A Woman at Work Accidentally Fed Her Muslim Colleague Pork — Internet Responds

Did a woman deserve an HR violation at work for accidentally feeding her Muslim colleague pork? Before you judge, here's the context.

Katherine Stinson - Author

May 29 2023, Published 11:00 a.m. ET

Two female colleagues at work
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It's definitely hard trying to fit in at work, particularly when you're trying to get to know new co-workers.

However, one female employee found herself in hot water when she accidentally fed a Muslim colleague pork.

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The employee explained her conundrum in a post on the "Am I the A------" (AITA) subreddit.

Now, the situation does look pretty bad for the employee in question who accidentally fed the Muslim colleague pork, but the OP added some much needed context to the entire lunch snafu in her Reddit post.

Two female business colleagues shake hands.
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Did a woman deserve an HR violation for accidentally feeding her Muslim colleague pork?

So for full context, the woman explained how, "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."

The OP was heating up pork dumplings one day for lunch, and offered to share some with her new colleague, assuming that it was OK because the colleague didn't mention any dietary restrictions.

However, the OP explained that the colleague asked her what was in her food and when she responded that it was pork dumplings, her colleague "spit it out and was really angry about it saying I should've known she was Muslim and can't eat pork."

The following morning, the OP got a letter from HR about religious harassment.

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Two women eating dessert together
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Was the OP in the wrong?

The OP sounded like she had no idea that her colleague was Muslim, writing that, "The thing is I only know she's Arab and she was like a European Arab with blue eyes and blonde hair and she wasn't wearing any religious item to indicate she was Muslim."

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One Redditor pointed out that OP was in hot water either way, writing, "I would take this quote [that OP should've known the colleague was Muslim] to that HR complaint and ask them if they are really telling an employee to stereotype other employees based on looks. Watch them squirm for a bit then demand this entire complaint be removed from their file."

Other Redditors agreed, noting that it's OK and understandable to have dietary restrictions, but you have to actually tell people about them!

Two women laughing in a cafe.
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Another Redditor agreed that the OP was not an a-------, writing, "Am Hindu, I don't eat beef. It's my responsibility to ask and tell people who are offering me food that I can't eat something due to my religious beliefs."

The general consensus was that the OP's innocent gesture didn't warrant a letter from HR.

A Muslim woman also added her two cents, writing, "I’ve always been offered various foods myself but I always make sure to ask what’s in it. That being said I have been in situations where people intentionally lied about what they were offering only to reveal it later so I understand why she’s defensive but also you didn’t have bad or immoral intentions so you’re good in my book."

What do you think?

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