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Is this comment from my boss discriminatory?

 
 
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 04:29 pm
I am 54 and about 100 pounds overweight. I have diabetes and hypertension. No one at my work knows this, and my weight in no way prevents me from doing my job. I have a new boss who is 23. She has been riding me about various things which I consider abuse (cc'ing her on every email, insisting I give a minute by minute log of what I do all day, etc. At a lunch the other day, she said she is considering some team activities for after work, such as RUNNING. My two colleagues are also in their 20s and much more able to run than I am! I was sitting straight across from her, and we were the only ones there. She weighs about 90 pounds soaking wet. I felt it was a slap in the face and would like to file with HR about discrimination. Is this justified? I really just want to get her off my back.
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 05:15 pm
@savage39,
Of course it's not justified if it doesn't affect job performance. Watch out.. I've seen his done for numerous reasons.. It probably has more with her exercising the extent of her power.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2014 05:36 pm
@savage39,
This is not going to be the last of these things...and she is completely and totally out of line.

Keep a diary. Document when and where any other incidents of this sort take place.

At some point...it will be very clear to you when that point arrives...you may very well go the suit way.

In the meantime, try to enjoy your job as much as possible. Don't let her ruin your enjoyment of life.
Mame
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 10:41 am
It may or may not be. You may be a little over-sensitive about your weight. But it's irrelevant because you work your hours and don't have to get involved in anything after work. Even if she implemented an 'at work' exercise thing, you don't have to attend that either.

I agree that documenting everything is a great idea. And a point for you to ponder - what if you're wrong and she's not on your back? She may like to be cc'd so she's uptodate on what's going on; maybe she feels a little unprepared and insecure about her abilities? You have no way of knowing why she wants this and that. You could ask her. Are your co-workers required to do the same?

When I worked in an engineering office, we also had to log our activities. One of the reasons was to be able to accurately charge clients, but it really makes you think about what you're doing all day long. Some may see it as a whip to the back, but it does actually help the managers assess where the time is going, I mean, how it's being spent. Are you spending 20 hours a week photocopying? Maybe utilize a printing service than spending extra money on your own staff standing at the photocopier. That's one of the things we found out.

Either way, you work there and if you enjoy working there, maybe reflect a little on if you are being a little sensitive or misplaced in your assumptions about her attitude and requests. Give her the benefit of the doubt and at the end of the day, really, who cares why? If she wants those details, just cheerfully give them to her.
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tsarstepan
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 11:05 am
@savage39,
savage39 wrote:

She has been riding me about various things which I consider abuse (cc'ing her on every email, insisting I give a minute by minute log of what I do all day, etc.

It's her prerogative as manager to micromanage you. Is it bad management? Yes. Is it effective? Not really. Is it bad for employee morale? Hell yes. Is it discriminatory? No.


Quote:
At a lunch the other day, she said she is considering some team activities for after work, such as RUNNING. My two colleagues are also in their 20s and much more able to run than I am! I was sitting straight across from her, and we were the only ones there. She weighs about 90 pounds soaking wet. I felt it was a slap in the face and would like to file with HR about discrimination.

That's a stretch by any imagination to assume she's directly targeting you. From a third party perspective, it kind of looks like you have a paranoid complex. Seeing into things that aren't even there. Whether you agree with her style of management or not (the running being a legitimate team building exercise), it's her prerogative to continue using such style until someone higher in management tells her otherwise.

Quote:

Is this justified? I really just want to get her off my back.

Whether it is or isn't justifiable, it's one of those things you can't prove (associating how she manages you and proving its directly discriminatory) so by bringing it up, you actually will be doing more damage to yourself in terms of your future relationship with your manager, your coworkers, and even human resources.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 12:32 pm
@tsarstepan,
I agree with you, Tsar, on some of what you are saying. And with Mame. As for the need to clock times, that is very important in my last work places, architecture/design: first re billing clients, and second on being able to figure out what to estimate to the client when you are sending a contract - being able to predict time apt to be spent.

Depending on the field of work, project note taking can be very important too, and could be asked for by a supervisor.

Emails? if you are emailing clients, it can be smart for a supervisor to read what you are writing.

