Sleeping With The Boss

Question:

What can I tell my friend why he should stop sleeping with the female 20 year old worker? He’s been sleeping with her now for the past 3 years. Thank you.

Signed,

Friend of the Boss


Answer:

DearĀ Friend of the Boss:

Perhaps you should say nothing. I assume that you see this on-going three-year sexual relationship within your workplace as wrong because it is outside of your friend’s marriage or your friend is endangering his or this young woman’s status within your workplace. You probably mean well, but is not that your friend and this woman’s business? You are correct in thinking that such a boss-bossed sexual relationship can mean trouble. But from a practical perspective for one or the other to break it off might lead to big trouble, such as a sexual harassment suit against the company and one or both of them being fired.

What might you say to your friend? You could make the argument that the workplace is for work, not sex, and, therefore, employees that engage in sex, even when it’s consenting and without coercion, is unwelcome by employers. Why? Sex distracts from the mission of the organization. And that should be the focus of your advice, not on your opinion of whether his affair is morally correct. Sex between employees has risks. Non-involved employees may complain of favoritism. Should a relationship sour, that individual could sue for sexual coercion. Employers are responsible for correcting employee behavior that is sexually discriminatory and/or that creates a hostile work environment. Your friend might not be aware of this or if he is aware, he chooses to overlook that potential problem. Giving personal advice probably will be viewed as intervening. You must weigh that before invading your friend’s personal space. The fact that you sent this question indicates that this affair has been playing and replaying in your head. You must decide if that is the kind of thoughts that contribute to the work you are hired to do and also if it has become an obsession. Our archives are filled with questions such as yours. Just click on Archives and then on sexual harassment to see some of them, for example:

Sexual Come-On By The Doctor-Boss?

Their Affair Is Over, Now Its “Harassment”

Time Limit On Sexual Harassment Complaints? Once you reflect on whether to offer your opinion about your friend’s sleeping habits, think again before you act. And if you choose to do that, if you like, feel free to tell me how that advice is taken. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, but that doesn’t include a boss/bossed affair.

William Gorden