I manage my daughter and someone complained about her

I’m on vacation today. This was originally published in 2016.

A reader writes:

I am the director of operations for our practice. I have a daughter who is one of our employees, and I am her manager. She has a seven-month old baby and works part-time from home for our publicly traded company, doing administrative work.

She brought her baby to work recently while she ran by to get some supplies and send an email. A coworker – unbeknownst to us – took a picture of my daughter’s baby playing on the floor at work during this short time and sent it to the HR director at corporate – telling HR that my daughter was bringing her baby to work in the office and that she was afraid to say anything because she feared retribution.

First of all, this was completely untrue – she works from home and does not work in the office. Secondly, no one here has ever experienced retribution. The HR director would not tell me who sent the picture and told this story.

I am concerned on two levels – first of all, what gives this employee any right to take pictures of another coworker’s child and share them with anyone? Is there recourse here? Secondly, without knowing who has done this, my level of trust for all of our employees has been diminished, as I must now suspect all five of the people in this particular office location of having done such a petty thing. Where are my rights to accessing this information?

Well, first, you should not be managing your daughter.

You should not be managing your daughter!

I have to repeat it a second time, because it’s a huge conflict of interest. At a minimum, it will create an appearance with other employees of favoritism and unfair treatment; people are unlikely to believe that you’re able to fairly and objectively assess her and her work and to deal with her in an unbiased way when it comes to everything from assignments to raises to feedback to who ends up on a layoff list if cuts are needed. Or, uh, who you believe if there’s a complaint about her. And frankly, it’s pretty likely that at least some of that is true. There’s a reason that most companies don’t allow people to manage close relatives.

You can see it playing out in this situation, where you can’t take a stance on the situation without it sounding like you’re acting as an employee’s mom, rather than as her manager.

If you weren’t her mom, it might be easier to look at the situation this way: An employee says another employee has been bringing her baby to work in the office and she’s afraid of retribution if she speaks up about it. If you weren’t her mom, you’d probably not instantly assume that the complaint was false; you’d consider that it was possible that it was true and that you just didn’t know the full story. You wouldn’t jump to conclusions but would gather more information, and you’d also be concerned about why one of your employees was fearful of retribution, and you’d take that as a flag that something was going on that needed to be fixed.

Now, is it possible that the complaining employee is acting in bad faith and just trying to cause trouble for a coworker? Yes, it’s possible. But frankly, it’s a lot more likely that there’s something to it — because while people do occasionally make groundless complaints because of ill will, it’s a lot more common for complaints to be sincere. That’s especially true when someone fears retribution! (And in this case, we can understand where the fear is coming from — she’s complaining about the daughter of the person who runs the office.)

So: could your daughter be bringing her baby in when you don’t realize it? Could it have happened just a couple of times, and this employee inadvertently thought it was going to be a regular thing? Could have just been the one time you know about but she’s seen your daughter get away with other stuff and assumed this would be happening more in the future? I don’t know what’s going on, but it sounds like at a minimum you need to talk with your daughter (as her manager, not as her mom) about whether she’s brought the baby in at other times; seek out some information from other employees too, since they may be aware of things that you’re not; and do some soul searching about whether employees might feel you treat your daughter differently than the rest of them.

Don’t get sidetracked by focusing on whether the person who complained was in the right to take a picture of the baby and send it to HR. That’s not the big issue here, and if you focus on that, you’re going to look like your relationship with your daughter is clouding your judgment.

You also can’t dismiss the person’s fear of retribution by just flatly stating “no one here has ever experienced retribution.” If you’re going to manage a family member (and you shouldn’t!), you need to be very aware that people will fear that and that you need to actively work to counteract it. And trying to hunt down the person who made this complaint isn’t exactly going to help you do that.

In fact, don’t try to figure out who complained at all. That doesn’t matter. (And no, your company is not obligated to share that with you, and again, pushing for it will make you look bad.)

What matters is that someone on your staff has raised a complaint that would be legitimate if it’s true, and that you cannot assume without any investigation that you know it’s false. Handle this the way you’d handle it if your daughter wasn’t working there.

{ 340 comments… read them below }

  1. TimeTravlR*

    The fact that LW went straight to Outrageous! rather than critically assessing the situation and resolving it says a lot. Also, don’t manage family members!!

    1. Heidi*

      The fact that the OP didn’t see the potential contradiction between, “No one here has ever experienced retribution,” and “I want to know how I can identify this person so that I don’t have to take out my rage on everyone,” is kind of telling.

      1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        I’m probably being overly generous, but when emotions are running high and someone is fixated on one thing (in this case it seems to be ‘who thought it okay to take a photo of my grandchild?!’) there tend to be fewer instances of proof reading an email and also less ability to focus on the ramifications of what you’re ranting about.

        I expect OP wanted Alison to reply with ‘of course nobody should be photographing children! That’s wrong and naturally you do have a right to know who did it. Who knows where else this employee sent the photo to!’ and didn’t stop to think about any of the actual management and business concerns of such an approach.

        1. IEanon*

          I think this is probably true and, all other things aside (don’t manage family members!), I also was a little taken aback by the fact that this person took a photo of the child to send to HR. There’s an argument to be made that the “complainant” did it because they felt it was likely they wouldn’t be believed otherwise, which goes hand-in-hand with the (understandable) fear of retribution.

          It probably feels more invasive since this is OP’s grandchild, but I would want to address that fact after I investigated the complaint. OP doesn’t have a right to know who took the picture, of course, but it does feel a bit icky.

            1. IEanon*

              I don’t have kids, but I also really don’t like the idea of others, especially non-family members, taking pictures of children. It feels like a violation of privacy, the same way it would if someone took a photo of a coworker doing something they disagreed with without that person’s knowledge.

              A baby is not just a workplace problem, it is a person, albeit one who doesn’t fully understand what’s going on.

              I might be more bothered by this than most, since I’m REALLY put off by the culture of publicizing a child’s entire life on social media, when they really can’t consent to that info being out there. I’m not saying that’s analogous to the letter, but it feels wrong to me in the same way.

              1. Observer*

                This has nothing to do with “publicizing a child’s life.” And EVERYTHING to do with the fact that this poster would never, ever properly investigate the situation absent the picture.

                I mean look at what happened. Someone took the picture and the OP STILL insisted that it didn’t happen. And also insisted that NO ONE is afraid of retribution, but still wants to know who complained so she can punish them.

                1. VeeTLV*

                  Exactly what Observer said. The fact that OP wrote a letter about this in the first place is telling. Would they write a letter if this were not a family member? I had a boss that hired her daughter as a student worker. It was awful. Lovely girl, awful mom, and it made for a very tense office situation when you can’t really manage a student worker who’s mom can and enjoys making your life miserable just for fun. I know for a fact this woman did not think it’s a problem and was surprised when finally forced by the dept head to fire her daughter.

              2. Kal*

                If a coworker was doing something unsafe or unethical on the job, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be believed without evidence, taking a photo of them is perfectly fine. Like, is it better to leave the coworker to do something that could cause harm to them/others/the company because taking a picture of them in a place where they should already expect to be seen by other people is a breach of privacy?

                Like, I’m also super against people overly publicising their child online, leaving the kid unable to choose to have their own privacy as they get old enough to want it. I super hate people putting random photos of me online as well. But taking a picture of a baby on the floor in a workplace (where people are not going to be watching for small children being around because children aren’t supposed to be there) as evidence to show HR isn’t at all the same as putting hundreds or thousands of photos and videos of someone on the internet.

              3. Feline*

                Getting so angry about the photo is an ad hominem attack against the employee who brought the concern to HR rather than addressing the (very real) issue at hand.

                No one put this kid’s photo on social media without permission. It’s no more inappropriate than writing an email that says “summarizing what we discussed in our meeting today…”

              4. Greg*

                Parent with three kids here: 100% on the publicizing an entire child’s life; monetizing it gets even more gross.

                Manager of people here: the picture was 100% taken to avoid a “he said/she said” situation that would also have exposed who made the complaint!

                Family member who manages other family members in a family business: lol

          1. Georgina Fredrika*

            yes, it’s a picture of a baby, but the context of why the photo was taken is super clear. If they didn’t take the photo, sounds 100% like grandma would have simply said “the baby is never in the office so this case is closed” and I doubt the employee is unaware of that attitude. It seems a bit far fetched and unnecessarily paranoid to imply that a co-worker simply taking a photo of a baby (in an office it’s not supposed to be in) and sharing it in private to a boss could lead to something more nefarious

            1. IEanon*

              Oh, I don’t think it would lead to anything nefarious, and I completely understand why the coworker would consider needing to document, given how hostile OP seems to be in the letter.

              Taking surreptitious photos of people is generally frowned upon, though, and I think we should extend that to pictures of kids. They have a right not to be photographed, too.

              And I’m sure the coworker did share the photo with friends/family in a “can you believe this?” kind of way. That’s generally what people do.

              1. Chris B*

                I don’t think assuming that the complainant showed the picture around at home is fair.

                I also don’t think you have any natural expectation of privacy on the open floor of an office, even as a guest.

                I think the picture was taken to add credibility to the story, or to highlight the level of disruption that occurred. The LW said the picture was “of the baby playing on the office floor” and I would say that is a downright hazardous level of disruption. In the best case scenario, a baby playing between the desks at work is going to distract everyone from their screens and phones. In the worst case scenario, someone who doesn’t know there is a baby between the desks steps on her en route to the printer. If the baby isn’t being carried or supervised, it isn’t reasonable to have it in the office. If babies could conduct themselves in an office, they’d be hired more often.

              2. JB*

                Taking surreptitious photos is not frowned upon ‘in general’. It depends heavily on why the photo was taken and what it was used for.

                Documenting poor behavior in the workplace is absolutely an acceptable reason to take a surreptitious photo of someone. It’s unfortunate that in this case the photo has to be of an innocent party (the baby), but that’s the necessity of the situation.

                It’s also really bizarre to assume the coworker shared the photos around. Even in context, it’s just a photo of someone else’s baby, not particularly interesting and wouldn’t add anything to the story.

          2. marvin the paranoid android*

            On the one hand, I wouldn’t take a picture of a child and send it to others without permission. I can see where, out of context, that is a legitimate concern. But in this case, I suspect it’s mostly a smokescreen because the LW was annoyed at having her daughter’s professionalism questioned and thought this was the most socially appropriate bucket to throw those feelings into.

      2. too many too soon*

        OP seemed to be banking on the universal outrage that goes along with any child-related complaint. (But the children!!)

      3. Worldwalker*

        You said it for me. The irony of those statements!

        This is another one I’d love to have a follow up on.

      4. Distracted Librarian*

        Exactly what I came here to say. She’s far more concerned with finding out who the complainer is and wondering if she has any “recourse” (which sure sounds like planned retribution to me) than she is about what actually happened, why someone thought her daughter was bringing in her baby regularly, and why someone would fear retribution.

        1. Annony*

          Since the OP couldn’t read the original complaint, it is entirely possible that they didn’t even say it happened repeatedly and only reported the one time that it actually happened.

      5. RCB*

        OMG yes!!! In the same breath she says “no one faces retribution here” and “I need to know who this is so I can punish them” (paraphrasing) and doesn’t at all sense the irony of it all. She proved her point that this had to be done anonymously!

      6. Essess*

        EXACTLY – there’s no reason to know “who” unless you plan to act on that information, which is the definition of retaliation.

      7. El l*

        Yeah, it’s like that line from Murrillo on Orange is the New Black:

        “Do you hear yourself sometimes? Like, when you speak?”

      8. Lego Leia*

        Yep, there is no personal retribution because OP is now treating everyone with distrust sure is a great argument for how well managing her daughter is going.

      9. JB*

        Right?! “Why would they be afraid of retribution? Tell me who it was so I can go explain to them how they shouldn’t be afraid of retribution.”

  2. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

    Oh this one.

    One cannot say ‘I am not looking to retaliate’ and ‘I need to find out who reported her’ in the same letter and expect to not be called a hypocrite.

    Stop being your daughter’s manager, whether by moving jobs or companies, take the complaint made to HR seriously and look VERY closely at any way you’ve been letting your daughter have favourtism over others.

      1. starsaphire*

        “No one here has ever been retaliated against…

        …until now!”

        (I hear it in the voice of that guy who does movie trailers that start “In a world where…”)

        1. Pippa K*


          Also a possibility: “No one here has ever been retaliated against…because they know better than to cross me in the first place!”

      2. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        I read it as ‘I need to know who said this so I can approach them and tell them that they are wrong’ with a side order of ‘and also tell them to never take a photo of my grandchild again’.