On lunch at work - me, I used to walk or run on my lunch hours, sometimes with a brown bag lunch of my own or a stopping at the nearby grocery. I liked my co workers generally, but space by yourself can be refreshing if the business day is actually busy, or if you have already heard a co-workers favorite subject countless times. And fresh air is good too.
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Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 04:22 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I agree. Keeping a diary is a great idea.
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PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 04:37 pm
What she does after work is her own business. She can invite anyone to join her. You are free to decline. If she, in any way, makes that an obligation or makes an overt hint that you must participate, then it does make for concern.

Keep a log of her discussions.

(If this is her idea of office bonding and having fun, then again, you could just walk the course while others run.)
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Apr, 2014 10:56 pm
@savage39,
savage39 wrote:

I am 54 and about 100 pounds overweight. I have diabetes and hypertension. No one at my work knows this, and my weight in no way prevents me from doing my job. I have a new boss who is 23. She has been riding me about various things which I consider abuse (cc'ing her on every email, insisting I give a minute by minute log of what I do all day, etc. At a lunch the other day, she said she is considering some team activities for after work, such as RUNNING. My two colleagues are also in their 20s and much more able to run than I am! I was sitting straight across from her, and we were the only ones there. She weighs about 90 pounds soaking wet. I felt it was a slap in the face and would like to file with HR about discrimination. Is this justified? I really just want to get her off my back.


CCing her on every e-mail and keeping a detailed activity log, may be excessive micro-managing but it's hard to say it's discriminatory, or even abusive.

She might be able to offer a rational explanation as to why she is so closely monitoring your work activity. Let's face it, there are plenty of poor performing employees who blame their bosses. This is not to say that you are one or that her practices are warranted, but it's certainly possible.

As for her comment about running, unless she said you would have to run and that you would be let go if you refused or were unable to do so, I don't see the discrimination. Many companies have so-called "Wellness Programs" which, in the main, are intended to attempt to save them money. I even read recently that there are some companies who have taken to "fining" employees who won't partake of company work-out facilities. This, it seems to me, is going too far, but employees at such companies are free to leave and seek employment elsewhere.

Unfortunately, you're probably not going to get much sympathy from fitness-Nazis, and if your HR Rep is one, you're sunk.

Also, your next step is largely dependent upon where you work. In "Right to "Work" states, you usually only have a valid discrimination complaint if the actions are provably based on your membership in a federally protected class: Race, Gender and Age. As far as I know, the overweight have not become a protected class. Some state have their own laws about who can't be fired, but they tend to be about whistle-blowing and such.

Your boss may have been an ass intending to give you a "slap in the face," but that's not necessarily discrimination. It doesn't mean you shouldn't talk to HR though. Most companies are not OK with supervisors slapping their employees, figuratively or literally, in the face. My advice though is not to charge in claiming discrimination. Just talk to your HR Rep and tell him/her of your concerns. Let him/her decide whether or not it can be considered discrimination. Understand though that unless your HR Rep. is a flaming liberal, he/she will talk to your boss and weigh her account of the facts against yours. HR tends to side with management when the accounts are a push and this isn't as horrible as some might think. Your HR Rep is not a Union Shop Steward. He or she is not an advocate for employees, although this role may be played on occasion when warranted. In a "he said- she said" situation involving worker and supervisor, it makes sense to err on the side of the supervisor.

What you do is, obviously, up to you, but I strongly suggest you don't take the advice of some of the firebrands in this forum. You can make a huge stink about this and the odds are you will get the short end of the stick. You could come out ahead, but you would be beating the odds. If you like your job and you want to remain employed by your company then take a more reserved, but no less self-interested approach.

If you don't like your job, irrespective of your supervisor's actions, then start taking steps to find a new one.

You might even try talking directly to her about the issue. Believe it or not, she may have no appreciation for how her actions are personally affecting you. If you present your case in a composed manner, she might have a hard time justifying her actions. On the other hand, if you confront her guns blazing, you can be sure she will respond in kind.

Much of this is Human Nature and relationship dynamics.

I would hope that you have a HR Rep who can discuss this matter with you in the sort of detail and scope it requires, but then I don't have a very high regard for HR Reps.

Legally, it doesn't appear that you have any kind of case at all. Skillfully manage personal relationships at work and you may get what you want.
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