What If I Tell About the Boss’s Affair?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss’ affair: My coworker and boss have made it known to most of the 10 employees. We all know, but not the wife.

My boss has been having an affair with a 17yr old coworker. The wife is a cook at the restaurant and boss is owner. My coworker and boss have made it known to most of the 10 employees. We all know, but not the wife. Every time I work with the coworker she’s late and has the boss help with all her work, when he doesn’t help anyone else.

They have been caught by employees kissing and having sex in the office when the wife is not there. My other coworkers all know and have been told if we tell his wife we will be fired. There’s Internet sites in our town that state facts that we have to lie about. I’m leaving in a few weeks for surgery and wonder if I should tell the wife before I go. I already plan to look for new job after surgery anyhow. Should I collect unemployment for being fired for this?

Signed, Wanting To Tell

Dear Wanting To Tell:

First, find out the age of sexual consent in your state. It may be that a crime is being committed, and if so, you should tell the police or the district attorney. In some states consent is at age 16, in others it is 17 and in others it is 18. In addition, even though the young woman may seem mature and sexually active, she may also need help to stop a situation she doesn’t like and regrets being involved with.

We hear from many women who say they felt pressured to have sex as a young person in a business, but instead of being helped they were ostracized by others.You should also carefully consider what might happen if you tell the wife. Are you prepared to be viewed as at fault if the wife kills herself over it? If she kills her husband and the girl, then herself? If the business folds because of a divorce and everyone loses their jobs? If any of them harm you or others over the disclosure?

Unless a law is being broken, there appears to be no reason to open the door to potential tragedy. The wife may know. If she doesn’t, she may prefer not to know. If she finds out, at least she will not be further humiliated by having an employee be the one to tell her.Even if they weren’t having an affair, it’s not uncommon for employers to play favorites. It’s not right, but it happens. If work is unbearable because of the situation, employees should quit. Or, they should threaten to quit as a group.

You will need to check with your state’s department of labor to find out when you can or cannot collect unemployment insurance, but I don’t think you will be able to do so.You are correct to be looking for other work–and it sounds as though the others should do so as well. But, I believe you will feel better about the situation if you approach it in another way, other than just telling the wife and thinking that will solve the problem. Best wishes to you with this. If you have time and wish to do so, let us know what you decide and how it works out.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.