        Frankly the photo bit is a red herring. I think the OP actually knows that they’ve been caught out and is panicking a bit and reaching for something else ‘wrong’ (in this case the photo, even though it’s not wrong) to divert the blame onto.

        Another reason why it’s not ok to manage your own family members. It’s very very easy to bring emotions into situations at work that would be resolved better if those close ties were *not* present.

      3. So they all rolled over and one fell out*

        “The retaliation will continue until the accusations of retaliation stop!”

    1. Anonys*

      Came here to same the same. The whole reason that OP wants to know who complained is “retribution”. OP trusts all the employees in the office less because of this complaint and wants to know who made it so that they know who specifically to mistrust/dislike. OP might think of retribution as firing someone or at least outright bullying, but a manager mistrusting an employee and thinking badly of them for being “petty” when they make a complaint already IS retribution.

    2. londonedit*

      I also really liked the contradiction of ‘She brought her baby to work recently while she ran by to get some supplies and send an email’ and ‘First of all, this was completely untrue – she works from home and does not work in the office’. Someone complained to HR that the daughter was bringing her baby to the office, and the OP tries to say that’s not true? But she did!

      1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        It’s a fascinating display of logic errors! ‘She’s never brought her baby to work’ and ‘she brought her child in and someone took a picture’ is like me saying ‘I’ve never smoked in my life’ and ‘there’s plenty of times when I worked in London that I smoked’

      2. Heidi*

        Yes! And why did she have to go into the office to send one email? This is obviously a lesser point of weirdness, but I’m curious.

        1. Teapot Repair Technician*

          It would be even weirder if the story didn’t include sending an email. Because if you’re just “getting some supplies,” how does the baby end up on the floor?

          When my children were babies, I went many places to get various supplies, and not once did I need to put them on the floor.

          1. Anonymeece*

            I mean, I brought in my baby while I was on maternity leave to settle some stuff at work that had to be done (it was a 5 minute chore, but had to be done in person), and she was in a carseat and the carseat was on the floor?

            If the baby was like, laying on the floor playing, then that’s a sign that it was more than just a quick drop-in to the office, grab something, and go.

            1. Quoth the Raven*

              Furthermore, I might be talking out of my arse here since I’ve never really spent much time around babies, if you have a one playing on the floor who might or might not be unattended, it sounds to me like the complaint is even more legitimate — there’s a bunch of potential hazards to a baby at floor level, from electrical cords and sockets to the errant clip, and the potential for someone accidentally hurting the baby by being unaware of them.

              1. Littorally*

                Not to mention that a lot of office floors are kind of gross. Especially pre-covid, when this letter was sent.

              2. Anonymeece*

                Okay, I’m not there yet, but I think babies don’t start crawling until later, so a baby just being on the floor is a tripping hazard, but probably don’t have to worry about him/her getting into things, going after power outlets and stuff. (I think. Maybe babies do crawl at 7 months, but I think it’s closer to around 9.)

                But I work in a library, and ANY unattended child is a source of concern, because people naturally don’t want a baby to get hurt, so if the woman brought in her baby, put him down, and left to do something else, there’s going to be a distraction even if the baby can’t crawl yet. Heck, I’ve hung around longer at parks before because I saw a kid without a parent around and just wanted to wait to make sure an adult was with them before I left.

                1. Cercis*

                  Most babies are crawling by 7 months. My oldest started around 7 months and the doctors were acting concerned about developmental delays when he wasn’t crawling by 6 months (he then started cruising furniture and was fully walking before 9 months, so there weren’t any concerns).

                  If I were in an office for some reason (visiting my mom or a former coworker) AND it was a private office with a door I might have put him down on the floor at that age because he was so heavy. I’d have put a blanket down and given him a toy and he mostly would have stayed put. But I come from a child-centric culture where that kind of thing is totally expected (like former co-workers chastise you if you don’t bring the baby around for them to see).

                2. Lady Meyneth*

                  I started walking at 8 months (which completely screwed over my back development, but there you go)! Most babies I’ve known could easily get into trouble on the floor from about 3-4 months if you let them, by rolling on and on till they reached that shiny power socket.

                3. alienor*

                  My daughter was almost 10 months before she crawled, and she was definitely the last one in our mom/baby group to do it–most of the others started between 5 and 7 months. She crawled for about two weeks and then started walking (I have literally one photo of her crawling because it lasted such a short time), so it didn’t end up being a problem, but I remember being worried.

                4. allathian*

                  My son crawled at 7 months, and he was walking without support by 11 months. There’s quite a bit of variation, though.

          2. iglwif*

            Yes, I was by the office with my baby a few times during my mat leave (which was so long ago that I *literally could not* have sent a work email from home even if I’d wanted to), and she definitely was never on the floor during that period, because … office carpets are gross, and also people walk around reading files or holding hot cups of tea and not looking at the floor under their feet, and honestly one should expect to be able to go about one’s workday without worrying about tripping on someone else’s unexpectedly visiting baby. She was in the baby sling or someone was holding her.

      3. Remi Cat*

        I was coming here to say the same thing! In the span of a few sentences, LW says, “She brought her baby to work recently while she ran by to get some supplies and send an email,” “A coworker… [told] HR that my daughter was bringing her baby to work in the office,” and “…this was completely untrue – she works from home and does not work in the office.”

        …But LW had JUST said she brought her baby to work. Thus, her daughter IS bringing the baby to work in the office.

        This is a game of semantics where the facts are ultimately still the same regardless.

        1. Sea Anemone*

          But all these responses along the lines of “but your daughter IS bringing her baby to work!” are a little bit of a semantics game as well. If it was a one time thing for a short drop in (and we are supposed to take the LW’s words at face value), then “bringing the baby to work” is kind of an overstatement.

          Now, maybe there were other baby-visits that were not reported and that LW didn’t know about, in which case “bringing the baby into work” is accurate. If the events were exactly as LW describes, then the coworker really did over state things.

          1. Remi Cat*

            But the rest of the email kind of points to events not being as LW describes (“No retaliation here ever, but I wanna know who it is.), so I think people are picking up on that. At least for me, I was pointing out that LW is contradicting herself, which puts everything else in a weird light.

            1. Sea Anemone*

              Oh, I do agree that the overall tone of “I need to know who sent this” undermines the “there’s no retaliation here” claim that LW is making. I don’t see that as inconsistent with my point that “bringing the baby into work” is an overstatement if it was truly a one-time drop-in.

            2. Birdie*

              I also wondered about context OP is leaving out. Are kids generally not allowed? Have others been chastised for bringing them in before? I feel like there are probably important details she deliberately didn’t share.

          2. Teapot Repair Technician*

            I gather the complaint was about the baby being on the floor, not the number of times the baby was brought in.

          3. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

            I rather suspect that there are either a) other instances of favouritism toward the daughter and this (being allowed to bring your child into work) was easiest to document and report to HR or /
            b) this happens often.

            1. Greg*

              I’m going to recklessly speculate that OP’s daughter was allowed to work from home for *reasons* while everyone else was informed they had to come back in person.

          4. MK*

            We are supposed to take what they say in good faith, not accept their interpretation blindly. The OP says her daughter never comes into the office, but obviously that’s not true, so I am guessing she means it happens very rarely. But the OP is clearly biased, so I wonder if what she thinks of as rarely, the rest of the office would describe as pretty regularly. And “baby on the floor” does suggest the mother brought a mat and toys and set her kid up while she spend however long running her errands in the office, not that she poped in to get what she needed with baby in a pram. We can’t know, of course, but I think the OP thinks “my daughter occasionally pops in to the office for a few minutes with the baby”, while the employees feel “the boss’s daughter keeps coming into the office with her baby, stays a couple of hours and disrupts the workflow”

            1. Sea Anemone*

              And “baby on the floor” does suggest the mother brought a mat and toys and set her kid up

              I was picturing her setting the kid down to free up both arms while grabbing stuff from the supplies cabinet. Either way, we are speculating.

              The OP says her daughter never comes into the office

              We’re still getting into semantic arguments here. LW doesn’t say her daughter never comes into the office. She says her daughter works from home–which is true! So, which semantics are the right semantics? I just don’t think that the commentors’ semantic arguments are any more justified than the LW’s semantic arguments.

                1. Chris B*

                  I feel the same way but I’m really second guessing myself. My inner voice asks “then how long does it take to get into a rousing match of baby games?”

              1. JB (not in Houston)*

                I’m with you–she didn’t say her daughter never comes in the office, she said her daughter doesn’t work in the office. Seems like people are intent on interpreting the LW’s words in a way that makes her look the worst, when we have plenty of reason to criticize LW without doing that.

            2. Curious*

              On the one hand, I think folks are piling on to the OP based on speculation — Maybe the daughter brings the kid in on the regular! For hours! Maybe OP favors the daughter in other ways! All of these are plausible — but it is also plausible that the person who reported this had it in for the OP or the daughter for one of the more classic reasons that people may dislike their co-workers.
              In fact, none of this is necessary to speculate over, and speculation is what we all are doing here.
              What is undeniably true is (1) OP is supervising her own daughter, which is bad for all the reasons Allison and others have noted, and (2) OP is denying any threat of retaliation while complaining that she doesn’t know who to retaliate against, so she will be retaliating against everyone. Those facts are more than enough to make clear that OP has big problems.

          5. LizM*

            I think that this points to the challenges of managing one’s daughter. The daughter *did* bring her baby to work.

            Whether she brought her baby for a justifiable reason (she really was there for a few minutes, had her (non-mom’s) manager’s okay) or not, is a different question. That’s where Alison’s point that an impartial manager would look into the situation further before jumping to conclusions.

          6. Observer*

            and we are supposed to take the LW’s words at face value

            True. Unless they give us good reason to believe otherwise. In this case, the reason is right in our faces. She contradicts herself on a number of issues, proving herself to be a completely unreliable narrator. Then she says that the daughter NEVER brings the child in, yet the child was there long enough for the daughter to settle into a desk and answer some email AND long enough for someone to take a picture of the child playing on the floor.

        2. Nanani*

          There’s a word for this sort of behaviour that I can’t put my finger on.
          Somebody does X, someone else goes “Please don’t X” and the first person replies “I would never do X!” even though they just… did X.

          This is one step removed in the case of the daughter and the baby, but not so much in the case of the retaliation, eh

          1. Teapot Repair Technician*

            It reminds me of the filmmaker Andrew Jarecki’s account of when he showed a documentary he’d made to one of the subjects. She sat there watching herself say things on film while repeatedly commenting, “I never said that.”

      4. Beth*

        “My daughter brought her baby to work, but she wasn’t really at work, she was just in the office working! That doesn’t count!”

        I’m surprised the OP didn’t claim that “that wasn’t really a baby anyway!”

    3. A Library Person*

      I came here to say the first part of what you said: obviously, the fear of retribution has some basis in the employee’s knowledge/experience of the manager, since the manager’s (self-reported!) reaction is to leap to “I don’t trust anyone here anymore.” Clearly, the LW has a seriously diminished opinion of whoever did this, thus proving the reporting employee’s point.

      1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        Yeah, the whole ‘nobody should feel the need to make an anonymous complaint – I should know who said it so I can judge it’ thing leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Mostly because on the (thankfully few) occasions I’ve had to report sexual harassment at work I’ve run into the ‘accused has the right to know who is reporting them’ thing.

    4. BRR*

      “Why would someone fear retribution?” says the person who couldn’t trust any of their employees because they “must” suspect everyone.

    5. Amaranth*

      I’m sure HR put that together as well; the only way I can see OP fixing the giant red flag they unfurled is to go back to HR and say “you know what, I don’t believe I manage my daughter differently but I can see at the very least it creates that fear, so how can we have her report to someone else?”

    6. Darsynia*

      Interestingly, I took this more as a ‘since the employee (who happens to be my daughter) works from home and only brought the child in to pick something up and send off an email, I want to know who jumped to the conclusion that she’s ‘bringing’ their baby to work (implying multiple instances, rather than ‘brought’) because I suspect that employee of mine may make other exaggerations which affect me as their manager’ kind of thing. However, because the LW *does* manage their daughter, it turns that statement into one that looks personal, instead.

      If it is true that the daughter doesn’t work in the office and merely brought the baby in during a short dip into the office to pick something up, as a manager I would see it as a falsehood to take a picture of the child and send it off to upper management complaining with the implication that this employee often engages in the behavior! However, it’s almost impossible to disentangle that from the familial conflict, and because the LW doesn’t seem to know how much they’re not adhering to norms, I’m wondering if the daughter often brings the kid in for short trips into work and the LW is disqualifying these somehow as ‘errands’ instead of actual work.

