Boss told colleague about miscarriage

(43 Posts)
Rubyrecka Tue 04-May-21 16:07:15

Bit of an odd one.

Been with the company for approx. 6-8 months, I'm currently pregnant and mentioned to my boss in confidence that I'd previously had a miscarriage around 3 years ago - so not a recent situation however, had a call from our very friendly occupational health lady as we were talking about the vaccine. Then pops up out the blue, 'oh XXXXX came over and mentioned that you've had a miscarriage before? Yeah I had one before my son as well'.

I was abit taken a back initially on the call becos of the step change from vaccine to miscarriage but I was then quite cross my boss had mentioned it to her? Aibu to expect a bit of formality around this type of subject. If she had told her to make her aware for some medical or mental health purpose then ok but even then I would have expected to be informed?!

OP’s posts: |
Schrutesbeets Tue 04-May-21 16:09:26

Totally inappropriate. I'm sorry I don't have any advice, but I'd be livid.
Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Elouera Tue 04-May-21 16:11:31

Congrats! I too would be livid (having, had 3 MC's myself) unless your boss said 'Oh, do you mind if I tell OH due to ....' or you were made aware that OH would be asking about it for some reason.

Did you ask the OH person why/how she knew and WHY she was asking you about it??? I'd also ask your boss why she discussed your personal medical history with the OH?

EverdeRose Tue 04-May-21 16:12:13

Hugely inappropriate. I would be extremely unhappy and depending on my relationship with said manager I'd be considering a formal complaint!

Rubyrecka Tue 04-May-21 16:25:14

@Elouera no wasn't made aware at all that anything like that would've been discussed with OH - and the way it was brought up on the call with her was very general there wasn't any 'how are u feeling etc'. It threw me to be honest, I knew that it was my boss cos the OH lady literally said oh xxxxx has just popped in and she mentioned, like it was just said in passing! Which has made me feel like it was a bit gossipy.

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WellLarDeDar Tue 04-May-21 16:27:50

Congratulations!

I think it's completely inappropriate for your boss to have shared that information without your permission. Managers do have a duty of care so if your boss felt like your previous experience might make things tougher on you and they want to make sure they are supporting you properly at work then that might have been why it was mentioned to OH? I'm not saying your boss did the right thing it just might be a reason why, I doubt it was malicious but I agree it's not okay for them to have mentioned it without asking you first.

Gliblet Tue 04-May-21 16:28:26

Completely inappropriate. I might deal with it differently (in terms of how angry I was) depending on whether my boss acknowledged that it was completely inappropriate and seemed mortified that their mouth had overtaken their brain, or whether they think it's absolutely fine to discuss employees' confidential information without prior consent or an immediate concern for welfare, but I would definitely want to discuss it with them. Is that something you feel able to do? Is there any support available to you to either plan or have that conversation?

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Hankunamatata Tue 04-May-21 16:30:16

You told boss you had a previous miscarriage and they phone occupational health for advice on the situation and to contact you. Not sure what the problem is. That's what occupational health is for

PanamaPattie Tue 04-May-21 16:32:32

Your boss should not have shared confidential medical information without your consent and the Occ Health person should not have mentioned it in such a casual, gossipy way. Very unprofessional. I would make a complaint about both of them.

DustyMaiden Tue 04-May-21 16:34:07

I think your boss was just thinking about your welfare.

Isthatyoucolinrobinson Tue 04-May-21 16:38:38

Your boss should have got your consent to mention it to anyone else. Unfortunately, in my experience, it doesn't happen as often as it should. I can only think of one manager who asked me first.

ElphabaTWitch Tue 04-May-21 16:41:17

I think occ health would have been informed to ensure that all appropriate guidelines are followed to the letter whilst you are at work
To ensure your comfort ( and cover their arse). Perhaps boss should have told you first but seems he had mentioned it to them to make sure you’re looked after.

ItsCokeFFS Tue 04-May-21 16:41:53

DustyMaiden

I think your boss was just thinking about your welfare.

In what way?

How is the OP's welfare in any way affected by the fact that she had a miscarriage 3 years ago?

Why does anyone (except her midwife) need to know this to improve her welfare?

