I live in Australia, almost 2 years ago one of my colleagues insulted my religion in the form of jokes a couple of times, once when we were at team lunch and the other when we were alone.

I was new to the company at that time and did not want to cause any trouble.

I am leaving the company now and I still feel bad about what that guy said and want to take an action and report what happened.

Most of the people who were at that lunch have already left the company and those who have remained do not remember it.

Do I have the right to report what happened after 2 years? Shall I just ignore it?

  • 3
    It's not clear from your question, was the comment derogatory towards you specifically, all people of your religion, or was it a critique of the religion itself? These are 3 very different things and it's not really clear which of them you mean. Feb 26, 2019 at 2:21
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    I'm not sure if it's possible to insult religion because it's just an abstract concept; it's definitely possible for a religious person to feel insulted, and that's what happened. There are laws in Australia and other countries that can protect you, if what happened meets the criteria of hate speech.
    – mustaccio
    Feb 26, 2019 at 2:37
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    If it meets the criteria of hate speech report it, no matter how much time has passed. Otherwise, it's probably best to leave the matter of retribution to whatever deity you believe in. Feb 26, 2019 at 2:51
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    Life is full of insults. offenses, disappointments, etc., etc. Was there any long lasting or irreparable harm to you by this insult? If not, then it seems to me that you're better off leaving it as is.
    – joeqwerty
    Feb 26, 2019 at 3:36
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    Is it worth it ? It seems to have hurt you and you still carry it with you two years after but maybe the best would be to try to let it go. If he had continued you would have a case of harassment but here it just seems like two bad jokes, without any real ill intent behind (else it would have escalated). At best you could ask him to excuse himself but after two years he may have forgotten too. Moreover, bringing this topic back may baffle your coworkers as I don't think it is common for someone to still be hurt after so long over such things.
    – Echox
    Feb 26, 2019 at 10:56

3 Answers 3


Do I have the right to report that after 2 years?

Yes you do have right to report it. It may not help YOU a lot because it was too long ago, no one to support your story, and more importantly you are leaving.

However, if you just put it on the record for HR, it may help someone else in future who would come with similar complaint about this colleague of yours.


You certainly have a "right" to report it - but I'd be dubious that you're really going to get anywhere by doing so. As you say given two years have passed people have left, memories have faded and the upshot is that there just isn't anything actionable.

I understand the desire for some sort of closure and I'm in no way belittling the hurt you felt at what this person said but being completely honest I can't see a realistic outcome that's going to give you anything to make you feel better. Honestly what would make you feel better at this point?


tl;dr: If this is going to eat you up, speak with them directly. If it isn't, keep it to yourself and just elect to not work with the person again.

I suggest that you speak to them directly about your feelings first, if you feel so strongly about it. People change, and grow. If it hasn't happened in two years, perhaps you would want to consider that it might be the case. You might get an apology and open a discussion to greater understanding at the same time.

The risk of reporting after 2 years is that the offending person may not remember the incident at all, and the report surrounding what may have been a throwaway joke/comment coming after 2 years might engender resentment and anger towards your (and to your brothers and sisters in your faith).

The worst case scenario is that you could be seen as taking this opportunity to seek punitive action by your employer against someone you simply didn't like. This is especially true because, as a leaver, you're putting yourself entirely out of their reach. If that happens, it will reflect negatively upon you. Maybe they will watch the other person a little more closely, but you're unlikely to get any satisfaction here.

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