Jostling at Work: Laws on Pushing & Elbowing in the Workplace

Employees celebrating in an office by not pushing each other
“Yes, Jeffrey! We went an entire day without shoving each other!”

In the hustle and bustle of working life, many employees can resort to jostling to gain a competitive advantage.

This is most common during the lunch break rush to the canteen, where much pushing, shoving, and elbowing can lead to riots in the workplace, severe injuries (including decapitations), and a toxic work environment.

It’s essential you, the employer, make it clear to your staff your rules on jostling at work. Otherwise, your business will fail and you will die penniless and homeless. Here’s our guide to avoiding such a fate.

Employment Laws Controlling Pushing and Shoving at Work

Jostling in the workplace is controlled by The Jostling at Work Act 1974. On page 445 of 3,040, section Z (A) states:

“Jostling in the workplace should not be tolerated. When push comes to shove, you need to make a bold decision on whether you will allow argy-bargy in your working environment. It is your duty of care to ensure no employees die horribly on your premises, so it is advised you discourage staff from jostling.

To do this, one approach is with an aggressive leaflet campaign, specifically targeting known jostlers who are willing to elbow a colleague out of the way in the name of getting some Angel Delight dessert first.

Let it be known pushing, shoving, and elbowing is not tolerated. There is plenty of Angel Delight for everyone! Except women. Women can get stuffed.”

Do note, on the closing paragraph, this Act from 1974 was obviously written during a much more sexist time.

There have been calls for The Jostling at Work Act 1974 to receive an overhaul to reflect modern sensibilities.

As of 2022 there are no planned plans to do so.

However, this doesn’t mean women can’t get their elbows out in the name of lunchtime desserts.

Whether it’s banoffee pie or arctic roll, stuff the The Jostling at Work Act 1974! Push and shove to ensure you get the freshest, and best, slice!

How to Discourage Jostling at Work

Whilst aggressive leaflet campaigns are often enough to stop jostling on the job, you may still struggle to control rogue employees out to elbow their way towards the best slice of dessert.

An effective way to discourage staff is to send a company-wide email each morning explaining there is enough dessert for everybody.

This may calm the fears of those desperate to get to the canteen and not miss out on jam roly-poly.

However, under The Desserts at Work Act 1976 you should take into consideration section 27 (B) on page 13,012.

This specifically regards the employment laws on the jam roly-poly dessert and their distribution at work:

“Due to the popularity of the jam roly-poly, be prepared for excessive jostling amongst staff members in a desperate attempt to consume the foodstuff before colleagues.

John Johnson vs Jeff’s Cement Factory Ltd. (1972) was a high profile case where an employee was shredded limb from limb by colleagues desperate to get at the final segment of jam roly-poly.

Although Mr. Johnson survived the incident, he didn’t have any limbs left. And he missed the final piece of jam roly-poly. He told the court:

‘It was really disappointing. I’d been looking forward to that all morning.’

Mr. Johnson was awarded a $300 settlement and ordered back to work. This case indicates you should have parameters in place to avoid similar outcomes.

Because if, like, it happened to 10 staff then you are looking at having to fork out $3,000! As CEO, that money is rightfully for your bonus.

As such, it’s essential you control hungry employees eager to consume jam roly-poly.”

Naturally, that dessert isn’t as popular as it was in 1976. In the 2020s, the likes of spotted dick and trifle are likely to take priority.

But the same level of violence can be expected for either, so introduce a strict queuing policy to ensure employees wait orderly to slake their hunger.

Punishments for Repeated Jostling Offenders

You may wish to take disciplinary action against employees who simply can’t control their urge to elbow colleagues out of the way.

Other than hanging, drawing, and quartering the offender, you may want to try punitive measures such as:

  • Instant dismissal.
  • Name calling (such as, “You stink, poopy pants!” or “Fuddy-duddy!”).
  • A lifetime ban from eating desserts at your business.
  • Rounding up all your employees to jostle the offender until they burst into tears.
  • Providing them with a written warning.

Remember, jostling at work dents workplace productivity and can result in desserts being ruined.

This is bad for overhead and profits, especially if you panic buy many jam roly-poly desserts in an attempt to exceed lunchtime demand.

Instead, take control of the situation with swift and decisive actions to show you’re the boss of your employees and the jam roly-poly.

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