Congratulations on your pregnancy OP.

Rubyrecka Tue 04-May-21 17:06:37

Well I went in for my pregnancy risk assessment before I had this call - literally the day after I had the phone call - so if it were for my welfare I would have thought it would have been addressed in that appointment with OH.

Turns out my boss went to see OH after my pregnancy assessment and that's when it was mentioned. ( I don't think she was too happy that the oc had suggested I work indefinitely from home & wanted an informal chat with her)

I just don't feel comfortable about the fact that it was communicated without me knowing and for no reason as far as I am aware.

OP’s posts: |
Rubyrecka Tue 04-May-21 17:09:07

Gliblet

Completely inappropriate. I might deal with it differently (in terms of how angry I was) depending on whether my boss acknowledged that it was completely inappropriate and seemed mortified that their mouth had overtaken their brain, or whether they think it's absolutely fine to discuss employees' confidential information without prior consent or an immediate concern for welfare, but I would definitely want to discuss it with them. Is that something you feel able to do? Is there any support available to you to either plan or have that conversation?


Yes I would feel comfortable having that chat with her and I will do so when I have planned what to say!

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Iwonder08 Tue 04-May-21 17:11:37

Any particular reason why you shared your miscarriage with your boss? Perhaps she thought you wanted it to be assessed from the OH perspective, otherwise why would you share it with your boss at all? Surely after 6 months with the company you were not sharing it your boss 'as a friend'

Scrfgkesjwjrf Tue 04-May-21 17:16:51

Write to your manager to say that OH mentioned this confidential information to you in passing. Ask your manager how, and for what reason, this information was disclosed to OH. Ask your manager to tell you if this information has been shared with anyone else. I would keep it simple and unemotional. You are just asking for more information.

Rubyrecka Tue 04-May-21 17:18:20

@Iwonder08 I mentioned it when I told her I was pregnant and we had a general conversation about pregnancy...it wasn't like 'hi nice to meet you, guess what?!'

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idontlikealdi Tue 04-May-21 17:20:03

Well tbh you mentioned it to the boss, they probably feel like they have a doc.

Sunny1112 Tue 04-May-21 17:25:39

I think your boss done it as a duty of care seeing as your pregnant now incase anything was to happen.
Your boss may not have dealt with someone having a MC before so wanted to know what she could do going forward to support your current pregnancy or if anything was to happen.
It wouldn’t annoy me.

Rubyrecka Tue 04-May-21 17:31:39

Sunny1112

I think your boss done it as a duty of care seeing as your pregnant now incase anything was to happen.
Your boss may not have dealt with someone having a MC before so wanted to know what she could do going forward to support your current pregnancy or if anything was to happen.
It wouldn’t annoy me.


Which is all fine.

But at what point do u tell the employee that you want to share this with occ health. And why wasn't it mentioned at the time of my risk assessment so they could actually ask questions pertinent to her concern if it was about dealing with someone who's had a miscarriage? The fact that no questions were asked about my welfare when oc health called me makes me think that it was something that was mentioned in passing about me rather than concern for my welfare.

OP’s posts: |
CabernetSoWhat Tue 04-May-21 17:33:53

Any particular reason why you shared your miscarriage with your boss? Perhaps she thought you wanted it to be assessed from the OH perspective, otherwise why would you share it with your boss at all? Surely after 6 months with the company you were not sharing it your boss 'as a friend'

^ This. Unless your boss has also told others, it sounds like they assumed you raised it because you wanted it taken into consideration.

Rubyrecka Tue 04-May-21 17:37:35

@CabernetSoWhat taken into consideration of what?

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flippertygibbit Tue 04-May-21 17:39:46

I would have assumed you wanted me to raise it with the relevant parties if you disclosed it to me. Why else would you raise it? Obviously it should have been dealt with at your RA but perhaps your boss hadn't been able to raise it with them beforehand. Seems like you're making a fuss for the sake of it.

VillanellesOrangeCoat Tue 04-May-21 17:40:32

Managers should always ask permission to disclose medical info to occy health. It’s not up to your boss to take it upon themselves think they’re being helpful

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