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Tactful ladies: Help wording an email please!
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DVOM




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 7:57 am
Good morning Ladies!!

My husband has one week left to an internship that has been incredibly difficult. He stuck it out and has been getting great ratings for his work and is very much looking forward to being done.

He needs to review this fieldwork placement and fieldwork supervisor for his school (mandatory) and would like to be honest about the lack of cultural and religious respect he encountered there. He is one of the first religious students his school has ever had, and he knows he has thier respect and good opinion and that his concerns will be taken seriously. He debated filing these complaints with his school during the internship and decided it just wasnt worth the risk of being failed under some pretense.

My husband was consistantly called 'jew-boy' and 'fringes' by his supervisor. He was asked (demanded) to stay looooong past the hours that the school set, and once barely/kind of didn't make it home in time for shabbos. He was asked to weigh in on the type of strippers his supervisor was hiring for her fiance's bachelor party and was berated for politely saying that the topic of conversation made him uncomfortable; that day his supervisor graded him very poorly for work that other professionals (the doctor and PT working with his client) had praised him for.

Is there a way to word all of this tactfully? He (we) would like his school to be aware of what went on, but in truth he (we) are still struggling with whether or not it's worth it to make waves about all this.
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baby12x




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:03 am
I don't know how to word it but it is DEFINITELY worth making waves about, especially since there won't be negative repercussions.
It can help othet students- jewish or not jewish- some of these things are completely and totally inappropriate for anyone regardless of religious sensitivities.
It would ve great if he can make a change for future students
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sarahmalka




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:04 am
OMG!!! I don't have advice about the wording at the moment and in fact have to get back to my own work and stop procrastinating but I could not let this pass by without saying how shocking and inappropriate those comments are. I am floored that in this day and age in a professional environment, a supervisor or ANY work colleague would say such things. It's totally unacceptable and I'm even appalled that other workers who witnessed these didn't call the supervisor out on it. Can I ask what geographic region you're in? I'm just curious. The supervisor should get mandated sensitivity training.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:07 am
Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised

I am gobsmacked that this is happening. What year is this?

Oy, you're in a tough situation. I'm not sure exactly how to handle it, but I wish you lots of clarity. Oysh. Sad
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OOTforlife




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:09 am
I'm really sorry your husband experienced this.

It does seem like the school should be aware of these things. At the same time, I'm not familiar with the field your husband is in, how small the professional world is in your location, and what kind of consequences might follow even the politest of negative reports. Does his school keep reviews like this confidential? By official policy and in reality?

Another option to think about: is there a way he can either delay his review until after he secures his full time job for after graduation or supplement his review after securing that full time job?

In terms of wording, I think your post wording is pretty reasonable and neutrally descriptive. I suggest bullet points for the individual incidents that occurred for easier comprehension.
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crl




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:13 am
I would email the school, not the supervisor — religious or not, that was incredibly unprofessional and inappropriate behavior.

You say the school itself wants to be respectful and tolerant; is there someone higher up who he can speak to? Come at it from a sensitivity training angle, not a complaint angle but still put it in writing and be as specific as possible.
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DVOM




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:15 am
OOTforlife wrote:
I'm really sorry your husband experienced this.

It does seem like the school should be aware of these things. At the same time, I'm not familiar with the field your husband is in, how small the professional world is in your location, and what kind of consequences might follow even the politest of negative reports. Does his school keep reviews like this confidential? By official policy and in reality?

Another option to think about: is there a way he can either delay his review until after he secures his full time job for after graduation or supplement his review after securing that full time job?


We've been thinking along these lines, OOTforlife.

He has another 4 month internship coming up. What if word gets to them somehow that he is 'difficult'? Officially the school policy is to keep reviews of feildwork placements/supervisors confidential. Who knows though how well this is enforced. And if they choose to call the supervisor out on her behavior, she would for sure know it was his complaints that caused it.
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OOTforlife




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:21 am
DVOM wrote:
We've been thinking along these lines, OOTforlife.

He has another 4 month internship coming up. What if word gets to them somehow that he is 'difficult'? Officially the school policy is to keep reviews of feildwork placements/supervisors confidential. Who knows though how well this is enforced. And if they choose to call the supervisor out on her behavior, she would for sure know it was his complaints that caused it.

If I were your husband, I would wait until a time when I felt relatively professionally secure and immune from retaliation to report this. I admire those who are braver, but I am not.

In the meantime, you could share this information informally within the frum community and possibly with other people who might benefit from knowing.
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ra_mom




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:24 am
Can he say that he gained tremendously from the fieldwork placement and is grateful to have had the opportunity where he grew so much as a PT? And then casually mention a lack of cultural and religious respect without adding further details.
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1091




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:45 am
Having just sat harassment training, this is harassment. Your husband is covered by laws prohibiting retaliation.

