update: I manage a gay employee … and our company is homophobic

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

Warning: This is a tough update to read.

Remember the letter-writer who managed a gay employee at a homophobic company? Here’s the update.

It’s been a few months of ups and downs. I wanted to reply both to thank you and the commentariat for the excellent advice and insight and to thank everyone for being far more forgiving and sympathetic than was deserved.

I think I need to go into more detail about where I work to add context but also don’t want to reveal too much for the sake of anonymity. We serve a client base that is extremely vulnerable and volatile and we are really the only option in our city. A certain level of bad behavior is expected, and banning them is unthinkable to us. It is overwhelming and often awful and we do have a huge burnout rate – but it’s also hugely necessary, literally life saving, and a lot of us are putting up with a lot because what we do is needed.

Readers reasonably asked if we’re bad with other minorities and I’d say (as a Brown woman) we’re generally good. Our senior leadership team is diverse, our staff are diverse, we have more women than men at all levels, we have generous sick/disability policies, and we make truly excellent accommodations for disability. The hole is that our clients can pretty much get away with anything – but even then if a client racially abuses someone (as has happened very recently) they are warned and we severely limit what activities they can be part of and length of time in the building. It’s not great but we do something.

Unfortunately with a lot of our staff and partner agencies, homophobia crosses with religion – which we are extremely accommodating towards. And while in terms of race, gender, and disability we have a diverse team and leadership, the same is not true for LGBTQ people.

So, Darren is still with us. Part of me is overjoyed because he is such an asset and a great guy, but I’m also somewhat saddened because everyone was right, this isn’t a healthy place for him. I feel Darren has absorbed the idea that a certain level of homophobia is just something you have to live with; I know he has had some bad experiences and I feel he is not good at advocating for himself.

Things are somewhat better here, albeit not necessarily for the right reasons: senior management were reminded of their legal liability, the fact Darren has a law degree, and the potential bad PR. Even with the current government’s considerable anti-LGBTQ hostility, the central office is always rather reactive to anything sniffing of scandal, and “allows years of unrelenting, unchecked homophobia” is not a selling point.

So we’ve had a mandatory refresher of our diversity training and senior management have passed strong guidance to team leaders that this has to stop and they do have to intervene. It has made a difference (though the general overwhelmedness of everyone means we don’t intervene enough) – just that clear message from the seniors that this is not OK encourages on-the-ground team leads to do something (and that it’s ok to speak up even if someone is invoking religion as an excuse) and a clear message that the senior leadership is paying attention (well … for a given value of attention anyway). There is a culture shift. But it’s confined to our staff – not our partner agencies or clients.

But I must mention our receptionist, Rita – the main driver of change: she’s an older, very self-confident, very respected, fierce lady who handles everything our front desk throws at her (which is a lot). Once this train wreck hit her radar, she decided she is Not Having It. She has chewed out clients, partner agency representatives, staff, managers, visiting regional directors – she is taking no prisoners. And I think this is a vital lesson because we may not all be as scary as Rita (who is very scary) but there’s real power in all of us, at every level, being willing to say, “Stop. This isn’t OK.” It’s hard to dismiss your peers and colleagues saying no (and no one dismisses Rita). The commenters really covered this before – and it was my silence that was such a problem here – but there’s a real power here to just everyone saying “this is not OK.”

I’ve rambled a lot and we’re not in a great place for many reasons (the core of which is always under-resourcing) but maybe, potentially, we’re doing something to tackle this. It’s early days but I’m hopeful (which isn’t something I say often at work).

Update to the update:

Unfortunately I have to add an update to the update, because it’s always 2 steps forwards, 11 steps back.

Since last month, we’ve had an urgent major inter-services project going on and Darren has been doing the lion’s share of the work. It’s not entirely his role, but he has excellent knowledge and experience and he’s an excellent problem solver. With so many things, there’s the choice of “spend 2 hours trying to find this out” or “spend 10 minutes asking Darren.” With this being on such a time crunch, a lot fell on him.