  3. High Score!*

    Too bad there was never an update for this one. Or an alternate view provided by other employees of that company.

    1. Escapee from Corporate Management*

      I am sure the OP would have retaliated against anyone who wrote in. Not that OP is a retaliator…

    2. Long time reader first time commenter*

      IIRC there was a suspiciously partisan commenter in the original thread who — IF they were OP — definitely proved they had learned nothing.

      1. The Smiling Pug*

        Yikes. It’s always a bit sad when you can tell that the OP hasn’t learned anything from either Alison or the commenters and gets defensive about their wrong choice of either actions or words.

      2. Escapee from Corporate Management*

        I was just looking at the original comments and one person must have posted at least 30 times about how awful it was that an employee took a picture of the baby. It was…obsessive.

        1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

          Yep, those comments were just as single minded as the original letter. The diversion into ‘they might post them online!’ was bizarre.

        2. Spicy Tuna*

          Do you know their username? I just did a Ctrl+F for OP* and Letter Writer* and only found one comment from Letter Writer* that was not what you’re describing.

          1. A Library Person*

            I just found that comment too and thought it was very gracious given the responses. Maybe not quite as self-aware as one would hope, but they definitely seemed open to listening to the commentariat and learning from the situation.

            1. SarahKay*

              I just found that comment too, and I’ve got to say, her second-to-last sentence: “We all think of everyone in our group as “family,”” struck me as a red flag for LW’s thought processes.

          2. BRR*

            There’s a commenter JS who replied a lot and was a little more generous to he LW than others. The LW’s comment is somewhat professional given the tone of their letter. Don’t get me wrong, the LW greatly misses the point. But she is sort of engaging in an actual conversation with the comments.

            1. So they all rolled over and one fell out*

              JS made SO MANY COMMENTS.
              About how awful and unnecessary it is to take picture evidence of the baby.
              About how common it is to bring kids into the office, and it’s totally allowed unless there’s an explicit prohibition against it.

              So, they were weirdly invested in multiple aspects of the situation.

              Probably not the OP/LW, though, because of their anti-nepotism comments.

        3. High Score!*

          Wow. Yeah, sadly it sounds like someone learned nothing. I’ve worked at a “Nepotism Palace” and it’s not pretty

      3. Remi Cat*

        I started reading this blog within the past year and, while I saw this letter while browsing the archives (gotta love the random button!), I don’t believe I read all the comments. I’ll have to go look back on this one.

  4. SillyLittlePittyPat!*

    It makes me wonder, if maybe the daughter is bragging about her Mom being manager and directly/indirectly implying that she is immune from complaints. (Without the Mom knowing, of course!)

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      I don’t even think it has to be that explicit. I also don’t think that it has to be words or actions from the daughter. It could be offhand statements by OP. It would be hard for someone who feels violated by a staff member reporting an issue with another staff member not to give the impression that she plays favorites.

    2. Anne of Green Gables*

      I think it’s just as likely that other employees were told (rightly) that they can’t bring their children into the office, and yet LW’s daughter was clearly able to with no consequences.

  5. Anonys*

    It’s weird how HR is reasonable about this complaint and keeping the complainer anonymous but not addressing the far more pertinent issue of a mother managing her own daughter.

    1. Escapee from Corporate Management*

      When I first read this, I wondered if HR knew about the mother/daughter relationship. If they have different last names and different addresses, it’s fairly easy to disguise.

      All speculation, of course.

    2. Dust Bunny*

      Eh, I worked somewhere that would have operated this way. Small town. Limited employee pool. They had a lot of management issues but did get some things right, and I think they would have handled this about the same way.

    3. MK*

      Well, if it’s allowed by the company, HR doesn’t have anything to address, until it becomes a problem. Which sounds likely to happen any day now, if it hasn’t already.

    4. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      I don’t even think it has to be that explicit. I also don’t think that it has to be words or actions from the daughter. It could be offhand statements by OP. It would be hard for someone who feels violated by a staff member reporting an issue with another staff member not to give the impression that she plays favorites.

    5. Yvette*

      But we really don’t know that they didn’t. Given the overall tone and defensiveness of the LW, if HR had any issues with the situation LW probably would not have said so. The business was referred to as a “practice” which to me says Dr or Lawyer’s office. From what I have seen in those types of situations HR generally has to defer to the Sr. partner.

      1. Yvette*

        Sorry I don’t know where/how I saw it being referred to as a “practice”, but I still doubt if HR had said anything negative about the mother/daughter manager situation the LW would have said so.

      2. Editor*

        The letter writer said “practice.” This made me wonder if the situation was similar to one that my relatives are in. There was a locally owned practice (think dentist, veterinarian, optometrist, chiropractor) that had been established years ago. Since then, a venture-capital backed firm has been buying up a bunch of practices and creating a chain, the way independent funeral homes got bought up thirty or forty years ago or more recently. Or maybe several regional medical practices consolidated to form a larger local entity, the way so many providers are tied in with a local hospital or other network these days.

        In the case of the one I know about, the local office of the practice mostly got run the same way, except stuff like HR, benefits, corporate taxes, capital purchases, and the computer system were now under corporate control, but the local head of the practice got a big payout in addition to having to agree to stay with the practice for a specified number of years. It leaves the former owner free from certain administrative burdens, but also retains their expertise. It gives the larger business a customer base that they hope to retain when they move in their own, cheaper talent when the original owner retires.

        So I picture a family run business where the family work for the business, and corporate hasn’t affected that so far. But the wife/mom in this job is now running into the “your practice needs to be run professionally” message from HR, something that is new to them. My relative said it was a big adjustment but worth it because selling the practice provided a generous retirement fund. By the time the sale closed, however, no relatives were employed.

  6. Kramerica Industries*

    This OP…says that there’s no retribution and then immediately says that her trust for employees has been diminished and is hellbent on finding out who wrote the complaint.

  7. Detective Amy Santiago*

    I wouldn’t want my mom to be my manager because she would be *harder* on me. I definitely wouldn’t get treated favorably.

    1. The Rural Juror*

      The summer after I graduated high school, I was having trouble at my part-time job of 2 years and felt it was better to quit than keep dealing with the issues for the 3 months before I left for college. My mom is the boss of a county government office and had the budget to hire a part-time employee for a project to scan old documents into a database. It was SO boring. She was doing me a favor to be able to keep saving money for school…and honestly probably doing me a favor by letting me get used to office norms…but yeah, so boring. I was in a back office by myself every day just scanning and scanning and scanning…

      No one could have mistaken the situation for favoritism because a) no one wanted to do that job that worked there regularly, b) they were a busy office and no one had time to do it outside of their normal responsibilities anyway, and c) they knew my mom wouldn’t let me get away with any shenanigans. The one saving grace was that the budget was for 25 hours per week, but I got to choose when I came in since my schedule wasn’t dependent on any other work or employees. Even so, I got a side eye from my mom any time I didn’t start until after 10:00am or later…she didn’t want me sleeping in that summer!

      1. Mental Lentil*

        That honestly sounds like a dream job for me. Back office. No other people. Just scanning things.

        Sign me up!

        1. Ann O'Nemity*

          I once had a PT job shredding documents in a back office; it was so satisfying! After a few months someone realized they could just hire a company to come take care of all those old files and my shred-a-thon sadly came to an end.

            1. Marissa*

              My work has a 100% shred policy + correspondingly beefy shredders that choke on staples bc they shred things into pieces smaller than a grain of rice. It’s delightful.

            2. Mental Lentil*

              Same. Mesmerizing and satisfying at the same time!

              Of course, it’s kind of ironic that we need to do this now to protect ourselves, but it is what it is.

        2. The Rural Juror*

          Ugh, no! For me it was not a dream. It was a tiny windowless room in a courthouse that was basically the entryway for the vault. Many of the documents I was scanning came from inside the vault, but I wasn’t the one who retrieved them or put them away. I swear the concrete walls sucked all the warmth from the room, it was definitely the coldest place in the whole building. It was next to the judges’ offices and for some reason I felt really weird about wearing headphones and listening to music, so it was really really quiet. (Looking back, I don’t think any of the judges would have cared at all).

          I had come from a retail job and was used to being on my feet evenings and weekends and talking to customers. It was such a big change for me and I felt like I was slowly fading away in that cold little room…

        3. Your Local Password Resetter*

          I would like it for a bit, but then the monotony and the boredom would grind me down until I would run away screaming.

    2. Zoe*

      My thought exactly — I wouldn’t get raises even if others did, and I would get all sorts of nitpicky criticism for bullshit things. Of course, I moved across the country from my mom so this sort of thing could never happen… after she applied for the same job as me explaining in her cover letter why she was obviously more qualified because she was older and more mature *facepalm*

        1. Zoe*

          Hah no, they told me what she’d done (because she referenced my application in hers I think they felt it was reasonable to disclose) in the interview… and then got to learn about my remarkable levels of self-control. (I didn’t get the job either.)

      1. Detective Amy Santiago*


        I actually get along really well with my mom and we work for the same org now. I just know that I inherited my overdeveloped sense of responsibility from her.

    3. KK*

      I worked for my dad for a little while just doing super low level stuff, answering phones ordering things etc, but I ended up having more responsibilities than a normal office worker because I knew about tools so if they needed something run to a job site guess who had to run it over?

      He also did a job at my college for a while so between classes I’d be doing breakfast/lunch runs. I didn’t mind though it was never bad, just boring sometimes.

    4. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

      She’s long retired now but my mother used to work in HR, I’d definitely not get anywhere with HR at this place if it was my mum.

      (‘Yeah but remember that time you pasted mud over your sister’s face and claimed you didn’t do it? It’s not like you don’t have a track record of lying’
      “Mum, I was 5!”)

    5. AY*

      My mom was my elementary school librarian, and the only student she ever gave a detention to was my brother! (He deserved it.)

    6. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      When I worked for family (dad’s and aunt’s businesses) they only brought us kids in to do the things they felt bad asking real employees to do, but too small a workload for a janitorial contract, like weeding the parking lot, scrubbing down the warehouse after a move, shredding records older than 7 years, scrubbing the dumpster, daily kitchen and bathroom cleaning, etc..

    7. Miss Betty*

      Detective Amy Santiago, you remind me of friends I had in grade school whose father was the principal. They always had to be better behaved than anyone else in school because if they got in trouble, they got in trouble twice – once at school then again later at home. Yikes!

    8. Anonymous Hippo*

      I get this, my dad would likely be harder on me, but if it came down to brass tacks he’d have my back above everything else. It’s not a good dynamic in the workplace, and honestly, probably not good for personal relationships either.

    9. Environmental Compliance*

      I once was an intern who ended up reporting to my dad (original intern wrangler was…..really, really awful).

      He 1000% was harder on me than any other boss would be. However, it still wasn’t very appropriate to do.

      To be fair…. quite a few people didn’t even realize he was my dad until a couple months in when he brought me lunch, lol.

  8. bestcoast*

    In this case, the employee’s complaint concerns not one, but two of the LW’s relatives. Sub out ‘her baby’ with ‘my granddaughter’ and it’s even more obvious what the problem here is.

    1. Worldwalker*

      VERY good point.

      And it makes me wonder how old the “baby” actually is. I’m guessing at least able to walk, and possibly school-age.

  9. penny dreadful analyzer*

    I realize taking pictures of people (and their babies) without their consent is generally considered not nice, but in this particular case I’m finding myself sympathetic to the complainant thinking they’d need photographic proof for their complaint to be taken seriously.

      1. NerdyKris*

        There’s no reason to avoid taking a picture of the baby’s face, it’s not like they were posting it online or something. The picture is only being shown to HR as part of the complaint.

        1. Dust Bunny*

          The person taking the picture knows that, but the mom of the baby and the LW don’t, necessarily, since they’re not in control of the camera/phone. If somebody else takes a picture of me I can’t actually control what they do with it.

          1. American Job Venter*

            That is true, generally. In this particular case, though, if I had to deal with LW I would certainly want to present hard proof of my claims, and LW bears some responsibility for creating that atmosphere.

          2. PollyQ*

            True, but it’s also true that anytime you’re in public, incluing a workplace, anyone could be taking a picture of you without your knowing it. And given the widespread use of security cameras, traffic cameras, car cameras, doorbell cameras, they already are. Asking if you can take someone’s picture first is good manners, but there’s very little practical harm that’s likely to come simply from a picture being taken by an individual and sent to HR.

          3. JB*

            Sure. And?

