. But violence begins with them fightin' words," O'Connor said.

[Carl Jaskolski] now teaches a workplace-language course at Milwaukee Area Technical College, as well as human-resources and labor law at Concordia University Wisconsin. In his research, Jaskolski has tracked court cases that involve language in the workplace. Employers are often found liable for not dealing with a person who was abusive with language. "The common denominator in any kind of harassment is language," he said.

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