Manager / Subordinate Relationships

The house of cards has already begun to fall and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. As was said upthread, get a new position elsewhere while you still can before the HR investigates and you get canned. If you’re actually the district manager, your competitors will surely hear about this if it gets out. Cut your losses now.

That’s quite an assumption there. Why do you think she’d admit being the one who intitiated the action, particularly when, well, see below. . .

I haven’t read your employee handbook, but I don’t think “forbidden” leaves much grey area.

She’s telling her friends, she has a crazy-ass husband, she knows that a workplace relationship is going to get at least one of you in trouble (she did offer to quit, right?) and she STILL wants to continue?


I’d recommend you get yourself a lawyer who will a) advise you how to deal with HR either before or after this blows wide open and b) help you get a restraining order against the woman and/or the husband if things continue to go down this road.

Kill the relationship and talk to HR. Throw yourself of whatever mercy they may have. You don’t want them to find out from the lady, or her legal representative, and you really don’t want the company to find out via pissed off boyfriend at the workplace.

Update your resume, document the shit out of everything and be truthful about it.

I don’t know what to say about your and your current Other since there is a lack of details.

Thanks for all the advice guys…
I’m going to talk to her and try to get on the same page then go from there. I’m also wondering, if people find out from a friend of a friend and not either of us directly, is there any hope of us just denying everything?

For the record, the employee handbook states that family, spouses, employees in relationships, etc may both work for the company, but cannot both work in the same direct management chain or have influence or control over the others employment unless approved by HR.

You’re guessing, and I bet you’re guessing wrong. Experience trumps education.

If you don’t have a Linked In page, create one now, and connect with all your employees; endorse all their skills as you think appropriate (and be reasonably generous: don’t endorse only the experts). Make connections with everyone you know in your industry. You should do this whether you plan to leave your job or not, because you’re doing all your contacts a service if they want to find new jobs.

I’ve been working for 35 years and was recently laid off for the first time in my life. It wasn’t a productivity issue; the company had to lay off a certain percent, and due to a long story I won’t go into, the project I’d been working on was cancelled, so my whole team was on the chopping block: we weren’t actively working on the very next product release, so letting us go didn’t jeopardize any deliveries. That’s just one of thousands of possible stories: you can’t predict unemployment, so it’s a good idea (as I learned, the hard way) to be prepared for it at all times.

Also, I’ve been working all my life in jobs that require a degree, without a degree. I have good reason to believe it’s never been the reason I wasn’t chosen for a job I applied for, though I’m sure it left a few doors closed. Just not very many.

You shouldn’t be working with your crazy lady employee. You need to distance yourself, one way or another. My guess is even if she offered to quit, if you ask her to, it won’t just “go away”. Frankly, I think you’re safer relocating! But I have zero experience with cheating/cheaters and crazy ladies so I admit I’m guessing.

Start looking now for a new job. Be willing to consider moving. You may be surprised, and even if you don’t find a good new job, you haven’t wasted your time: you’ve become better prepared for the possibility of losing your job and having to find one.

Meanwhile, I suggest you fess up to your SO. Chances are good she’ll find out, and it’ll go a lot better if she gets it from you.

It doesn’t matter if she made the advances. You are screwed. Another employee can complain to HR and say she got preferential treatment due to her relationship with you. Even if she quits. Even if she says it was mutual. You could both try the deny everything and hope it sticks, but if someone decides to sue, are you prepared for perjury? The harm, from an HR standpoint, isn’t just between you and her (and her husband has nothing at all to do with it), its between you and all your staff - including her.

Next time an employee sends you flirty messages, you nip it in the bud with extreme prejudice. You document EVERYTHING and you tell her “this stops now or you will see disciplinary action” - you get HR involved from the go. Sex between bosses and married subordinates is too juicy not to become known.

And will it screw your career? We got a great resume across our desks, and the applicant had previously worked at a company I worked at and still knew people. So I called. He was technically awesome - but he had showed the bad judgement to sleep with someone who worked for him and was married. We talked about it and tossed the resume. We don’t need ethics issues.

If it was a matter of trying to keep your job at all costs, could you dump your SO, have her quit and shack up with you, and in doing so create a situation where HR has nothing to complain about?

Sure, it might be a rumor that you had slept together before, but so what? She’s not an employee now.

He doesn’t want an LTR with her.

Sir, you are Done.

The time to click your heels three times & say “I Wish I hadn’t Dipped my Pen in Company Ink” is long past. If you want the ‘Die Hard’ quote, “…the quarterback IS Toast”.
Hope you packed your silk with care because now you need to eject… fast… and in a bad economy.
Why fast? Because its still “resigned for personal reasons” and not “fired for sexual harassment”. Still, in your industry, and at your level, people WILL talk. Get used to unchecking that box where it asks if its OK to contact your former employer.


A-HA-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! There are wear-marks on the ledges outside of the windows of the top floors of old style office buildings Worn Into Marble by the shoes of guys who SWORE she’d admit the truth in the end…

Better an LTR with someone with imperfections than losing a decent job, right?