            This seems like such a strange thing to worry about to me, in context of a workplace, or in public in general. I have to assume people who don’t expect to be photographed at work have never worked anywhere with security cameras, and people who don’t expect to be photographed in public aren’t paying attention to what’s going on around them. My local Walgreens now has ‘smart doors’ built into the drink coolers with cameras attached that observe your face to build real-life ad profiles for you.

            Don’t do anything in public that you wouldn’t want being photographed.

    1. HBM*

      Definitely. It’s not like she’s sharing it on social media or texting it to friends; she’s sharing the picture with HR in a confidential matter. I almost see it too as less taking a picture of a person and their baby and more taking a picture of an HR violation, if that makes sense.

      Based on LWs wording, she’d be upset about this even if the person took a picture of her daughters say, overly messy desk. She’s using the fact it’s a baby to make the employee look in the wrong, deflecting more from the daughter.

      Love Alison’s advice/thoughts on this one!

    2. ian*

      Honestly, until I saw this, it never occurred to me that anyone might care if someone took a picture of their baby in a public space. I wouldn’t even have thought twice about doing something similar if I thought there was a need to.

      1. Rebeck*

        I am PARANOID about making sure not to take pictures – or even look like I’m taking pictures – of other people’s kids in public, in part because of a spate of news stories out of the US about ten years ago (or whenever camera phones were becoming ubiquitous) about places that were making it an offence to take photos of other people’s children in public.

  10. Stitch*

    This is a prime example as to why LW shouldn’t be managing her daughter. It’s perfectly possible that everything she says is true and the other employee is totally wrong. But she’s not in a place to assess it or be believed if she is right. For her own and her daughter’s sake she needs to build a wall between herself and her daughter professionally, finding a way to hand off that supervision to someone else.

  11. Dust Bunny*

    If retaliation isn’t on the table then you don’t need to know who complained, do you?

    Yeah. That’s not where the LW was going with this at all.

  12. Cranky lady*

    I once consulted for a company where a daughter supervised her mom. It was awful to watch because of how poorly the manager treated her mother. You should never supervise family!

    1. NerdyKris*

      There was a letter about a woman who had her husband as her supervisor, and needed to get a divorce. She stated that he treated her WORSE than the others so there wouldn’t be any favoritism, to the extent that HR actually got involved, because treating her worse because she was his wife was still a legal risk.

  13. AndersonDarling*

    I’m imagining that the baby was the only favoritism item that the employee could take a picture of and officially report. There were probably gobs of other subtle things that would sound petty, so they waited until there was a solid item they could document and send to HR.

    1. Bernice Clifton*

      I’ve done administrative support my whole career and was job searching this last summer – even during Covid, most of the administrative assistant jobs I interviewed for were not WFH. So I can definitely see how it seems like favoritism for a mom with a baby to be able to WFH. I remember wondering when this was originally published if the LW created this position for her daughter.

  14. hbc*

    I reread this one every time it comes up. The amount of cognitive dissonance is staggering. “My daughter works from home so it’s a lie that she brought the kid into work, also it is a major violation to take a picture of her kid at the office!” And “There is absolutely no fear of reprisals here, so I need to know who made this false report and not take it out on everybody.”

    I remember some of the commenters arguing that the employee didn’t need to take the picture and that a verbal report would be fine, and being like, “This person is claiming that it’s a lie when there *is* photographic evidence! What do you think would happen without proof?”

    1. Budgie Buddy*

      I had to read that part twice. The daughter never brings in the baby…except that one instance OP just described in detail. I guess because it was short in OP’s mind it obviously doesn’t count.

    2. Lizy*

      It just occurred to me… she (daughter) came in to get some supplies and *send an email*. Why would someone who works from home ever need to come in to send an email? Why couldn’t she send it from home, where she works?

      1. PollyQ*

        Eh, maybe she got a notification of the email on her phone while she was running errands and wanted to send a prompt but composed response, so wanted to use a computer instead of the phone.

        1. A Wall*

          Yeah, it might be something weirder, but the fact that she specifies one single email makes me think the daughter stayed to work on sending some specific email that was time-sensitive but took a minute to put together, hence her being there long enough for someone to report it.

    3. joss*

      “There is absolutely no fear of reprisals here, so I need to know who made this false report and not take it out on everybody.”
      How does this even make sense? She needs to know who made the report so she won’t take it out on EVERYBODY, yet there is supposedly no fear of reprisals here? I read this as “tell my who did this so I can “beat him/her down” or else I will “beat you all down”

  15. Lizard Lover*

    I find it really odd how a much larger company has allowed this direct management relationship between parent and daughter? Without meaning to cause offence, do they not know OP and their daughter are related? Or as the daughter is part time was it deemed unlikely to cause too much conflict?

    1. PollyQ*

      Based on the letter, it doesn’t sound like any kind of secret. And if it were forbidden by policy, then whoever complained about the baby could have dropped the dime long before that, simply by telling HR about the familial relationship between manager & report.

  16. Zolk*

    The fact that LW says it’s not about retribution and in the same paragraph says she’s mad HR won’t tell her who complained says to me that it is absolutely about retribution. That’s further backed up by the next paragraph where she claims she can’t trust anyone on her team any more.

    It’s SCARY to complain about a colleague! It’s extra scary when they’re related to someone senior to you! I wouldn’t want to work for this person and I hope she does some deep soul searching and realizes how wrong she is in this situation and can reassess how she manages people.

  17. tg*

    One thing that occurs to me is that when Daughter is working from home she should have childcare in place, so there should be no need to bring the baby to the office, ever.

    1. Lynn Whitehat*

      The pandemic is not over yet, especially for children under 12. There really may not be childcare available, or it may not be Covid-safe.

      1. Liane*

        Probably you missed that this an old letter (2016). Thus, COVID-19 related childcare shortages are definitely NOT a reason/explanation/excuse for Daughter bringing the Grandbaby to work.

        And even if the incident happened last week, and Daughter had no one to leave the baby with, MY answer would be, “OP, find another job in another company ASAP, preferably a non-management position (because you don’t seem like good manager material). Oh, and WTH do you and your daughter think it’s okay to run around all over the place with a kid way too young for COVID vaccination when we still in a pandemic?”

      2. Liane*

        Probably you missed that this an old letter (2016). Thus, COVID-19 related childcare shortages are definitely NOT a reason/explanation/excuse for Daughter bringing the Grandbaby to work.

    2. lmhilty@comcast.net*

      The letter is from 2016, so pre-COVID. But this is where I went first as well. The daughter should have childcare while she’s working from home.

  18. MyAlterEgoIsTaller*

    Removed. This is over the top and not how offices or life works. Also, you can’t use multiple user names on a single post to make it appear your viewpoint has more support than it does; that is a banning offense.

    1. Esmeralda*

      Oh, I dunno about that. One of the things I like about my office and my bosses over the years was their willingness to occasionally countenance a baby/small child/teenager in the office due to circumstances beyond the employee’s control. If childcare suddenly falls through and it’s either me at home with the kid not working on the TPS reports due asap, or me with the baby in the office for a couple hours finishing up those reports, baby in the office is ok. We do have individual offices with doors that close, obviously it’s different if it’s a baby in a cube farm.

      For a while my family had a stalker situation, so my tween came straight to my office after school and did homework in my office or in whatever empty space we had available for a couple of months. The alternative was I would go on leave til we got that sorted out — again, a better choice for me and for my employer to be flexible.

    2. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

      Okay, full disclosure I’m a pretty vehement childfree person who really doesn’t like being around children. But this ‘no kids should visit the workplace ever’ stuff is a bit too far.

      People on my staff who want to bring their baby in for 10 minutes once to show them around (pre-Covid)? Yeah, fine, I mean I’ll be elsewhere for those 10 minutes but it’s not a big deal.

      Bringing sick children in, no. No way. Ain’t happening. I suspect OP’s daughter was in fact bringing her kid in a lot more than described and that’s why someone reported it.

    3. S*

      What?!? I don’t think babies routinely belong at a workplace unless it’s explicitly a baby-friendly one, but dropping by with a baby for a moment is not a danger to anyone. It’s been common in all my workplaces for new parents to bring by the kid for a minute or two so those who wish to can ooh or aww over them. So long as the parent is holding onto the baby and deals with any unfortunate noise or smell events promptly, it’s no more disruptive than someone’s spouse dropping by.

      And even if a parent is lax in their supervision, a toddler or preschooler with a penchant for mischief can’t do anyone the kind of bodily harm that results from vicious dogs or loaded weapons. A zero-tolerance policy does not fit this scenario, especially in a world in which parents do work and do sometimes have emergencies which might cause work and parenting to interact.

    4. not a doctor*

      This seems majorly unreasonable. It’s one thing for someone to let their kid play on the office floor all day. But if the OP’s story is true, and the daughter just swung by for a few minutes with the baby in tow? No, that’s a minor issue at worst. Not ideal, but hardly equivalent to a weapon. And creating a zero-tolerance policy for babies existing in the workplace (as long as it’s not an inherently dangerous place like a chemical plant) is… extreme.

    5. RussianInTeaxs*

      I mean, I don’t really like children, or care for babies, never go talk or coo over an office baby, whatever, but that is a bit excessive.

    6. turquoisecow*

      Wow that’s harsh.

      I agree kids and babies shouldn’t be in an office regularly but once in awhile to pick up a few things sounds fine. This seems especially harsh to single and working parents, especially in the age of Covid with childcare issues and school shut downs.

    7. I've Escaped Cubicle Land*

      PrePandemic you could have your baby at work for the first 6 months. With a little Retiring Party for Baby when they aged out and had to start going to daycare instead. This policy saved new parents tons of $. Infant daycare is hard to find and hideously expensive. Also more moms came back to work earlier. Very few problems with a crying babies in office. (1 really fussy baby, a few call center employees, and 1 manager who was just an a$$hat to all people but especially not kid friendly) Mostly there were plenty of coworkers willing to jump in and hold a fussy baby for a few minutes if mom was on a call or had her hands busy. It was a perk to almost always have a cute baby that wasn’t your responsibility to play with at work.

    8. Colette*

      It’s pretty normal for people to bring their children in (babies and older children) while they’re stopping by the office for a couple of minutes. It’s really not a fireable offence in most places.

    9. Bamcakes*

      I brought my daughter to work once when we completely missed the notification that nursery was shut for training until I rocked up to find the doors locked. Went into work where I was due to meet a colleague in the cafe, gave my daughter a croissant to demolish, my partner arrived after half an hour to take her home. It’s also pretty common for people to drop in with small children in tow if it’s their non-working day but they need to pick something up, as with the example here. This is a community college, so it’s also pretty normal to see students coming in for brief meetings with kids or babies if their childcare falls through or they have to make a visit on a day when they don’t have access to care.

      What exactly is the worst case scenario you are envisaging here?

  19. Hiring Mgr*

    I realize this isn’t the point and i don’t mean to defend the mom but assuming there are no safety hazards involved, i’m curious why a baby coming to the office for a few minutes warrants a photo to HR?

    1. londonedit*

      I assume it’s a final straw sort of situation, where there have been subtle incidences of favouritism towards the daughter, so now it’s ‘Oh, right, Jane’s bringing her baby to the office now? The rest of us have to pay for childcare and we have to work in the office, but she’s apparently working from home and looking after a baby? And she’s just bringing it into the office whenever she needs to drop in?’

      1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        That’s a very likely probability, especially if others have been told that they can’t WFH or can’t bring their kids to work. This one visit could have been the tipping point of a whole jenga tower of ‘things OP’s daughter can do but we can’t’

    2. Bernice Clifton*

      What Londonedit said + I don’t know that Grandma is a reliable narrator on the details here. Could be that the baby was being fussy or that it was longer than a few minutes.

    3. NerdyKris*

      I took it as the complaint being that it’s happening regularly, not just the one time. The mother is believing that this was a one time thing.

    4. Delta Delta*

      I sort of wondered that, as well. If it’s what OP reports, that the daughter stopped in briefly to pick up supplies and send an email, they could have been there as little as 10 minutes. As a person who is practical almost to a fault, I can see a situation where daughter made this stop while out doing whatever, had the baby with her, and brought the baby inside. I wonder if there are other helpful details we don’t know here.

      1. KateM*

        I don’t see a 7mo baby on floor in that case, though.

        Pre-pandemic, I, too, ran sometimes to work with a kid on hip – when I had to talk to a couple of colleagues for five minutes or sign a document by office manager and it didn’t make sense to get a babysitter for that time. The only time I put baby on floor to play while I was working was when my babysitter unexpectedly did not come and didn’t answer her phone, either – and we normally met in front of my workplace max fifteen minutes before my work started, so it wasn’t like I had time to rearrange things.

