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Woman offers co-worker food; co-worker gets angry and accuses her of harassment.

Woman offers co-worker food; co-worker gets angry and accuses her of harassment.


It's important not to assume anything of other people. You never know what religion, gender, or sexual preference another person may have. Can the no-assumptions rule backfire, though?

On a popular Reddit thread, one woman doesn't assume her new co-worker, and then HR is called on her.

She writes:

I(25f) had a new colleague (mid-20s) come in last month. I didn't interact with her much since she's from another department, but she's in the same office as us, so we share a pantry.

So I was heating my lunch in the pantry yesterday; it was pork dumplings, and she was sitting at the table. I had some small talk with her and offered my pork dumplings. And while she was eating, she asked what it was, and I said pork dumpling.

She spat it out angrily, saying I should've known she was Muslim and couldn't eat pork. I apologize, but she just left the pantry.

The thing is, I only knew she was Arab, and she was like a European looking Arab with blue eyes and blonde hair, and she wasn't wearing any religious item to indicate she was Muslim. And this morning, I received a letter from HR for religious harassment.

I mean, on one point, I could see why it's disrespectful, and I could be ignorant, but on the other hand, she's a grown adult, and she should've asked beforehand if she had a dietary restriction.

The Internet is great for HR management.

West_Map4218 says:

NTA (Not the A**hole). No one can assume someone's religion, gender, sexual identity, allergen list, etc.; the list goes on. I wouldn't assume someone is Muslim, Jewish, or Catholic - just by ethnicity.

If someone has specific dietary requirements, whether for religion, allergy, or preference - then I believe it is up to the person to confirm what they are eating is free of pork/peanuts/meat, etc.

Crappy for you that you have been reported for religious bullying - I hope it works out OK for you. Good luck with it.

Anonymians says:

NTA. If you have any type of dietary restrictions then it’s up to you to ask about ingredients before eating something.

_DoogieLion says:

Make sure and challenge the assumptions that HR has made. Ask them why they did not inform you of dietary restrictions and if there are more people in the organizations whose dietary restrictions they want you to be aware of.

Ask them where this policy is that requires you to know all of your colleague's dietary requirements. Ask them what part of you offering your colleague some food and them accepting is harassment. Ask them how it could be religious harassment when you do not know your colleague's religion.

OP, as someone with dietary restrictions, it's on your co-worker to ensure that her food complies with her restrictions.

Sources: Reddit
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