Flirting coworker manipulates boss

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about sexy subordinate: The coworker is starting to get somewhat preferential treatment. Can anything be done? 

A female coworker regularly wears low-cut blouses and leans in to guys when chatting, and flirts. Everyone sees it except for my boss. My boss is not immune to this and it is negatively impacting the rest of the staff’s relationships with him. The coworker is starting to get somewhat preferential treatment. Can anything be done? We are very disappointed in our boss for falling for this (we had hoped he would be above it!).

Signed, Sex Test

Dear Sex Test:

You are disappointed that your boss is not immune to your sexy coworker. Apparently he’s not dead, but he is responsible for how he performs. That entails showing no preferential treatment. In this case, you must be careful not to interpret civility to Ms. Low-Cut as favored treatment. ” Can anything be done?” you ask.

I don’t know who you mean as we, but I assume you mean those you refer to as impacting the rest of  staff.  Apparently, preferential  treatment to Ms. Low Cut and the Boss have been a matter of gossip. And that will continue until and unless, a representative of  the rest of  you has a frank conversation with the boss. Such a conversation should explain what is perceived as preferential treatment and also its link to interaction between Ms. Low Cut and him. In short the maxim applies “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” This is also important because a boss who appears to play favorites with a sexy subordinate is risking his job should Ms. Low Cut become soured toward him and accused him of sexual harassment.

To such a warning, he might say, “It’s not your business.” Generally the boss’ sexual interests are not a staff’s business. But when such interest entails what appears to be favoritism it becomes your business.  The rest of you now must determine what to do other than gossip about this. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and in this case it means straight talk with the boss about what you see going on.

William Gorden