Co-worker’s Husband Interfering

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about troubled by coworker’s husband:

About a year ago a colleague misunderstood some legitimate information that I gave her and sent an email all around the organization describing this misunderstood information and naming me as the source. I had to attend HR with a union representative to explain myself which I found very stressful.

The union representative and a senior member of the workplace advised me to steer clear of this co-worker because she had other issues. This co-worker has repeatedly attempted to contact me since then despite my explanation as to why I was cross with her and my repeated requests that she not contact me. Subsequently, she has got her husband to contact me, and recently got her husband to speak to a friend of ours to speak to my partner to speak to me to find out “what is going on” and “what’s the big deal?”

I am at my wits end; this person misunderstood me, dropped me into a whole pile of trouble and stress and now will not stay out of my life despite my requests. My questions are: 1. is this harassment? 2. Is she breaking the law by discussing workplace issues with her husband? 3. I feel quite violated by her sending her husband to pester me. What can I do about this? Thank you for your advice.

Signed, At My Wits End

DearĀ At My Wits End:

In the legal sense, you are not harassed. You indeed are irritated and stressed by this individual and now her husband and her husband’s friend. You feel pestered but you are not harassed. There is no law against seeking contact with you via her husband or a friend. Nor is this being stalked. Your term of “being violated” to me is extreme language to describe being stressed and annoyed. There must be much more of a pattern of confrontation to seek a restraining order. You did the right thing to solicit the help of HR and union representative to resolve this matter. Now you had best follow up and seek their help to inform this colleague that you and she had best avoid each other. They are your resource. Use them. Finally, you had best toughen up. Life doesn’t always go the way we want it. We sometimes have mishaps and must work around them. I’m sure you’d prefer for me to say there is a quick-fix and a sure-fix and that the law is on your side. If you think I am mistaken, consult an attorney. Don’t gossip or allow this matter to echo in your head like a broken record.

Rather focus on making your workplace the best possible; one that does good work and pleases its internal and external customers. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and by that I mean do all you reasonably can to put your best foot forward so that all concerned might enjoy and benefit from your work organization. Feel free to update us on what you find to do if none of this works.

Follow Up Wow your answer is very heavy-handed and defensive, not to mention somewhat paternalistic and condescending! You are the one using the extreme language not me! I did not suggest a restraining order at all, I merely asked a few questions, see below. I realize that you are not an attorney because this is not stated on your web-site.

Please don’t reply to this as I have no further use for your “advice’ as you have answered my questions. Your answers may or may not be correct because as you defensively stated “If you think I am mistaken, consult an attorney”. You might be mistaken. Who knows. You probably don’t. You are not an attorney! My advice to you is to toughen up yourself and don’t respond with such force, anger and defensiveness. No reply necessary.

William Gorden