URGENT: My Boss Borrows My Money

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss borrowing money: She’s questioning my work quality, quantity and integrity. And, she has even had her husband, who she has been trying to get hired, come in for an interview. I need advice fast as I am sick to my stomach of potentially losing my job.

Hello there! I am emailing for advice because we have been under a lot of pressure at work. We are understaffed and under Federal deadlines. On top of that, my supervisor asked me for a loan three times. Although she paid me back for the first time, recently on 3/22/10 she asked to borrow $350 dollars more, and now on 4/22 she sent me an email text that made we feel like I had to loan her the money because she said that “It will have to be the same way as last time, that is through a bank transfer from my account to her banking institution.” Which I did while I was at work.

So, total to date it’s a total of $700, and when I asked her to pay me back at least $350 of it for my bills, she said she could probably do $100 or $200 but she’d have to check. But, she never checked because she never replied Again, this is my supervisor and now I feel even more stressed at work I cannot concentrate on anything that I am doing because I feel the work pressure, her pressure.

Not only that, I recently found out that she borrowed money from a coworker before she worked for our company and she never paid her back. I know that it independent of my situation, but now I am even more stressed. I feel like she wants me fired because she owes me money, and it feels like if she’s building a case against me by saying that I am not doing my work. I am suffering financially and the stress as rolled over to my work environment. I can’t focus because now because there is this tension. She’s questioning my work quality, quantity and integrity. And, she has even had her husband, who she has been trying to get hired, come in for an interview. I need advice fast as I am sick to my stomach of potentially losing my job.

Signed, Bad Loans

Dear Bad Loans:

You are learning the hard way that people who owe money too often avoid their lenders, and in your case, you have special reason to be sick about that. Your situation is complicated by the fact that your boss has borrowed money, pressured you for more, and is keeping you on pins and needles both about if and when she would pay you back and also about for fear for she might fire you.

I hope you have records of what you loaned her. At least your bank should have records of the transaction if you transferred money from your account to hers. A boss asking for money from a subordinate is a serious breech of workplace ethics; therefore, it is your boss who should worry about her job. Advice? Take copies of the description of the question you sent us upward, to your boss’ boss and/or to Human Resources or Personnel in your organization.

Request an investigation of the matter and firmly state that you want your money back now. Explain that the pressure by your boss for money has caused you great stress, so much so that it affects your work. Consequently, it also would be wise for you to request that you no longer will be bossed by your present boss. If you don’t get positive support from those above, you probably should consult an attorney. However, an attorney might cost you more than what you loaned. Possibly, Tina Lewis Rowe, my associate workplace doctor, will have additional advice; advice that supports or modifies mine. You can trust whatever she might add.Work is hard enough without a problem such as yours. You should not be shy about taking this matter upwards to management. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. No place should tolerate a boss that borrows from her employees.

William Gorden