    5. Ann O'Nemity*

      I was thinking the same thing. If we take the OP at her word that the daughter really does WFH and the baby in the office was the briefest of one-offs, I wonder why the coworker complained to HR. Londonedit’s suggestion makes sense. I could also imagine a coworker using it as an excuse to complain about the mother and/or daughter. Like if there were a series of annoyances, and the baby in the office was noteworthy enough to finally get HR’s attention.

      1. TryingHard*

        I’m looking at this from the WFH status in which the others on site still have to find child care vs the daughter bringing in her child. That’s not good.

        Also does it depend on the age of the baby? Are the informal rules different. Our office has no issue with a newborn (after a staffer gives birth, etc) but definitely not older than a month.

        From my perspective, I have never been able to get in and out of the office while picking up supplies and sending an email. So how long was the daughter really there?

        1. turquoisecow*

          “From my perspective, I have never been able to get in and out of the office while picking up supplies and sending an email.”

          Same, and that was without a baby. There’s always someone who wants to talk about either work stuff or personal stuff since you haven’t seen them in awhile, and with a baby as well I’m sure there’s plenty of people who want to comment on that. A quick five minute stop to get stuff could easily turn into an hour or more depending on how detailed this email was.

    6. someone*

      I’m guessing because the baby was unsupervised. Unless mom brought in a play pen, the baby was probably on the floor. Even in an office with a door, there’s power ports on walls to poke little fingers in and dangling cords from electronics on a desk to pull down.

    7. BRR*

      My hunch is the LW was playing favorites and the other employees were tired of it. I bet if we talked to one of the other employees (oh what I would give for one of them to comment), this incident wasn’t their real complaint but it was what they were able to report.

    8. Marzipan Shepherdess*

      Well, there ARE hazards in even the cleanest, best-run offices; others have noted the presence of wires, outlets, machines that can get pulled down on top of a child, rolling chairs that could hurt a baby’s fingers and ever so many other things that we don’t think of as dangerous because we’re adults and know how to handle them. It’s staggering to think that a parent would assume that they could simply plunk down a baby and take off, secure in the assumption that their busy colleagues would drop everything to become instant child-care workers.

        1. KateM*

          It says it right there between the lines where OP learns about photo being taken from HR, not her daughter.

        2. KateM*

          It says it right there between the lines where OP learns about photo being taken from HR, not her daughter (and doesn’t know who took it).

    9. CB212*

      Like others I’m guessing this isn’t the first time the daughter has broken work norms with impunity, and someone had just Had It.

      But also, I’ve worked in a lot of offices where a lot of employees on maternity leave (for example) have stopped in to show off their babies, and I have never in all my life seen one of those babies put on the floor to play. If you stop in to pick up office supplies (and “send an email”, which surely could be done from the home office, what on earth), you can wear the baby, or push the baby in a chair, or just hold the baby – at the point where you’ve set it up to play on the floor, you’re not just in for a few minutes.

      1. Worldwalker*

        Wouldn’t an actual baby be in a baby carrier, too?

        I’m wondering whether the “baby” grandchild is actually school-age or something.

        1. Birdie*

          I was thinking that they’re probably closer to a toddler than a newborn. Old enough that you’d bring them in without the carrier and can sit on the ground with a toy, but young enough to still be considered a baby.

          1. quill*

            … that’s about when they’re mobile, so actually more dangerous than if the kid had been laid out on a blanket in an empty cube to do whatever it is babies do.

      2. turquoisecow*

        Every time a coworker has brought in a baby, either for the express purpose of showing off the baby or to pick something up while they had the baby with them, the baby was in a stroller. If I were to bring my baby to the office (which I won’t because COVID), I’d definitely put her in a stroller. Arms get tired from carrying baby around for too long. I could see a baby carrier instead of a stroller if it’s cramped quarters but since she’s picking things up and probably carrying them out it’d be much easier to take a stroller.

        So if the baby was on the floor, did she take the kid out of the stroller? Unless baby *hates* being in the stroller, which I guess is possible though I’ve never heard of that, why not just leave them in there?

        1. KateM*

          Could be in a car seat, too (7mo is young enough for that). And if they came by car, then I could see the baby being just taken out of seat and brought in – except when the mother knows she needs her both hands for, say, typing an e-mail or collecting stuff.

      3. Lizy*

        meh. I mean, I absolutely would put my kids on the floor for a minute while I checked email. It’s a PIA to wear the baby or hold the baby while I’m trying to type.

        I’m not saying what she did was ok – just that I personally have often put my babies on the floor and it was nbd (in an office where I had flat-out been told by my boss that I MUST bring in the baby)

      4. Seeking Second Childhood*

        My infant was technically “on the floor” for a while and had a picture taken too. But that’s because my co-worker had knit a baby sweater & blanket and I volunteered an ‘action shot’. :)

    10. Teapot Repair Technician*

      If she was only there for a few minutes while picking up supplies, how does the baby end up “playing on the floor”?

      1. WellRed*

        As a guess, even though it’s irrelevant: She carried the baby in, realized she needed both hands for whatever and set the baby in the floor. Hardly the mystery or crime if the century.

        1. Worldwalker*

          But that wouldn’t give enough time for the grandchild to do anything that constitutes playing. From even the OP’s description, this was more than just “I need both hands to get this box down from the top shelf.”

        2. Colette*

          Yeah, that’s how I read it. She came in, realized she needed 2 hands to type her email, and set the baby down for a minute.

          Of course, that assumes the OP actually knows what happened and that she’s telling the truth.

        3. Teapot Repair Technician*

          She came to the office to do work that requires two hands, but didn’t bring a stroller or carrier?

          You’re right that there’s hardly a mystery here. She obviously felt entitled to behave inappropriately at work because the boss is her mother.

      2. Lizy*

        Daughter/mom brings in Baby carrying a toy, and sets Baby down while she does *insert whatever*. Technically, Baby is playing on the floor.

        It’s irrelevant, because it really boils down to “don’t manage family” and this is why, but honestly it’s entirely possible that Daughter intended on staying 2 minutes and it ended up being 20. It’s also entirely possible that Baby was playing on the floor. 7-month-olds are basically “playing” all the time anyhow, and I have definitely put my kids on the floor with a toy while I go do whatever.

    11. JB*

      Generally it wouldn’t, which is why Alison focused on the implication that the complaint must have been that the baby was coming in a lot more often than just once.

  20. The Tin Man*

    “Nobody here has even been retaliated against”

    “I need to know who did it so I can know who to retaliate against”

    1. irene adler*

      I’m trying to visualize what “non-retaliation” might look like, but I can’t.
      “I just want to talk to this employee about not taking pics of infants-for the safety of all infants.” -nope, that could be seen by the employee as retaliation. And there are other ways to insure the safety of taking infant’s pictures.

      “I just want to know which employees I can still trust.”- nope. Treating all but one employee as trustworthy is a form of retaliation against the one employee who reported the daughter.

      “I want to know whom to avoid.” – nope. Treating one employee differently from the others is retaliation.

      Need to let this go.

  21. Mike on the Mic*

    I’m thinking daughter has a different last name, and HR doesn’t know they’re related. OP is afraid that the nepotism will be revealed.

  22. Marzipan Shepherdess*

    Alison’s first and second points were on target: the OP should not be managing her daughter. Why on earth is their company allowing this to happen? Where’s HR and upper management in all this?? And who thought it would be just ducky to allow a parent to manage their adult child?! No, the daughter shouldn’t have assumed that her colleagues would baby sit for her (!!!) but frankly, HR has more to worry about than one incident of poor judgment; they need to find a way to transfer the OP’s daughter to a department or area of the company where she won’t answer to her mother in the “chain of command”.

    1. Colette*

      There’s no indication that the daughter assumed her colleagues would babysit for her or that she left her child unattended.

  23. Leela*

    OP….you DEFINITELY must not now suspect all five of the people in this particular office location of having done such a petty thing. Just because you don’t know who did it doesn’t mean you get to suspect everyone and have innocent people have the person who runs their office now mistrustful of them because you’re upset you aren’t being told who took the picture. Everything in this letter makes it look like you are really failing to objectively manage a family member and I would be pretty uncomfortable if I were any of the office workers where you are. Look at how you’re responding, no wonder they’re concerned about retribution. You need to shed your ego here and realize that you are approaching this as a mom and not a manager and that’s incredibly unfair to the other people who work with you.

  24. LaDeeDa*

    It sounds like she just popped in for a few minutes to grab some stuff and send an email. Even if she was there for an hour, what is the big deal?

    Everything Alison said about not finding out who complained is right on, but people need to chill. Sh*t happens and sometimes someone needs to come in with the kid.

    1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

      The problem is, with OP being the child’s grandparent and acting like such instead of a manager their version of events is likely being viewed through a heavy filter.

      HR may have rules about people bringing their kids in, the daughter could have done this multiple times, there may be other cases of favouritism that are harder to prove than this, people might be feeling really put upon if they’ve been told they can’t work from home and look after their kids at the same time…there’s a lot missing from the facts of the situation.

      1. fueled by coffee*


        Especially because, in any non-nepotism management situation, the HR situation could easily be resolved:
        “[Daughter]’s usual childcare situation fell through due to an unforeseen emergency, so I allowed her to bring her child in to complete a few quick errands in the office. This was a one-time accommodation, but typically the child is cared for by a nanny (or whatever) during the day.” + an email to the office not to photograph individuals during the work day.

        Or, if Daughter really had brought in a child without permission or as a repeat occurrence or because she doesn’t have regular childcare while WFH, the manager could pull her aside for a discussion about this conduct (and still email the office about not photographing people without their permission at work – this doesn’t even have to specifically mention children, honestly).

        Clearly OP’s relationship to her daughter is getting in the way of what is really a very straightforward issue for a manager to deal with. It comes across as very “How dare someone accuse my child of breaking the rules” rather than “someone raised an issue to HR and my job involves dealing with it.”

    2. Black Horse Dancing*

      As a co worker, I don’t want the noise or mischief from a baby or child while parent is swanning around, trying to get supplies for an hour. If you’re not okay with me bringing in my dog or cat or python for an hour and letting them mosey around the workplace, don’t bring your kid. Also, if she works from home, why can’t she send an email from there?

    3. American Job Venter*

      Depending on the office situation, it might have been the last straw of nepotistic treatment, or it might have been a coworker being incredibly petty. Either way, though, the LW acted like an enraged mama bear rather than a supervisor, which is entertaining from this distance but would be hell to work under.

      Apropos of nothing, while it was terrible in many ways, I do miss seeing my coworkers’ babies at my last job. A couple times someone came in to run an errand and let me hold her baby while she did so, and those were my best days at work ever. It’s not a guarantee but if LW’s daughter could have cultivated a coworker like me who loves babies… well, we wouldn’t have this entertaining letter.

    4. iglwif*

      If in fact that’s what happened, and if it’s the *only* thing that happened, sure. There are absolutely circumstances where childcare falls through, someone stops by to show off their baby, etc., etc.

      But it seems very likely that LW is an unreliable narrator–she says it was a quick visit one time, but maybe it was a long visit or maybe it’s happened enough times to be disruptive–and it also seems very possible that it’s part of a pattern of daughter getting away with stuff / getting privileges that her co-workers don’t.

      Because LW is MANAGING HER OWN CHILD, and there are really good reasons why most companies don’t allow that.

    5. Observer*

      Even if she was there for an hour, what is the big deal?

      A 7 month old on the floor for an hour? Yes, that’s a big deal – definitely disruptive and definitely a safety problem.

      The reality is that the OP’s reaction indicates that it’s either happening more often than the OP is admitting, or that the OP would do nothing to make sure it’s not likely to happen again while punishing the person who complained. THAT is what is wrong here.

  25. S*

    Am I the only one who is puzzled about the OMG PICTURES reaction? I cannot imagine a context in which a photo of a baby playing in an office is a big deal. I suppose it could be put on the internet, but tbh the internet is absolutely chock-full of photos of babies. I just don’t see how this specific photo could be tied to the actual baby in question in such a way as to pose a problem. It seems like the absolute worst-case scenario would be a photo so funny that the child became the next Side-Eye Chloe, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue in this case.

    1. Nanani*

      Some people like to jump on the slightest suggest of anything invovling children as an excuse to accuse people of the most heinous of crimes. “OMG THINK OF THE CHILDREN” = “the person I’m mad at is a COMPLETE MONSTER”
      Illogical shortcut, but effective in some spaces which is why the unscrupulous use it regardless of any harm, potential or real, to actual children.