It is hard to trust that won’t happen but Human Resources where he did placement and the school should be able to help.
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Squishy




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:46 am
First send an email and explain that you want this reveiw stricken from DH's record and you want a formal discipline placed in the supervisor's record. If not, you will file a discrimination complaint. This is awful. Tell them exactly what action you want done.

I would go put a lot of light on this. You should see an attorney. Maybe this is actionable in NJ. It is certainly shocking.

This is completely awful. You are wonderful that you want to be tactful. No one should be treated this way.
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JAWSCIENCE




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 8:52 am
Do not make religion any part of it. Being asked about strippers is simply not professional. I would delay making any review until done with school or this site has given in all the evaluations. Then say several unprofessional incidents occurred in this workplace and give the stripper example. No need to talk about how DH is Jewish or make this about religion at all.
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imasinger




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 9:00 am
This is 100% worth saying something.

This is not a situation requiring veiled language and hints.

Be factual, direct, unemotional.

Even if the usual policy is to keep interns for another 4 months, the whole point of review is to avoid torturing someone in a situation like your DH has been in. The odds of this level of harassment being ignored by the school are slim, but he can make his case better by requesting a meeting with his supervisor at school, and also the head of the placement program.

It's highly, highly unlikely anything negative would happen to your DH because of this, especially if this program has a good reputation.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 9:08 am
JAWSCIENCE wrote:
Do not make religion any part of it. Being asked about strippers is simply not professional. I would delay making any review until done with school or this site has given in all the evaluations. Then say several unprofessional incidents occurred in this workplace and give the stripper example. No need to talk about how DH is Jewish or make this about religion at all.


I disagree. Mocking someone for their religion is above and beyond. Would you let someone call a Muslim a towel-head or a camel jockey, and give it a pass? Could you jokingly ask a Native American to do a rain dance because the weather is too warm for you liking?

Wrong is wrong, and it should be called out. The question is not to do it or not, but only the timing of it.
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Squishy




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 9:13 am
imasinger wrote:
This is 100% worth saying something.

This is not a situation requiring veiled language and hints.

Be factual, direct, unemotional.

Even if the usual policy is to keep interns for another 4 months, the whole point of review is to avoid torturing someone in a situation like your DH has been in. The odds of this level of harassment being ignored by the school are slim, but he can make his case better by requesting a meeting with his supervisor at school, and also the head of the placement program.

It's highly, highly unlikely anything negative would happen to your DH because of this, especially if this program has a good reputation.


I think emotions need to be brought in. DH was humiliated. This isn't a matter of fact situation. It's a matter of discrimination. The damages DH suffered are important.

I would get a good federal civil rights lawyer involved. This is so incredibly wrong. The fact the supervisor could thrive in that atmosphere means the program is infested. Heads should roll.

DH should get damages.
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iyar




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 10:18 am
I'm so sorry your husband went through this. This is awful.
I understand his hesitation to file a complaint. As long as he's still in a position where they can impact his future opportunities he might want to wait it out. When you and dh feel the time is right, I strongly disagree with ima who said don't make it about being Jewish. This is about being Jewish. You wrote it up clearly for us, just tweak it a little to describe each incident separately. Be unemotional and clear.
An attorney might be the way to go. They'll know more than I (and probably you) know about anti-discrimination laws. As your dh is still on his way to a career and I don't know what you're doing, legal help might seem like an unaffordable luxury. Try reaching out to Agudath Israel. I know they offer legal services. I have no experience using them so I can't say how helpful they'd be but it's definitely worth a try. A conversation with them before filing a complaint would make it clear to your dh how to word the complaint and what action, if any, to take.
I understand if you don't want to answer but I'm curious where this happened. Are you in the US? If so, which state or area? If not, where are you? I would have hoped this would never happen, but sadly I had no problem believing every word you wrote.
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BetsyTacy




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 10:42 am
I find it hardest for them to defend the jew-boy epithet.
Let's think of their spin
"fringes" = compliment(?)
strippers=involving him in the conversation (?)
long hours= demonstrating the need to give 100% to your profession.

But jew-boy? I cannot believe that anyone can possibly find a positive way to spin that.
If you call a black man a boy it is a racial slur but a Jewish person is allowed to be called jew-boy? I think that is actually the most recognizably insulting piece of them all, even if the stripper conversation left him the most uncomfortable.
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sarahmalka




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 11:39 am
I am circling back to this because am still so appalled. I told DH some snippets as DH has worked his whole adult life 20+ years in various professional and corporate environments and his jaw dropped!!! He said this is actionable and you could get lawyer. We think that your first step, if you're hesitant to put anything in writing, is for him to meet with his advisor from school. I do not think you should or need to wait. His school has given him no reason to mistrust them. Good luck!
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monkeys




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 12:19 pm
I did harassment training at work. What this supervisor did was totally illegal. Get HR involved.
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rachel6543




 
 
 


Post  Sun, Aug 18 2019, 12:19 pm
I agree with others, that behavior is terrible and please please report it. I agree, getting a lawyer may be a good idea.
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