February 2024 Coach's Quiz
One of your on-site maintenance employees believes that anybody who works in IT must be a nerd. So, he subjects a tenant who works in the IT department of a local corporation to a constant stream of “anti-nerd” abuse and harassment. All of the following things about the employee’s behavior are true EXCEPT:
a. It’s a violation of fair housing laws
b. It’s a violation of diversity principles
c. It’s an example of stereotyping
Which of the following statements uses inclusive language:
a. “A landlord should treat all his tenants with respect”
b. “A landlord should treat all her tenants with respect”
c. “Landlords should never dis their tenants”
d. “Landlords should treat all their tenants with respect”
COACH’S ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS
Correct answer: a
The maintenance employee has clearly engaged in harassment of a tenant. And harassment is a form of discrimination banned by fair housing laws. However, the ban applies only to harassment based on a protected class like race, religion, sex, or disability. Since IT and other job skills aren’t a protected class, the employee’s harassment of the tenant for being an IT “nerd” doesn’t technically violate fair housing laws. So, a. is the correct answer.
Wrong answers explained:
a. The reason b. isn’t a good answer is that while it may not be illegal discrimination, harassing a person because of their job skills violates the principles of diversity which call for accepting and appreciating all forms of personal differences regardless of whether they’re protected classes under discrimination laws.
c. Choice c. doesn’t work because drawing blanket conclusions about persons because of their skills set is a classic example of stereotyping. Harassing somebody on the basis of those stereotypes takes the conduct to an even more objectionable level.
Correct answer: d
While all four statements convey the idea that landlords should respect all of their tenants, statement d. is the only one that does so in inclusive language. So, d. is the correct answer.
Wrong answers explained:
a. Statement a. doesn’t use inclusive language because the word “his” denotes that the speaker automatically assumes that being a landlord is a male profession.
b. Statement b. isn’t exclusive because the word “her” denotes that the speaker automatically assumes that being a landlord is a female profession.
Bottom Line: Inclusive language requires avoiding gender-neutral possessive pronouns like “his” and “her” when describing occupations, professions, and functions in abstract or general terms, e.g., when describing how members of those occupations should act.
c. While gender-neutral, statement c. isn’t inclusive because use of the term “dis” may make the statement incomprehensible to those unfamiliar with American slang.
See The Lesson For This Quiz
|Beyond Fair Housing Compliance: From Nondiscrimination to Diversity & Inclusion