    2. Person from the Resume*

      I agree. I think it’s a distraction: A bad person (because if they’re complaining about this they’re bad and a liar) took photos of my cute little grandchild.

      Ridiculous. If you go out in public now-a-days you’re likely to be photographed. I mean usually you and your friends are doing it to yourselves, but still, that’s just a risk of modern life.

    3. Worldwalker*

      That’s what I’m not getting: how is photographing the OP’s grandchild going to harm it? The picture isn’t going to steal its soul.

    4. Colette*

      Yeah, agreed. Even if the picture were put on the internet, it would only be a big deal if the child’s location or name were also there.

    5. fueled by coffee*

      I don’t think it’s about potential stalking, but moreso about consent/parental permission.

      When you’re out and about in public, it’s generally understood that people might see you or you might end up being photographed if someone in the area is taking pictures. But in a private setting like an office, there’s an expectation that people should ask you for permission before taking pictures of you (or like, immediately after taking a candid). I would find it really weird if a coworker had submitted a photo of me at my desk that I didn’t know about to HR!

      But since kids can’t consent, we generally defer to asking their parents for permission to take pictures of them. This isn’t about adults being creepy stalkers, but about respecting the autonomy to choose not to be photographed.

      Schools and other institutions where people work with kids typically have parents sign a waiver allowing their kids to be photographed for this reason – it’s not that an elementary school is going to use photos of the kid for nefarious purposes, but parents have a right to decide whether or not to give permission for the kid to be photographed (and appear on the school website/bake sale flyer/whatever).

      1. JB*

        An office is absolutely not a private setting. Your expectations for being photographed at work should be roughly the same as in public.

    6. Brightwanderer*

      There has been a growing camp of people over the last five+ years who have settled very firmly into the stance that no-one should ever, ever take a photo of a child without the explicit permission of the parents. As far as I can tell it’s mostly good-faith-but-misguided – responding to concerns about children being plastered all over social media etc but jumping straight to the most extreme viewpoint (“anyone who takes a picture of a child COULD be doing it for the worst possible reason you can imagine and therefore you have to ask why ANYONE would do that”). People who are in this camp generally see it as absolutely self-evident and the default, so you get these disconnects (like with regional culture clashes, except it’s usually got a higher emotional charge).

  26. CW*

    At my company, this one lady had all 3 daughters working under her without any issues. Nobody has ever complained. That’s because she doesn’t play favorites. Two of the daughters have since quit because they went on to other positions; one of them is still there. There has never been issues because the mother and her daughters know work is work, family or not, and the mother doesn’t treat her daughters any differently than the other employees. And just in case you are wondering, this is not in my department. They work in customer service; I am in accounting.

    1. Black Horse Dancing*

      Still wrong. Family should not manage family. Period. There is usually favoritism or issues where the relative gets away with stuff no one else can. The bias is already there. You shouldn’t manage your romantic interest or SO either.

      1. CW*

        I have no opinion, but for me, I wouldn’t want any of my parent or any other family member to be my boss. They would probably be harder one me anyway, and that’s also bias; it works both ways.

        Either way, the lady who managed/manages her daughter(s) is none of my business. I don’t even work closely with customer service.

  27. SO Baldrick*

    Does the company have a policy about childcare when working from home? I’m wondering if that’s the real issue. Daughter is working from home with no childcare (ie caring for her child fulltime while on company time), and since Mom is her manager, this is allowed. Bringing the baby into the office was just the most tangible incident where other employees could see that she was caring for her child during work hours.

    1. Amaranth*

      The report could be out of jealousy, definitely, I just think Mom is deflecting the major issue here which is the accusation of favoritism and retaliation. And totally tone deaf to how her response supports that to boot.

    2. The Rural Juror*

      Since it was part-time work, that’s probably not the real issue. The employee/daugther might have been picking the baby up from childcare and swung by the office to get something, which wouldn’t make it odd that she needed to bring the baby inside. It does seem like there were other things going on, which might be favoritism and other cases of retaliation, and this was the first thing the other employee was able to show proof of.

      At first I thought it was a petty thing for someone else to do, especially considering the employee/daughter doesn’t work in the office usually. But then the OP’s reaction to it and her feeling the NEED to find out who said something makes me think that’s just the tip of iceberg. Her employees probably didn’t feel like they had a way to speak up about things!

  28. tree*

    I think there is a bias towards corporate offices on this site. In this case, yes it is a public company so no she probably shouldn’t be managing her daughter or the daughter bringing in the baby.

    But before people get too prissy, I work for small business. Lots of families own small businesses and manage family members. Lots of families work together in small businesses for a boss they are not related to. There’s plenty more flexibility where bringing in your child briefly would be fine, among many other things that wouldn’t be fine in corporate life. Like all those people who say you should never have friends at work, for example. Right, then I’d be friendless basically. You enjoyed The Office right?

    The sky doesn’t fall in because in small business we manage family, work with family, bring in kids, make friends at work, hang out together, discuss our personal lives, wear casual clothes and do all those ‘nasty’ things the pious corporate worker says is unprofessional.

    Some corporate people need to chill out. It’s like being ‘professional’ is a religion to them. So long as the business makes money and everyone is happy it’s perfectly fine to not be such a stiff.

    1. Temperance*

      “Too prissy”? “Pious”? Is that how you believe the vast majority of the corporate world operates?

      We are all well aware that small family-owned businesses exist, but typically, people in that situation who are part of the family aren’t hitting up AAM for advice and the advice wouldn’t be relevant.

      1. Liane*

        And those few letters from someone working at a business owned by their *very own family,* have been very messed up situations to put it mildly: Dad & step mom wanted his child/their employee to go to family counseling with them. Daughter (?) who’s mom “wasn’t allowing” her to leave mom’s failing business, where, IIRC, the daughter wasn’t even being paid.

    2. AvonLady Barksdale*

      I recently worked for a small business where a senior executive’s child joined the company and it was terrible. The child (who is an adult with several years of work experience) got away with a lot and went over her own manager’s head quite often. It sucked.

      Sure, managing family can work out sometimes, but that requires people to really think about professionalism. If that means being “stiff”, so be it.

    3. RussianInTeaxs*

      Yes, I work for a family owned company. The owner’s son’s girlfriend absolutely gets preferential treatment at work.
      And no, I did not enjoy The Office, I find it super cringy and filled with terrible people.

      1. tree*

        These comments about nepotism are hilarious.

        If you own a family business you have the right to treat family as a priority. It’s a FAMILY business. The amount of people who write on this site saying things like ‘the owner’s son is treated better than me!’ is hilarious.

        When the family own the business they get to run it and all family members have a higher rank than you. That’s how it works. Why someone would think they are equal to a family member who OWN the business is very funny.

        In general comments about ‘favouritism’ and ‘nepotism’ on this site are way, way off the mark. So many people seem to think they should be treated equally regardless of performance. Favortism, for definition, is when you give someone benefits at work they don’t deserve because you like them. Giving someone a better schedule for example because they are a better work is not nepotism or favoritsm. I have been accused of favouritism because my old boss hired me for a new workplace. Um, they hired me because I’m good at my job!

        As a manager I am always going to preference employees who are good at their jobs and pleasant to have around. Legally I am not obligated to give equal treatment to an employee simply because they also exist. If they’re not worth having around a much then that’s perfectly legal to give them less work. It’s a business not a communist society of equality. Business needs of best workers come first.

        And in a family business I will always respect the family own it. I find it bizarre people think the child of an owner is not owner-adjacent as if only the owner themselves is due respect. The whole family are a take ’em all deal in family business, not just the person with their name above the door.

        1. RussianInTeaxs*

          “Favoritism, for definition, is when you give someone benefits at work they don’t deserve because you like them.”
          Yes, this is exactly how it works in my company. It doesn’t matter what she does or how she performs, she is the son’s girlfriend, and we all have to work around it.

          1. tree*

            I think you missed my point. It is not favortism when it involves family. It’s a family business. Family get priority. It’s why families run businesses, to give their family priority.

            As the son’s girlfriend she is family-adjacent and I would expect her to be be treated as quasi family.

            That is what you accept when you go to work in a family business. Family members, including partners, get to decide how they want to perform at work. That’s what a family business is. There’s no point owning and running your own business if your family is held to the same standard. You take the risk of running a business so you can set your own rules. Otherwise why bother might as well go work corporate for less stress.

            Many people don’t seem to understand that owning a family business is a lifestyle choice and to give family members a lifestyle which may include not working so hard. That’s their right as people who own it. It’s literally the point of starting a business sometimes, to chill and have your family chill. Their like Lords of old.

            1. PollyQ*

              It is a family business’s legal right to behave that way, and it’s even legal for non-family businesses to favor people they know in other ways (as long as it doesn’t have negative implications for employees based on race, gender, religion, etc.) If you believe it’s acceptable or even beneficial for a family business to do that, well, fine, that’s your opinion. I’m sure you’re right that most family businesses work this way, at least to an extent.

              But that doesn’t mean it’s somehow not favoritism. Judging & treating employees based on your relationship to them rather than by what they’re actually bringing to the job is the basic definition of favoritism.

        2. Jennifer Strange*

          There is nothing to indicate that this is a family business, though, so your entire point is moot. And there is nothing to indicate that any claims of nepotism in this case are off base (in fact, given the OP’s response, it sounds like they are very much ON base).

        3. PollyQ*

          “If you own a family business you have the right to treat family as a priority. ”

          “As a manager I am always going to preference employees who are good at their jobs and pleasant to have around. ”

          Well, which is it? Because both of these things cannot be simultaneously true.

        4. Pennyworth*

          What if the family members are really bad at their jobs? Give them priority over capable employees and keep them on the payroll ”because, family” and let the business sink? No wonder a lot of family businesses fail.

    4. Jennifer Strange*

      Like all those people who say you should never have friends at work, for example. Right, then I’d be friendless basically. You enjoyed The Office right?

      First, I don’t think I’ve seen people say you shouldn’t have friends at work, just that managers shouldn’t be friends with their subordinates, which is true. Second, you know The Office is a work of fiction, right?

      So long as the business makes money and everyone is happy it’s perfectly fine to not be such a stiff.

      It sounds like in this case someone wasn’t happy with the perceived favoritism being shown from the OP to her daughter employee.

    5. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

      Erm, I have friends at work. I just make damn sure that I’m NOT their manager. That’s all.

      Not sure where you’re getting this idea that working in an office = never discussing anything to do with your life, never having friends, never being able to wear casual clothing because we do all of that in my office.

      1. tree*

        My point is that corporate drones are wrapped up in a quasi-religious dogma about ‘professionalism’ when actually plenty of workplaces take it down a notch and it goes just fine.

        As for the people who say ‘but people write in with dysfunctional small business/ family stories!’ right well they also write in with corporate stories every day too. Maybe some workplaces in general just suck.

        We’re a workplace of 10-20 people depending on the season. Managers and owners will hang out with staff because we’re too small not to. It works out just fine. I’ve gone out for lunch with boss before as friends, I’ve been out with my report before to hang to treat them for their birthday. Everything went fine.

        People need to loosen up. If you view it from the outside it reads quite dogmatic as to the rules people adopt for corporate life. It sounds an incredibly sterile way to spend 40 Hours a week that you can’t be friendly with your boss or your direct report.

        1. RussianInTeaxs*

          We are about 20 people in the office (and about the same in the warehouse).
          We absolutely do not hang out with the managers outside of work, because there is not much personal relationship between the owners, the managers (one manager really), accounting personnel (2 people), and two other departments.
          We do not cross-pollinate and don’t hang out. My manager took my department (3 people) to lunch once in the last 4 years and it was very awkward.
          Yet, in my previous work, in a large corporation, we routinely had lunches with department managers, I am still in friendly contact with some coworkers, including one manager.
          So YMMV on the corporate vs small company, your experience is nowhere near universal.

          1. tree*

            I didn’t say it was universal.

            I said it is so many on this site have a dogmatic approach to friendships and relationships at work. It’s almost like a religious manta ‘professionals’ – NEVER be friends with a boss, NEVER be friends with a direct report, NEVER date a coworker.

            So sad. Imagine spending 40, 50, 60 hours a week with in a sterile environment with people you refuse to form a relationship with who could potentially be great friends or a spouse. How boring your work day must be, and long.

            Having friends at work is one thing that makes me job so enjoyable. I can’t wait to go into work tomorrow and see my boss who I haven’t seen for a while (Covid limited trading) and hear all about their latest ups and downs in the personal life. Sacrilege to be so friendly!

