If I recently found out my boss was having an affair with a co-worker, how can I protect myself against retaliation?

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If I recently found out my boss was having an affair with a co-worker, how can I protect myself against retaliation?

I have an audio recording of a conversation they had when a dictaphone was left on by accident. In this recording they are discussing intimate things, which a boss would not normally discuss with an employee. It also ends with an “I love you”. To protect the practice I brought the situation up to my office manager. Other employees have quit knowing about the affair but not knowing about the recording. The partners of the practice are aware of the recording. Is there anything I should be doing to protect myself in this situation? I don’t want to be retaliated against if anything comes of this.

Asked on January 7, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Retaliation in the workplace includes any adverse action taken against an employee for filing a complaint under a variety laws pertaining to legally actionable discrimination. Accordingly, any potential retaliation that you may suffer in your situation, will not give rise to a legal claim since no discriminatory behavior would be involved. Therefore, unless any action taken against you would violate company policy or the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, your potential treatment would not illegal. Many employees don't realize that most employment arrangements are "at will". This means that a company can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes who to fire/suspend and for what. In fact, you could be fired/suspensed for your action here, or for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.


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