Is it OK for management to go around telling other employees about your personal life?

I was really close with one of my male co-workers and then a rumor went out that me and him were involved sexually. One of the supervisors told the managers and then the manager told another employee. Regardless if it happened, we were not in any violations. I feel extremely uncomfortably and do not see as to why my personal life concerns them when I would like to keep my personal life separate from work. It’s not the first time. One day I was feeling ill and the supervisor/hr whom was in charge that day suggested I might be pregnant and offered to buy a test for me, I told her I did not want this to get out and had no one else to go to. The following day she told other co-workers she had purchased a test for me. The test was negative I did not see how it was of any relevancy. One more thing, I brought up that one of our supervisors was slacking off and she said she’d talk to her. She then went and told her that I was complaining about her. Is it right for her to have brought up my name? It made things extremely awkward and uncomfortable after. With the supervisor coming up to me approaching me asking if I had a problem with her.

Asked on September 29, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless this behavior keeps you from reasonably performing your work duties and is the result of some form of unlawful discrimination or the breach of an employment/union agreement, you have no case. While unprofessional, this treatment does not give rise to a legal claim. The fact most work is "at will" which means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. For your part, you can either put up with these actions, complain but risk termination, or quit.

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