Is it legal if my boss asks me a lot of personal questions?

The day before I had surgery to have a cancerous breast tumor removed my boss said, “You don’t have to answer this if you’re not comfortable but are you having your entire breast removed�. I believed he asked because the answer to that question would largely determine if my doctor would recommend radiation or chemotherapy. This would then determine how much time I would need off. Fortunately, it ended up that I didn’t need either of the treatments and all my surgeries have gone well. I am just wondering because my boss seems to step over the line quite a bit.

Asked on November 11, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Asking a sexual question--as in some contexts, a question about a breast could be--would be illegal as sexual harassment or discrimination.
A non-sexual question which relates to a business purpose--such as for planning purposes, so he can anticipate how to cover your work while out, and how long he would need coverage for--is legal, though admittedly he could probably have been more delicate in how he approached it.


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