Many employees today bemoan the woke workplace – the exaltation of diversity over merit, the struggle sessions disguised as “trainings,” the ostentatious display of “preferred pronouns,” the mandated injections of an experimental vaccine. It seems employees are being paid for ideological compliance, rather than for their labor. Such tactics, common for large corporations, corrode morale and jeopardize quality goods and services. Conservative employees claim – credibly – that their work environment has become hostile, and that they are being discriminated and retaliated against.
At the same time, as conservatives, we must remember that complaining is a tactic of the left.
As a labor lawyer for over two decades, I have investigated and resolved hundreds of employee complaints. The vast majority of these complaints are frivolous – triggered by juvenile disputes, boorish-but-not-illegal conduct, and innocent misunderstandings. Yet because these complaints are expensive to litigate, most are settled quickly, without regard to merit.
In other words, our legal system is designed to reward complainers. Especially for entry-level workers, complaining can be more lucrative than working. I have seen employers settle claims for two or three times the employee’s annual wage, even where the employer’s conduct was within the bounds of the law. Almost always, the expense and risk of litigation justifies settlement.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the government agency tasked with enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws. It was a key component of the “Great Society” envisioned by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who tried to end racial injustice and other evils through progressive government programs. Every year, tens of thousands of employees complain to the EEOC. Yet here we are, almost 60 years later, with strained race relations still in need of healing.
Coincidence? I don’t think so.
It can be tempting to use the left’s tactics against it. Although the federal Civil Rights Act does not protect political opinion, it does protect religion. And much of the woke workplace nonsense is anti-religious discrimination. So, let’s flood the EEOC with complaints of workplace bias against Christians! Right?
Let’s say the EEOC did force employers to think (or consult their lawyers) before firing conservatives. It’s a long shot, but bear with me. Suppose Christians became a recognized protected category, like transgender BIPOC. We would still be just another whiny interest group, begging crumbs from the table of the government elites. After all, the EEOC was established to bring about leftist utopia, not Christendom.
I wrote the RedBalloon Employee Bill of Rights & Responsibilities to propose another way. As conservatives, we must be people of courage and action, not cowering victims. If your workplace has gone woke, there are things you can do about it.
First, take responsibility for your future by saving money, upgrading your skills, and testing the market for your labor. Spend some time on RedBalloon.Work. The best way to escape Woke, Inc. is to start your own business. But if that is not an option right now, make yourself as independent and competitive as possible.
Second, speak up. Don’t be afraid to represent your conservative and/or Christian values in the workplace. Many – most – of your co-workers may agree with you. Encourage and embolden each other to push back against Leftist mandates. Form employee groups with the explicit goal of promoting a free workplace culture.
Third, be the best employee possible. To exercise your rights, you must also shoulder your duties. If your employer discriminates or retaliates against you, continue to dedicate yourself to the good of the company. The cognitive dissonance will make their heads spin, and perhaps cause them to reconsider.
Make them reluctant to fire you because of your value to the business.
Finally, be cheerful. Relentlessly cheerful. Keep your tormentors on their toes by laughing and enjoying yourself, whatever the circumstances. And keep circulating those memes – wokery-pokery deserves to be mocked! Joy is the antidote to the current, complaint-driven madness.
As a labor lawyer, I can testify that we do not need more laws. We do not need more avenues for complaint. We do not need the government, or our employers, to give us handouts disguised as “rights.” Rights that are given by man can be taken away by man. Instead, we must fight to protect the rights that come from our Creator. We must structure our lives and our businesses in the manner of free and independent citizens.
Just as a little yeast leavens the whole lump, one courageous employee can change a workplace culture, bit by bit. Imagine what millions of us can do together.
Laura Baxter is labor counsel for RedBalloon.work. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has practiced labor and employment law for over twenty years.