            1. RussianInTeaxs*

              Friendly – yes, friends no. Dating at work – also no, been there, done that, never again. Work friendship is situational, and when the work ends, friendship ends.
              I don’t appreciate being called drone because of the choice of my employment.

              1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

                Also not a drone! Think what we had here is a seagull commentator: flies in from nowhere, dumps guano, then leaves.

              2. Mme. Briet’s Antelope*

                Also not a drone, although this person would definitely think I am – I spend maybe five minutes chatting with my coworkers on any given day, and the rest of the day actually… doing my job. Which I love and enjoy.

                Heck, I could pretty easily turn it back on them: how sad your job must be if the highlight of it is getting to see your boss.

        2. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

          I’m really really not understanding where your venom is coming from. I will say I do not like being referred to as a ‘drone’ and I a, perfectly capable of being friendly with staff. I’m just not their friend.

          Sincere suggestion: go get a cup of tea and leave this conversation for a while.

          1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

            (And yes, I do have friends at work. Some of my oldest friends are from companies I used to work at. One was even my boss for a while but we started the friendship after I left)

        3. JB*

          You seem to be coming up with a lot of very strange interpretations of what professional standards are. Where have you ever seen anyone say that you shouldn’t be friendly with your boss and coworkers, or that dressing more casually in the office is some sort of sin?

          I assume this isn’t your intention, but you’re honestly making it sound like by ‘being friendly’ you mean something like ‘loudly discussing my sex life at work’ and by ‘dressing down’ you mean something like ‘wearing a potato sack I haven’t washed in three weeks’. Because otherwise it’s really odd that you think these things would never be allowed in any corporate setting, ever.

          Heck, I work in one of the most conservative corporate industries there is, and there are definitely divisions that are allowed to dress however they want as long as they have everything important covered, don’t stink, and there’s nothing racist printed on their shirt or across the ass of their jeans.

    6. BRR*

      This is a really odd generalization about workplaces and AAM. Yes there are tons of family-owned businesses, both small and large, where family manages other family members but just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s always done well. There are countless letters on AAM about issues happening at family-owned businesses, some even from the family members.

      “Corporate people” make friends, dress casually, and talk about their personal lives all the time (I’m going to interpret your comment on The Office about how they got along more or less and ignore everything that’s actually terrible about it as a workplace).

      And the point of the letter really isn’t about the daughter bringing her child in briefly anyways. It’s about nepotism and retribution.

    7. American Job Venter*

      The more letters here that I recall that were about dysfunctional small family businesses , the funnier this comment gets.

      1. tree*

        The more letters I read about people acting like they need to adopt a defensive position to work the sadder I feel for people spending up to 40, 50, 60 hours a week working for someone they could never go out to dinner with, or managing someone they couldn’t attend their baby shower.

        What a life to spend literally most of your waking hours with people you feel you need to deny a relationship with.

        1. Jennifer Strange*

          FFS, no one is saying you need to deny a relationship with anyone. They are saying that there needs to be a distinct line between a manager and those they are managing. If you can’t understand that you really shouldn’t be managing anyone.

          1. tree*

            And what I am saying is that outside of corporate roles plenty of industries have friendships across managerial and owner lines.

            There is a bigger world out there than corporate roles. Other people come on AAM because managing happens across industries.

            I think the hive mind doesn’t want to hear another view. I am offering another view from outside office world that there are jobs where people are much more relaxed and friendly and make work a more enjoyable place to be. There are plenty of jobs where it is not taboo to be friendly with your boss or your direct report. The sky does not fall in.

            It is food for thought for corporate people to consider alternate ways of being. Corporate workers should stop drinking the Kool aid and question how a set of norms developed that seem to have made worklife a lot less flexible, relaxed and enjoyable. Who is benefiting from employing the perfectly discreet and professional robot who never needs to bring a baby in or get close to someone?

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Friendly (with managers/direct reports) is fine. Friends is not. And the reason for that is all over this site — it causes bias, the appearance of bias, and resentment, and often causes genuine problems for all involved, including/especially the rest of the team.

              But you’re setting up a red herring. No one is saying you can’t have warm, even close relationships with people at work or that you need to be a robot. The questions are about boundaries and perception, and in all cases the deciding factor should be whether your actions are aligned with the outcomes you want for yourself and others.

    8. Ace in the Hole*

      Well… I don’t work in a corporate office. I wear grubby clothes to work since I’m a blue-collar worker. We’re a small organization in a small town, so lots of people are either friends outside of work or are related to coworkers. We have two married couples, several in-laws, an uncle/nephew, and on a few occasions even parents and children working together. It goes fine and there’s generally no interpersonal drama at work because of these relationships.

      BUT. That’s because they don’t supervise each other. And if they somehow DID, and a manager received a complaint about favoritism and retaliation concerns, they would take it VERY seriously.

      No to mention… either this is an environment where bringing a baby in is fine, or it’s not. If it’s fine, the complaint isn’t a problem because nothing will come of it and the complainer shouldn’t face any consequences for a harmless complaint – HR can just tell them “this sort of thing is allowed at our company.” If it’s not fine, the complaint is legitimate and the complainer should not be penalized for bringing forth a legitimate problem.

      So either way, Mom is overreacting and not being professional towards the issue.

      1. tree*

        You can be friends with someone and still be fair.

        We don’t have many staff at the moment due to the off season. I am friendly with the person I supervise the most. We go out to dinner, hang. I am still fair. I don’t treat them any differently to anyone else. At the end of the day I need the best worker on shift, not a buddy. If they can’t do the job I won’t roster them. I’d be shooting myself in the foot doing twice the work myself if I didn’t roster a capable co-worker.

        In a job where the work truly matters you would never roster someone who can’t do the job. You’d be screwed.

        Perhaps in corporate offices that often have fake or incomplete jobs their is scope to hire someone who is incompetent because they are your friend. In my job I literally can’t have incompetent people, which takes care of any favouritism. We’d fall apart and I’m the one who’d pay the price.

        1. Ace in the Hole*

          Your argument is basically “no one competent and ethical would play favorites.” To which I say: you’re right, but there are as many incompetent and/or unethical people in small businesses as in big corporations.

          You seem to think the only jobs where the work “matters” are ones where the consequences of shoddy work are immediately obvious. In some jobs, the work is very important but consequences of bad or incomplete work might not be obvious for a long time. For example, I’m still cleaning up the mess left by the last person in my position and she retired 2 years ago. There were definitely consequences – including a lawsuit, at least three serious injuries, and months of extra labor. But the issues built up for years before they got to a point where she couldn’t cover them up.

          An awful lot of managers/supervisors don’t realize how bad things are because they are biased by their good relationship with the person. Others might see problems, but are in denial or avoid addressing the issue because they don’t want to mess up their relationship with a friend/relative. And some unethical people know about the shoddy work and just don’t care because they expect to have left the company before consequences show up.

          Of course some people are totally able to manage a close friend, daughter, etc. fairly and responsibly. But it CAN cause problems. The closer that relationship is, the more likely it is to cause problems. Someone supervising their cousin or casual friend is much less likely to cause problems than someone supervising their son/daughter or their best friend of 20 years. Again – some people can manage it well without playing favorites. But a large percentage of people can’t, which is why most people here say it’s a bad practice.

          1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

            Major sympathies mate – I’m still trying to fix a buggy mess of a software installation that someone did 10 years ago. If I don’t sort it? well nothing will happen *today* but we’ll probably get clobbered by some regulation down the line.

        2. JB*

          Oh honey. Combined with your earlier comments I’m starting to think you don’t actually have any friends.

          What you’re describing is being friendly with someone. That’s not an issue.

    9. Bones*

      …I don’t think most people who enjoyed The Office think “What a great office, I’d love to work there with those people, that’s exactly what I want my daily work environment to be like”. That’s kind of the entire point of the show?

  29. wanda*

    This happens because people don’t have enough sick days to stay home with their sick children. Or they feel they can’t take those days because they have too much work or their manager will give them the side eye. Daycares don’t allow sick children, so if the child is too young to stay alone at home, and the parent feels like they must go to work, what do you expect to happen? This is a company problem, not a coworker problem.

    1. RussianInTeaxs*

      In this particular instance the woman is working from home part time, with the baby. She wasn’t working in the office already.

  30. Sharpieees*

    Oh God, Just thinking about a baby crawling around in back of a computer is frightening. Monitors are HEAVY and a couple of good yanks – that kid could be dealing with a brain injury.

    Actually, I wonder if the complaint was really about nepotism or more about an unsupervised baby crawling into dangerous areas like this?

    1. Meep*

      That is probably what it was. It sounds like they only feared retaliation because OP is spiteful and they know it.

    2. Pennyworth*

      Just having a baby on the floor is bad enough in an office – it could be stepped on or tripped over, especially if its presence was unexpected. That might have been why it was photographed.

  31. Meep*

    I love this letter. “This employee fears retribution. How dare they do that! HR won’t tell me who it is so I can retaliate.”

    Hopefully, daughter found another place to work.

  32. Junebug*

    So, her daughter doesn’t bring the baby to work, despite photographic evidence (how dare someone take a photo!). There’s no retribution, but she needs to know who complained, says she’s lost trust in her team, and wants to know if she has any recourse. The lack of self-awareness is strong with this one.

  33. Elle by the sea*

    “You should not be managing your daughter.” I understand that it’s not ideal and it also raises ethical concerns. But what about family businesses where you cannot avoid hierarchical relationships between family members?

    1. Colette*

      A family owned and run business is only accountable to the family, so they can do what they want. However, they either need to be exceptional people who can relate to each other as colleagues at work and as family at home, or they’re going to run into problems. (This is one of the reasons why it can be miserable to work at a family business if you’re not part of the family.)

    2. Nanani*

      Search “family business” on this very site and see.
      TL;DR it’s not a very good idea. Common, yes. Wise, no.

  34. GrooveBat*

    What I don’t get is why the daughter had to go into the office to “send an email” if she works from home? Does she even have a workstation at the office?

    1. Liane*

      “Does she even have a workstation at the office?”
      Does Daughter even have a workstation in her home? Does Daughter have so much as a work laptop on a TV tray-table stuffed between bed and wall?
      Does Daughter have ANY job duties (besides Get Paid for Little/No Work)?

    2. Bamcheeks*

      This seems to be looking for reasons to assume bad intent on the part of the daughter and the mom? I’ve had jobs where I worked from home but occasionally had to go into the office to pick something up or drop something off, and logging onto a work station to check whether someone’s replied to something or to send a quick email that ideally shouldn’t wait until tomorrow or Monday or whatever. Not everyone has their work email on their phone!

      I think the LW’s attitude is Not Great, but that doesn’t mean that absolutely everything she or her daughter did is implausible!

    3. PollyQ*

      She went into the office to pick up supplies, and while she was there she answered an email, perhaps because it needed a prompt answer that was longer than the 2 sentences it’s convenient to type on a phone. And she could have borrowed her mom’s workstation and logged into her own account. I don’t see any problem with this piece of the story.

    4. American Job Venter*

      In my last job this happened frequently because we were medical and there was information that could not be accessed from home. So someone might drop by to look up X patient’s notes on Y date in order to answer s question she’d been asked in her home correspondence. That’s just an example of how this can be necessary.

  35. Effective Immediately*

    I like that this one continues this week’s (maybe unintentional) theme of, ‘LWs who tell on themselves’

  36. DinoGirl*

    The retribution concern is valid because you actively trying to discern who complained…for what purpose other than retaliation?
    It’s a pandemic and children are unvaccinated, that may not be the issue here, but it might. Or other issues with family visits in an office.

  37. PlainJane*

    While I do agree that “DON’T MANAGE YOUR FAMILY” is a cardinal rule, I also don’t automatically side with the other employee. So someone who works at home brings the baby to quick fly-by! So what? That shouldn’t be an issue no matter who the manager is. It strikes me as “I don’t like babies, they should not be allowed in public, and I will now make trouble for a young mother.” Unless the office as a whole has a policy that no infant may ever be on premises–which would be a foolish policy–then what’s the problem? People need childcare, and it’s a mess out there for working mothers. Unless the baby was being disruptive (which doesn’t seem to be the case, if the only complaint was that the child was playing) and the mother wasn’t working to minimize that disruption, then it’s no one else’s business, no matter who manages the young mother in question.

    1. Colette*

      It does depend on whether it was a one-off as the OP described, or whether it’s a pattern. Bringing a baby in once every few months is probably OK; for 4 hours every Tuesday is probably not.

