My Boss Has Been Suspended

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an affair: . He was called into the office on Wednesday and they suspended him till further investigation is made. They never questioned me, and the whole thing is so untrue.

My boss was accused of having a affair with me. He was called into the office on Wednesday and they suspended him till further investigation is made. They never questioned me, and the whole thing is so untrue. I adore my boss, he’s married with children and I feel so bad. We are close at work. He’s like my friend and boss. A lot of people think he treats me better then them. I have never, ever had any kind of sexual contact or anything with my boss. We are just boss and employee. I’m worried for him and they never asked to speak to me before they even suspended him. Someone told me he was suspended for something else and the gossip about him being suspended for having an affair was just a rumor. I’m thinking that it is something else because they never even talked to me yet or called me. What do I do now with my job? Signed,

Signed, Worried

Dear Worried:

It sounds as though all you know for sure is that your boss has been suspended. It may very well have nothing at all to do with you. Even if it does, they aren’t obligated to talk to you until they’re ready to. It may be they will never talk to you, if the matter is something outside your knowledge. Obviously this is being talked about, so you are well within reason to ask the person a level higher than your boss if he or she can tell you your status in this situation. Assure that manager or executive that you will continue to work to your full capacity. Say that you would like to know if you should expect to be interviewed or if you will be having an interim boss to provide direction about ongoing projects.

Be prepared to discuss what work is being done that your boss would be involved in. That will reinforce that your focus is on continuing to do work well. You may or may not be told anything substantial at this time, but at least you would have it out in the open. One thing is for sure: If you and your boss have never exchanged inappropriate messages, never had sexual contact and never told anyone anything that implied it, there is nothing upon which to base a disciplinary action or dismissal. So, it seems unlikely your boss was suspended merely for an unfounded allegation with absolutely nothing to back it up. It probably is true, as the coworker said, that the suspension was over something else. You’ll find out soon, especially if you might have information about it.

You’ll be better off if you do not talk about this to any more people at work, except those higher in the organization. You can tell coworkers that you don’t have different information than they do and you want to avoid speculating about the matter. Your boss may call you at home, if there is some aspect of this about which you have information. I understand that he is your friend, but be cautious about such conversations, since you don’t know for sure what the circumstances are. If your boss calls you, keep notes about what you discuss, in case you are asked about it. You don’t have to be disloyal to your boss, just ensure that you can truthfully and fully explain, if needed.

Especially make sure you do not become part of the situation unnecessarily. Your boss will get an attorney if one is needed and will handle the situation on his own. He should not ask you to do or say anything related to his situation. (I’m sure you know that, but I wanted to remind you.) I can well understand that this is unnerving. Do your best to not get caught up in the talk about it. If you have a few friends at work, use them as a buffer between yourself and others who might like to observe you and your reactions, just for gossip. Make this the time to do your best quality work ever. Demonstrate, through your actions, that while you’re concerned about the boss who you admire very much, you have work to do and want to get it done in a professional way. This will all be made clear over the next few days or week or two, so just hold on until then. Best wishes!

Tina Lewis Rowe