A new employee just came on board, and their lack of understanding of the English language has been a bit of a hurdle. This has become apparent in the handle/username they chose for our chat system (named Slack), based on their name, which has an... unfortunate slang meaning in English.
The slack handle was "poonPounder."
So I'm in a PC pickle to not infringe on their culture but also address the offensive name. Would it be offensive/unethical to explain to them that the name is offensive and ask them to change it? My concern is that this would come off as insensitive to the language barrier and their culture.
And I am pointing this out, because knowing this Stack Exchange, this is different than the offensive bumper sticker question in that the tables are turned and it is an employee of mine with the offensive content, not myself.
I addressed the issue to the employee in the manner jimm101 described. The employee smiled, nodded and went back to work. They are yet to change the handle, but I'll give it some time.
It has been a few hours, I went over again to explain that it has this meaning that is really not appropriate. They just smiled and nodded. Then I asked another employee who speaks this employee's native language to explain, the employee with the bad Slack handle apologized thoroughly, changed it, but I don't think they understood the part that was the issue. Simply, they kept the word that is an issue and changed the word "pounder" to 'panda".
I asked the other employee who was able to translate to explain which word was the issue, while the employee with the bad handle seemed embarrassed, they were happy to oblige. Definitely was a language barrier issue, but problem solved.