And we did an awesome job; I’m really proud of what we achieved. Our work is being used as an exemplar by our head office for other services around the country. Darren should receive a great deal of credit for this … and didn’t. One of the biggest charities we’re working with is headed up by a couple of dedicated, passionate, and highly religious women who have been a not small part of the inter-agency homophobia problem. Our senior team have responded by keeping Darren at arm’s length. He does the work, then I or someone else takes it to the meeting. We talk about what we did, we say “Sarah did this and Anita did that, and we did this…” and that “we” is Darren. We went into big meetings and Darren provides “remote support” on teams feeding us information and hiding he’s involved. As we brought everything together, it became more apparent just how much Darren was erased from this. In a dozen ways Darren was, to be brutally honest about it, closeted.

This did remove all the conflict and any potential of homophobic abuse, but instead we completely sidelined him and denied him the recognition he deserved. This isn’t an ego thing — we’re not in a field that encourages ego after all — but a real career consequence. Of course Darren is no fool and is painfully aware of what happened (the “closet” line up there is a direct quote).

Sadly it’s pretty typical. It was the easiest way to avoid a conflict, or delay it at least, and we’ll always take an easy short-term “solution” rather than a more difficult but actually effective path.

{ 83 comments… read them below }

  1. Dragon_Dreamer*

    I hope Darren and OP find a job at an organization doing the same thing, without the toxicity. Darren deserves recognition!

      1. bamcheeks*

        Yea, I’ve met people like Rita in frontline services and they’re amazing. People who are not in accredited professional roles or management roles, but who have the ability to simultaneously make service users welcome AND also be absolutely crystal clear about what the boundaries are and what doesn’t fly are just incredible to watch.

    1. Jean (just Jean)*

      Yes x 1,000 for Darren deserving recognition. Rita–who sounds beyond wonderful–also deserves recognition for her powerful example of speaking out against injustice.

      Maybe the “dedicated, passionate, and highly religious women who have been a not small part of the inter-agency homophobia problem” will somehow change in future, if a child, nibling, cousin, or other family member discerns and shares that they are LGBTQ?
      We can dream, can’t we?

      I hope Rita doesn’t retire for a few more years, until she’s been promoted to a place of even greater power and another, equally ferocious person takes over the front desk.

    2. AD*

      Respectfully, OP seems to have their heart in the right place but was enabling of this behavior in some ways right to the end. I don’t think they should get out of this unscathed when this is the latest they report:

      He does the work, then I or someone else takes it to the meeting. We talk about what we did, we say “Sarah did this and Anita did that, and we did this…” and that “we” is Darren. We went into big meetings and Darren provides “remote support” on teams feeding us information and hiding he’s involved. As we brought everything together, it became more apparent just how much Darren was erased from this. In a dozen ways Darren was, to be brutally honest about it, closeted.

      1. Miss Carter*

        It’s hard to stay kind while reading the update. Did OP do ANY advocating for Darren to be recognized for his work throughout the process?

        1. Momma Bear*

          That is my question as well. Senior leadership can kind of want Darren to be on the sidelines to avoid conflict with this person, but everyone needs to be complicit for that to happen. I’m sorry, OP, but Darren is being closeted by you as well if you don’t speak up and specify the impact Darren has had on this work. Please consider standing up for him and insisting he either get recognized as he should or that he not be asked to take on this role. They either want it done well and fast (Darren) or they find someone else to do it slowly. Everyone is under pressure, sure, but if Darren’s team stood their collective ground for him then maybe change would happen. If someone excluded YOU, how would you feel? I think you need to have some heart to hearts with Rita and channel some of her confidence. Otherwise nothing you have done is really for Darren and nothing is going to improve. Please speak up – for Darren, for you, for anyone your senior managers want to marginalize for convenience.

          As for Darren, I really hope he moves on to somewhere he’s fully recognized and appreciated.

        2. Happy meal with extra happy*

          From reading how extreme and awful the organization can be, I think any attempts that OP would make at advocacy would just harm their career and further harm Darren’s. It’s easy to focus on OP because she’s the one writing in, but it seems clear to me that this is a shit place, and I can’t imagine how difficult systemic change would be.

  2. Lucia Pacciola*

    Whenever I see an update like this, I’m always left wondering what advice from Allison or the commenters was tried, and how well it worked. Here the LW thanks everyone for their “excellent advice and insight”, but it seems like none of it actually helped the LW’s situation?

    1. Morgan Proctor*

      I think that’s the case for the vast majority of letter writers. The fact is, direct communication could solve 99% of all questions that come through here, but direct communication is difficult for many (most?) people, and many (most?) people will do anything to avoid it.

