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To think Boss shouldn't be discussing others personal issues with colleagues

(13 Posts)
GlitteryGlitter Thu 05-Oct-17 13:26:57

Male boss told me this morning that colleague has miscarried - no one knew she was pregnant so there was no reason to tell anyone in the office.

I assume as we are the only females on the team it was a misguided attempt to provide her with some support when she returns to work hmm
I've now just heard him tell another colleague about it in the middle of the open plan office!

It's ok though as "he's only telling people as and when they need to know" -(I overheard him say this)

I know I'm not being unreasonable to think that no one NEEDS to know and he could have just said she's been taken ill and he doesn't know when she'll be back so can someone else pick up her work! 4 people have now been deemed need to know and at least half a dozen may have overheard the conversation like I did!

I now don't know if I should send a text to say boss told me and offer condolences or pretend I don't know and wait for her to tell me if she decides to - which I doubt as she's a very private person.

I'm also wondering if I should make a complaint to HR, but 1. He'll know who made it and 2. It's not really my complaint to make?

I wouldn't want the whole bloody office knowing especially an office full of men!

So more of a WWYD than AIBU....

PerfumeIsAMessage Thu 05-Oct-17 13:29:23

Maybe she asked him to tell you so she wouldn't find herself either having to, or getting upset if there was general office chat about babies etc.

DJBaggySmalls Thu 05-Oct-17 13:30:56

Isnt that gross misconduct? If its not it should be.
Complain to HR about the breach of personal info, and for goodness sakes dont send a text or condolences.

2014newme Thu 05-Oct-17 13:32:41

I work in HR why do people always say complain to HR? Complain to the manager himself or his manager. HR are not a complaints hotline.
If you complained to me I'd send you to speak to him yourself or his manager

rightnowimpissed Thu 05-Oct-17 13:33:06

He shouldn't be doing that, employees have a right to privacy from their colleges. Its not on.

winobaglady Thu 05-Oct-17 13:33:49

Talk to your boss first, tell him to stop telling people. Might also mean you find out if colleague asked him to tell everyone?

I would warn colleague, some people will act differently towards her and she will need to know why.

2014newme Thu 05-Oct-17 13:34:31

Exactly! Speak to your boss.

GlitteryGlitter Thu 05-Oct-17 13:39:08

She definitely won't have asked him to tell anyone she's very private.
I thought to tell HR as it's another example of him being a crap manager, I'm already informally talking to them about him at the moment due to on going issues.

His boss is even more of a dinosaur than he is! Office is very male dominated and there are only a dozen women mostly admin staff I don't think they'll see the problem?

meximess Thu 05-Oct-17 13:39:39

Totally ridiculous of boss - yes let her know.

Now everyone will not divulge information to him.

Don't know what you can really do - people like your boss are probably always indiscrete.

Some people just can't be confidential.

magicstar1 Thu 05-Oct-17 13:40:11

I had this a few years ago. A colleague had a miscarriage but we were told she was off with a bad cold. When she came back I asked was her cold better and we chatted along fine.
HR lady came up to me on the stairs and told me that colleague had had a miscarriage but didn't want anyone to know...so she'd told everyone on the quiet. I was so furious...I told her she'd no right to give out that information. She's still a gossiping busybody though.

GlitteryGlitter Thu 05-Oct-17 13:43:33

So as not to drip feed more than I already have I should've putting in a formal grievance but it would basically kill my career, which HR understand so we're keeping it informal at the moment but basically involves the sexist and misogynist office environment which this just seems to be another part of sad

2014newme Thu 05-Oct-17 13:49:07

I'd go work somewhere else they sound crap

SusanTheGentle Thu 05-Oct-17 13:50:26

I would first clarify whether or not he was supposed to be telling you: either by asking him 'did X ask you to tell me?' or approaching her.

After that, I'd be making sure that it was Known that he was breaching her confidentiality - make sure she knows, he knows, his boss knows, and yes, that HR knows. In my exact set up I'd also be telling our director but she's only two steps over me so it's easier for me to do that. Also I know she'd go ballistic so it would be more of a 'take aim' situation.

I know HR works differently in each organisation but in ours, if something like this happened they'd definitely want to know, because it's HR's responsbility to protect the company from legal action by employees and he's spreading private medical information related to pregnancy* around that he shouldn't be. Also because our organisation is trying very hard to not be full of sexist pricks that do stuff like this.

*This bit's important because it's a protected characteristic under equalities legislation, opening up them to discrimination claims in the future, e.g. if she gets sidelined when she gets back because she's obviously trying to start a family.

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