No, do not do this.

IMO no. She has blabbed already, and will do so again.

IOW you are screwed.

You still have a chance. If you are a top producer, and your loss would cost the company money, you might get away with a reprimand or maybe even the company would sweep it under the rug if you don’t make a habit of this kind of thing. If you are anything else, good luck.

Break it off with this woman immediately. Go to your supervisor (NOT HR) and come clean. Say that the “relationship” was a mistake, that you have ended it, that you DO NOT NEED THEIR HELP IN RESOLVING THE MISTAKE and that you are just reporting your mistake so they know you are being as honest as you can manage.

Good luck, especially with your SO.

The woman’s problems with her husband are her problems, not yours. This is not the first time she has done this, it won’t be the last, and there is nothing you can or should do about it.


Do not go to HR. HR represents the company’s interests, first and foremost. People come second, at most.

I question going to your supervisor. It depends on your relationship with that person, but otherwise informing your supervisor might put him/her in a tricky situation where they feel it’s not under sufficient control, and then they seek HR. If they didn’t inform HR, then if this blows up then the supervisor’s job might be at risk because they did not inform HR.

You could seek employment elsewhere. Not saying this is what you should do, but only that I agree with the poster who said your experience is valuable. Many jobs require a degree or equivalent experience.

Thanks for all the responses…even if they all paint the same less than ideal picture. Perhaps I’m living in a fantasy land, but I’m still hoping for an outcome where her husband doesn’t find out and she just gets bored of me. She’s young, and bound to find another flavor of the week eventually. I really doubt that she would intentionally do anything to jeopardize my career - even if we have a falling out. Lets be honest - she has a husband and wants to protect her marriage, reputation, and assets if and when she does divorce him. This would hurt her if it got out as well.

Uh, I wouldn’t be so confident about that. Why wouldn’t she make you the fall guy?

This isn’t her first, or really second job. It’s more of a hobby. She works under 10 hours a week and doesn’t really value her job here that much. Most, if not all employees here love me (not gloating, but it’s true) she wouldn’t want to be the girl that fucked me over. She’s also crazy about me right now, which might not last, but she wouldn’t want to screw me over right now.
She’s already admitted it very openly to the one co-worker she told already. Her words to the friend “He had no chance. He tried to say no, but I wouldn’t have given up.”

Back up everything at least 5x - and get them off site - USB stick, hell, hardcopy - something that can’t be altered. This is where paper really shines.

HR may delete/edit everything on your company’s machine - is that machine on your desk company property?

Find a printer you can use - hell, smuggle one in, but get the history in a safe place.

Then see how fast you can find another job - that place is now poisoned for you.

The first time anyone in the place initiates a conversation re this mess, call the lawyer you are going to find real soon.

This cannot be overstated.

AAMOF, I can only see terror being wrought, were you to go to HR.

Go to a lawyer. I don’t think that you should get into trouble, tho. She started it, there was no quid pro quo, etc…that fits into HR’s purview.
Lawyer up, don’t go to HR.

A text file record of early conversations stored on your computer is worthless. Anyone can write a text file. There’s no way to verify that it’s an accurate documentation.

To agree with other posters: Do NOT go to HR. HR is there *only *to protect the interests of the company. Period.

It isn’t worthless. Journals, diaries and written records are entered into evidence all the time. Timestamped is better. Communication between two people where a witness can say “I did get this letter near that postmarked date” is better. Electronically timestamped communication is better (texts, voicemail, email). But it can all be faked and its up to the judge and jury to decide if it is or isn’t accurate.

However, in this case, unless he is inaccurate in his descriptions, it doesn’t make any difference if he has a written record or not. Yes, she was the pursuer and yes the relationship was mutual and consensual And that’s the problem - he, as the manager of this women, entered into a mutual and consensual relationship with her - she didn’t rape him. That’s over the line. For reasons from bad judgement to the other staff could call it unfair.

And since most of us can be fired for any reason or no reason (well, except for the protected class reasons, and last I checked making wild monkey love with your subordinate was not a protected class), he can be let go on an unproven rumor.

I’m reminded of the movie with Michael Douglas and Demi Moore (and Dennis Miller), Disclosure (1994), where she pursues him relentlessly and he doesn’t have much of a chance. His character is married, while hers is not. It wasn’t forcible rape, but like the OP writes about what the OP’s girl said, (something like) she was relentlessly pursuing him and he was trying to say no but she was going to have him no matter what.

Similarly, like in that movie.

Except for the key point that if the guy does not want to penetrate her, short of torture or threatened violence, the guy has the power to say No.

Anyway, parts of this thread is reminding me of some parts of that movie. They worked together, too, although IIRC he was not her boss. I think she outranked him, or was at least a peer and she got the promotion that most in the company thought would be his. And, like the OP he was ‘loved by all’ in the company, too. I wonder if anyone else here remembers that film.