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open thread – March 29-30, 2024 — Ask a Supervisor


For background: I work for a small state company that runs like a non-profit group: 100% grant-funded with oversight from a Board of Administrators. A public company working on public funds, state and federal. Now we have one grandboss and three groups: every with a workforce supervisor, one to 4 workforce members, and seasonal interns that double our complete workforce. Now we have two workplaces at completely different ends of our service space, spend a variety of time within the discipline, and are free to do business from home or elsewhere inside the service space.

Grandboss is younger, sensible, formidable and works very laborious – all traits I like. She additionally has a steamroller character and sometimes lets ego get in the best way of what’s legally proper (there are examples aside from what I’m writing in on at present). On top of this, she is strongly faith-based which, in and of itself, isn’t uncommon for our conservative pocket in a liberal state. Nonetheless, she has a historical past of bringing it into the office, and being open about how her religion colours her completely different expectations for males vs. girls.

I’m one workforce supervisor and have navigated to a spot the place our interplay is minimal (my program is a low precedence for her) and maintain my small workforce (two F/T workforce members and an intern) as separate as attainable. Lately, considered one of my workforce members, a challenge supervisor (PM), left for an additional place. I’m questioning if, now that they’re gone (if I received permission from PM), I might communicate with grandboss about points PM had with working right here.

Early in PM’s quick time with us (six months complete), grandboss invited her to a church social occasion. Grandboss talked about it to me offhand, and advised me PM had randomly requested about her church; which I discovered extremely unlikely. I requested PM beneath guise of asking about weekend plans, and realized that in reality, grandboss had approached PM once they had been alone within the workplace and particularly requested what church they attended. I advised PM to not really feel pressured to go. I adopted up the subsequent week, and PM let me know their dad had researched the church (approach to go, Dad!) and realized it has anti-LGBTQ teachings. At that time, PM shared they’re queer and that they advised grandboss they had been sick and couldn’t go. I thanked PM for sharing, mentioned I might maintain their confidence, and to please keep open with me about any considerations. From then onward, I made certain I used to be current for any in-person conferences the place grandboss could be, which wasn’t troublesome since we are inclined to work aside.

Again to present day: we had an exit interview with grandboss that went effectively, after which PM and I met for breakfast on their final day. PM was candid at breakfast and shared grandboss had made them so uncomfortable that they didn’t even like being of their presence (all-staff conferences, occasional workplace conferences, and so forth.). I don’t assume this was a main issue of their leaving, however I do know it made leaving simpler.

On condition that one other workforce chief who’s brazenly out shared they fear about being held again as a result of grandboss’ spiritual beliefs (they don’t learn about PM’s points), and my considerations about having this case come up once more with any new rent, I’m questioning about any worth in bringing this up with grandboss. I think she would push again on her personal rights to her religion. Regardless of my researching, I can’t discover precise statute on what makes this improper within the eyes of the legislation; I simply maintain discovering protections for many who need to categorical their beliefs within the office. Are we in a gray space right here? To grandboss’ facet, she hasn’t brazenly said any discriminatory beliefs (that I do know of), however it’s not laborious to place two and two collectively for the potential.

She additionally doesn’t have a historical past of taking criticism severely. Some months in the past she pressured my different workforce member into asking his household for an inappropriately giant favor to the company, which they declined. All of it occurred very quick and on the time, I knew a few of it, however not the entire story. The poor man was very upset and I ended up apologizing to his household on behalf of our company as soon as I realized the total backstory. I introduced it as much as grandboss and she or he was very dismissive.

We’re so small that grandboss is HR. The one subsequent stage is the Board of Administrators, and figuring out them as I do, I feel that is too nuanced for them. I don’t like that employees really feel uncomfortable and that they’ve to cover their private life. I additionally worry grandboss’ conduct surrounding their religion (amongst different points) is exposing the company to a possible lawsuit. I’m actively trying to find a brand new place as this isn’t tolerable long-term, however any steering for what I can do within the interim could be drastically appreciated!

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