Spitting in the workplace

I can't believe it, but I saw one of our department heads spit into a wastebasket in the copy room. I was both shocked and disgusted.

I went through our policies, but nothing mentions spitting--guess we just assumed that employees wouldn't do this--especially inside the building.

We've been telling employees in our newsletter and on the Intranet about handwashing and general cleanliness to prevent the spread of colds and flu, but we didn't mention spitting.

I certainly wouldn't talk to this person about what I saw and I really don't want to send out a general email.  We aren't going to update our handbook for awhile, so I don't know how long it would be before we could slip this into one of the policies.

Any suggestions on how to handle this or should I just ignore it?


  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • babaHR-

     Personally, I would pick and choose your battles.  This, in my opinion, though inappropriate visually, was done into a waste basket and not on a counter, floor, etc.  Without any specific policy prohibiting such action, you would basically be filing/stating a complaint about something that made you and you alone somewhat uncomfortable.  Chances are he would state that he was unaware that anyone was near him, that he didn't feel it was inappropriate, etc. etc.  My question is, without any others complaining (assumption), is it necessarily worth your time?

  • Spittle is biological material, which is treated as hazardous waste in some places.  Got a safety policy?


    Personally, I'd just say, "Hey, that's really gross.  Please go to the restroom if you need to do that."

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