      1. PlainJane*

        Honestly, even if the baby was in for four hours every Tuesday, if it wasn’t being disruptive, I’m not seeing a problem. Heck, I often went to my mother’s workplace if the babysitter called in. The expectation was that I would not be disruptive, that she would not be distracted, and presumably, if I had broken those rules, she would have been told it wasn’t an option. It wasn’t my favorite thing, since it meant I was more or less in charge of entertaining myself for several hours, but it also wasn’t a huge deal.

        1. Colette*

          A 7-month old in the office for 1/2 a day would mean the parent isn’t actually working. Yes, the baby might sleep for an hour, but she’s also going to be crying, putting stuff in her mouth, and generally demanding attention.

          If she were 8, it might be a different issue – but it would still be reasonable for the parent to be told she couldn’t be there every week.

          1. PlainJane*

            I could at least see the argument. (And an even better argument for workplaces to have day care as a benefit!)

        2. PollyQ*

          The number of 7-month-old babies that can be dependably non-disruptive for a 4-hour period week in and week out is vanishingly small. I think it’s very different for a school-aged child, and I’ve worked places where people had their well-behaved, self-entertaining children in the office with them from time to time, and it was fine.

          1. PlainJane*

            It really is. But the complaint should be about the disruptive behavior, not about the existence of the baby at all. (From the letter, it sounds like the horrible, terrible thing she reported was… that the baby existed and was on premises.)

    2. Bamcheeks*

      Yes, I think the side that Alison doesn’t discuss here is how LW would react if the same complaint was made about a trustworthy employee who was *not* her daughter, and she was pretty sure the claim was malicious or spurious. LW goes into OTT super-defensive mode here; Alison’s advice seems to assume there’s probably *something* to it; I’d be quite interested to know what appropriate course of action would be if you received the same anonymous complaint about a trustworthy employee and you were 95% sure that she *had* just popped by for twenty minutes to pick up some supplies and sent one email and the baby was perfectly ok chilling in their car seat, but you didn’t really have any way of following it up.

      But then, maybe it wouldn’t have been anonymous if it wasn’t about LW’s daughter.

      1. PlainJane*

        The fact that it’s LW’s daughter probably did make her hypersensitive to it. The thought process I’m assuming is, “I couldn’t imagine anything was wrong with it, and if it *was* someone else’s daughter, I’d do the same thing if she asked, but now someone is treating it like I’m doing something wrong, and I’m completely messed up in the head about it, and therefore am going to dig into my position instead of asking if there was a problem.” It’s quite possible that the daughter felt free to ask for this while another employee might not have; the question I’d ask is, would another employee have gotten the same permission? I don’t see any indication in the letter that she wouldn’t have, so I can see why the kind of hurt tone is there. Though of course, LW should be stepping back far enough back to not let her hurt feelings lead her to what seems like a threat of retaliation.

      2. Observer*

        he baby was perfectly ok chilling in their car seat,

        That alone would be a significant difference. The picture was of the baby playing on the floor – that’s a real potential problem when talking about an infant that age.

        The whole tone, the defensiveness and the self-contradictory statements all combine to make one wonder what the whole story is. At minimum, the OP didn’t sound like a reasonable boss, at least when it comes to Daughter.

    3. Effective Immediately*

      “It strikes me as “I don’t like babies, they should not be allowed in public, and I will now make trouble for a young mother.””

      Respectfully, I think you might be projecting, here. IF this is truly a situation of ‘dropping by to grab some things’ and setting the baby down for a moment while said things are gathered, then I would agree the employee is being unreasonable.

      But I don’t think it’s fair to *assume* that’s the case, and particularly not to ascribe nefarious motivations (such as baby hatred) to this unknown person.

      LW is demonstrably not a neutral–or arguably reliable–narrator here, so I’m willing to give the picture-taking employee the benefit of the doubt that this was either (a) not the first time this has happened; (b) evidence of favoritism or otherwise inequitable treatment (if the daughter is the only one ‘allowed’ to bring her children in, that’s a problem) or (c) some combination of those things/a last straw situation.

      Is it possible this is just an unreasonable employee who went through all the effort to report this to HR, in spite of a (justified) fear of retaliation? Sure. Is it at least equally (if not more) likely that the boss’s daughter gets preferential treatment, and this was a documentable example of that? I’d say so.

      As usual with internet questions, we can only take the writer at their word and give the best advice we can with the information we have. However, sometimes LWs (like this one) do an awful lot of telling on themselves in the process, that lead us to question their perception of events. There’s only so much we can glean from a single letter, but I’m not sure assuming underlying baby/young mother hatred on the employee’s part is helpful here, especially when there are so many possible (and arguably more rational/likely) explanations here.

      1. PlainJane*

        I guess I’ve just seen way too much more of the “Why should we care what breeders do?” mindset than of the “I’m so entitled to bring my kid anywhere” mindset to give the benefit of the doubt here. (Also, Allison already addressed it from the perspective of the possibility that the daughter was getting unfair treatment.)

        I’m childless myself, but, yes, growing up as the child of a single parent trying to juggle childcare while earning enough to keep food on the table… that’s the struggle that tends to attract my attention.

    4. JB*

      The complaint was obviously that the daughter was bringing the baby in regularly, not just once.

      Otherwise it would be very odd for the LW to insist that it didn’t happen, since they readily acknowledge that their daughter brought the baby in once.

  38. Retired(but not really)*

    I’m finding it really interesting to see the difference between what is considered appropriate working in small family business type operations where it is common for some family member being expected to eventually inherit the business and thus being trained to do so, versus what occurs in much larger businesses where there is not that dynamic.

  39. Jane*

    Honestly the compliant was probably valid. The kid as a whole is probably an issue for the entire office and they don’t want it there at all.

    I worked in the office were we had someone that got special treatment with their kid. He was always taking off for random things, staying home, bring the kid in, etc etc. And we all hated that kid. It was living symbol of all the extra work we all did to cover for him to just be a parent.

    Let’s just say we had a meeting when he was off for the millionth time for whatever. And we told the manager that allowed this it was the entire staff or the kid. The kid was banned and he wasn’t allowed anymore time off without him taking salary cut to part time.

    You need to see the bigger picture. How many times have you said “oh well she has a 7 month old, be patient..” or something along those lines.

    1. IEanon*

      Classic crabs in a barrel. Instead of hating your coworker and his kid(!!), you should have requested the same flexibility for yourselves.

      If that’s not possible, then yes, you need to have a conversation about equity. But it’s really crazy to hear an adult say that they made a kid the “living symbol of all the extra work” in their own mind rather than putting the blame where it belongs: management.

      1. Black Horse Dancing*

        Actually, it’s very human. Like misdirected/redirected aggression. Workers usually can’t aggress against their bosses–the consequences are too dire. And there is “Dad dearest’ being a total slacker and requiring others to pick up his work. Of course the slacker and his kid become the enemy–because it’s logical. Because yes, management is an issue but so is the co worker because he will not pull his weight. And then you have to think, who gets the short stick when someone mentions children? The childless and childfree. Face it, unless management offers flexibility to everyone who needs it from the kid pick up to going to the vet to waiting for the plumber to walking the dog, it’s going to be unfair. These workers did the right thing–either company gets lazy parent hardly in worker or a team of hard workers.

  40. RandaPanda*

    I indirectly manage my sister. We work at the same department store, and I’m the night manager. She works a combination of days and nights, in a specific department. So she has a separate chain of command for things like performance reviews and scheduling. If she happens to be working a night that I’m the manager on duty, she’s performing the duties assigned by her deparmental manager and my only role is just to follow up and make sure they get done, or assign her additional duties if her departmental workload is low. I *still* am very careful to treat her the same as every other person I manage. If anyone accused me of favoritism or her of using my influence to get away with something, I would try to let HR and our respective bosses handle things as much as possible, and be open to any criticism or correction that came out of it.

  41. Lizy*

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter WHY coworker took a picture and sent it to HR, or even that a baby was in the office at all. OP shouldn’t be managing her daughter, and her letter explains exactly why.

    A 7-month-old may not be mobile yet, and they could have been “playing” for 30 seconds, or in the conference room while mom took a pee or…. And the coworker could loosen up a bit and get over a baby being in the office for a minute, or this is the 261232 time that Baby had been there and was getting into things and causing a ruckus, or….

    but none of that matters, because OP shouldn’t be managing her daughter and her letter explains exactly why.

  42. El l*

    I’m fascinated by this discussion in the comments where people are saying, “I’ve seen family managing family work! What about family businesses? Different rules…”

    This is really a debate about what we mean by “professionalism.” To me, if you’re mixing family in and they’re in a job where other people depend on them, it takes a manager of incredible integrity to never ever put fam ahead of what’s best for the business.

    Not saying that person doesn’t exist – but there will be common situations where “Do the best job” won’t match with, “What’s best for the family.” That will inevitably happen, and literally everyone in the office will wonder if your motives really are what you say. Because nepotism really is tales as old as time.

    The reason you make a rule like “never manage family” is so you never have to be in that position.

  43. anon this time*

    I would be outraged by anyone taking a picture of a child and sending it to others. The LW may be wrongity wrong wrong about all else, but the assuming you can photograph others without their permission, especially a child is gross.

    1. Observer*

      What would you suggest that the affected employee do, given that the manager would just claim that it never happened without the photo?

      1. XYZ*

        Based on things I’ve seen, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s happened before and nothing has been done because there’s no proof, so the employee felt they had to document it for anything to be done. It’s kinda extreme for a one-time occurrence, but maybe it’s reoccurring.

    2. JB*

      What a silly position.

      The coworker didn’t go to the daughter’s house and peek through her blinds to photograph the child in the privacy of their own home. Nor did they (as far as we know) share the photo around unnecessarily.

      They documented wrongdoing at work, in a public/shared space. The fact that a baby was involved doesn’t suddenly act as some kind of screen against photographic evidence.

  44. Llama face!*

    Oh I remember this one from the original post and it stuck out for the OP’s total lack of self awareness.

    In her own words she gives an example of her daughter literally working in the office while claiming in the very next sentence that she doesn’t work in the office:
    “She brought her baby to work recently while she ran by to get some supplies and send an email…First of all, this was completely untrue – she works from home and does not work in the office.”

    Then she asserts there is no chance of retaliation while saying she is trying to make HR tell her who complained:
    “…she was afraid to say anything because she feared retribution…” “…no one here has ever experienced retribution. The HR director would not tell me who sent the picture and told this story.”

    I think the family managing family thing- as problematic as that can be- paled in comparison with her extreme inability to see the impact of her words and actions which I highly doubt was restricted to just one specific situation.

    Practical things the OP could have considered in this situation:
    Why do my employees not trust me to respond appropriately to safety concerns?
    How can I create a workplace environment where my employees feel comfortable bringing concerns and problems to me?
    If this is a misperception due to employee past experiences, how can I support them in adjusting to a healthier boss-employee relationship?
    How do I respond to employees who bring up concerns that are incorrect or misinformed without shutting down communication?

  45. Overeducated*

    How awful! I hope your office is instituting a more generous work from home policy for people working in an open office nowadays, or has really generous sick leave. I know people say it’s important to have backup childcare, but backups for when your child is too sick for their paid childcare/school are basically impossible to find unless you live near an unemployed and capable relative who’s willing to risk getting sick.

    1. New Jack Karyn*

      The daughter already worked from home, and was just stopping in for a few minutes. No one was sick, or needed sick leave. The letter is from pre-COVID.

    2. JB*

      It seems like you may want to read the letter again more closely? How much more generous of a work from home policy could they have had?

  46. Denise J*

    The complaint is a valid one and ANY company should take notice if a manager has a family member reporting directly to them. Has anyone considered that this employee is working from home while caring for a baby? How many hours is she on the clock (working) while caring for a baby? If she has to bring her child to the office to pickup supplies she obviously doesn’t have any type of child care setup. Is she on the clock while driving herself and her child to the office? Hello company that is allowing this! What if an accident happens during this quick trip to the office to pick up supplies? You might want to discuss this with an attorney. Bottom line, manager should be relieved of her duties, as well as daughter, based solely on this post because she (manager) cannot be fair or objective to those that work under her. I’m sure if the other employees had the opportunity to work from home while caring for their children they would.

  47. Cringing 24/7*

    “I would *never* retaliate against someone, but I desperately need to know who complained and I absolutely don’t trust any of my employees as much anymore.” Sure, Jan. It’s kind of obvious why someone went around you and complained to HR instead.

Comments are closed.