Shunned by Coworker and Others

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors by an individual who feels she is a target of animosity:

I work in a department that has 4 people, including me. One day the news was predicting that we were going to have a lot of snow. We were talking about if it was too bad we would not come in. Jane said if any one needed a ride to let her know. She has a new Toyota Forerunner. I accepted and offered to give gas money on the next payday, and she said it was no problem. I took my laptop home just in case I could not get to work.

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Fired for Staring

I was fired from my job and one of the main reasons was for Inappropriate staring, Yes, I may have been staring but I stared out of the windows or at a wall. Someone may be in the area but I’m not looking at them. How do I stare appropriately? Signed–Not Looking

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Coworker Disclosed My Pay–I Feel Violated

A coworker has looked at my pay and paychecks and compared it to hers. After doing so she complained to our boss about my pay compared to what she gets paid. This coworker’s job title is Accounts Payable. I feel violated and need to know the next step of action to take. She complained to our boss that I am able to receive overtime and she is not. I have only worked in my current position for a little over a year and do not receive salary for that reason. She has been here as accounts payable for at least 6 years and receives salary where no overtime is given.–Feel Violated

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What Is Indirect Counseling?

Question: What is the meaning of indirect counseling?

Is your question prompted by some incident in which you were told that you were being counseled this way? Our expertise is in communication-related work questions. We don’t claim psychological clinical certification; however, we have had considerable education in psychology. Based on that, the term indirect counseling dates back to the  work of Carl Rogers and others (1950’s) who advocated that those seeking personal advice are best served by not being told how to solve their problems but guided to reflect on causes and possible solutions to problems. 

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How Can I Stop an Affair With My Boss?

Note: This was a very complex situation. We have changed and condensed the question considerably, to protect the identity of the person asking the question. However, we thought our response would be helpful to others.

Question: Several years ago, as a very young employee, I was going through some personal issues and my boss, who is twice my age, helped me work through them. The result was that we became close and have been in an affair since then. Now, however, I want to end it so I can start having a normal life with friends and people my own age. I’m also tired of juggling my schedule to have stolen moments.

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Blackballed by Supervisor

I have a supervisor with whom I have personal conflicts. She used her authority to cause my work environment to be stressful. She has manipulated the administration to believe her and caused me to put on an improvement plan. This was based on lies and action that I didn’t even know I had committed. I followed  through this plan and was successful. Now I applied for another position in the company. I was interviewed and did an excellent job. I feel that I may not be chosen because the supervisor is trying to blackball or blacklist me. What can I do legally? The HR person has sided with the supervisor. They are listening to her side and not gathering truthful facts.

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Bullied by Coworker

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a coworker who throws another under the bus:

I have a co-worker that not only likes to throw me but other colleagues “under the bus” every chance she gets. She likes to point out my mistakes in front of my supervisor. She is abrasive and I feel she is a bully. How can I combat this situation?

Signed, Bullied

Dear Bullied:

Your follow up email indicates you work from home. I assume since you submitted your question at this time that working at home is a result of state regulations or your employer’s efforts to not enable COVID-19 to infect others. If that is the reason, please continue to stay sheltered in place and, as much as possible, avoid the push and/or urge to get out. I’m following that advice and wearing a mask and avoiding close contacts when out. These rules and guidelines probably will continue for sometime. 

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Can My Boss Tell People If I’m Working or Not?

Question: Is it legal for my manager to disclose if I am on or off the clock to the general public?

Answer: We always remind people that we are not attorneys or HR specialists. In your situation, the law would have to be a state law, since it does not come under a federal mandate of which I am aware, speaking as a layperson. You should consult the website of your Department of Labor.

However, as a matter of practicality, yes under many circumstances it would be an employer’s right to tell someone if you are “off the clock”, meaning not working.  For example, a customer calls and asks, “Is Mark in today?” “When will Mark be back to work?” “What day would be the best to talk to Mark about my (Whatever). In those cases, an employer is providing information that is necessary to do business.

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