Dilemma Of The Month: How To Handle An Activist Employee

by Evil HR Lady on December 11, 2018

One of our employees is a vegan activist, and has started posting material on the “evils of eating meat” outside his cubicle or leaving them strewn around shared spaces (in the kitchen, near the copier, etc.). Is there anything I can do about this behavior? He also gets offended if anyone fails to provide a vegan option when treats are brought in, whether by a colleague or for a company-sponsored event. Is this a protected behavior/belief system?


To read my answer, click here: Dilemma Of The Month: How To Handle An Activist Employee

leave your own in the comments!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny December 11, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Unless it’s an industry dealing with animal-based products, I hardly see leaving vegan literature around the workplace as either bullying or an offense worth firing someone over, especially if other employees are allowed to post or “strew” non-work related materials around. Co-workers are free to peruse, or ignore, the materials, at their option. It is annoying, but so are a lot of other sincerely-held religious-type beliefs. If employees are not allowed to post — or otherwise distribute — non-work related items, that’s a totally separate issue, that can be addressed without regard to the content of the materials.


Elizabeth West December 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

You have a point, but Suzanne didn’t say the literature was bullying. She said that criticizing people for their food choices was bullying. The OP didn’t explicitly say the employee was doing this, but I think she included it in case it was happening or started to happen.


BethRA December 13, 2018 at 9:01 pm

What Elizabeth West said.

Also, if he really is leaving pamphlets in multiple places, I’d say that’s crossing a line regardless of the subject matter. It’s not bullying, but it is obnoxious and mess-making.


Camellia December 11, 2018 at 5:11 pm

Well written, excellent outline and scripts to follow!


LG December 12, 2018 at 3:51 pm

It may (or may not!) interest you to know that there is a case about to go through the UK tribunals which will rule on whether ‘ethical veganism’ can be considered a philosphical belief system and afforded the same protection as a religion. Most views are that it probably will be. There is far less conviction that his dismissal was due to discrimination on the grounds of his ethical veganism. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46385597


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