      But also? It’s really, really difficult to just quit a job. It’s really, really difficult for many people to find new jobs. There are so many reasons people can’t simply leave a toxic or even dangerous situation, and so a lot of the advice that’s offered here is unusable. It’s just the way of the world.

      1. Someone Online*

        This sounds like a situation where direct, honest conversations probably wouldn’t help and may, in fact, end up hurting Darren. It’s a really horrible spot for him, though.

  3. FricketyFrack*

    I hope for Darren’s sake that he leaves. It sounds like the people who most need to change aren’t interested, and he deserves to work in a place where he doesn’t have to put up with that kind of treatment. And if he’s so incredible at his job, there are plenty of organizations that would probably be thrilled to have him (and, bonus, maybe losing him will shake some sense into leadership at the current org, or maybe that’s wishful thinking).

  4. Sloanicota*

    This kind of thing happens, at least in the US (or at at least in my field) because public funding is so abysmal that religious groups are filling gaps that they shouldn’t be filling – like, “the only hospital in a rural area” or “the only women’s shelter” or “the only adoption agency.” Since nobody else is doing the work, nobody can dismiss or at least minimize the role of these groups when they have homophobic or other offensive policies they feel are in line with their religious beliefs. This is why my friend couldn’t get an IUD after she gave birth to her last child, why my single friend can’t adopt, and why Darren got erased from his role in OP’s story.

    1. Kate B.*

      Yup. The unfair choice between “we have a hospital, but all doctors and nurses must follow the diocese’s instructions” or “we don’t have a hospital.”

      In my experience, this is also common in education and other professions where having buy-in from parents and influential community groups (including, but not limited to, religious groups) is essential.

    2. Cold and Tired*

      Exactly. Somewhere along the way we decided in the US that we were okay with religious organizations providing vital social and health services and have just let them take over.

      I work in healthcare and end up doing it consulting with different organizations for usually 1-2 years at a time. And it’s kind of horrifying to see from the inside just how religious some of these healthcare systems are. The worst was the group that forced even us consultants to start all meetings with a religious quote, and banned us from setting up IT to support certain procedures related to women’s health. It was very off putting as someone who is not part of that religion (or any related branches) myself (and has family who were physically harmed as kids by that specific religious branch) and who is a woman of childbearing age. But since they were my clients, I had to just keep my mouth shut and pretend it didn’t bother me. Luckily I always had an end date so I could handle it for a set amount of time – I couldn’t have done it indefinitely.

      1. Not my coffee*

        I think what “we” decided as a society is that it is too expensive provide vital social and health services to everyone, that why universal healthcare in the United States is not a thing.

        I’ve heard from far too many people that they want healthcare for themselves, but don’t want it to be available to people who aren’t worthy for various reasons.

        I don’t want to derail, so I’ll stop here.

    3. Ashley*

      And we end up with more and more pockets where people with means leave areas like these and sadly those left in the area become more bold in their claims of exercise of religion. It sucks when people have to leave but sadly white people like Rita try and do so much you can only get so far without government / lawsuit backing you up.
      I wish Darren nothing but the best of luck as he navigates a very complicated situation, and tell Rita she has a lot of new fans.

    4. bamcheeks*

      This is exactly the policy landscape that David Cameron was elected on, for all he was supposedly the “modern”, pro-LGBTQ Conservative who introduced gay marriage. The “big society” was all about removing state funding and basic entitlement and letting religious and private interests fill the gaps.

    1. learnedthehardway*

      Agreed – I think that the organization needs to quit pussyfooting around people who are homophobic and instead really needs to highlight that Darren is a valued, contributing employee who is doing a great job. That may entail some overt homophobia – in which case, take a page out of Rita’s book and take no prisoners – but Darren is effectively getting equivalent (or worse) impacts of homophobia when his contributions don’t get recognized.

      This approach of closeting Darren to protect the sensibilities and/or prevent homophobic reactions is not working – it’s just deferring the problem and / or putting all the impacts on Darren.

      Of course, you can correct the impression if he asks for a reference when (not if, but WHEN) he joins another organization, but a) he should be able to claim his accomplishments, and b) he shouldn’t have people potentially questioning what his contributions were, based on what other people were credited with publicly.

      1. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

        Agreed, as long as Darren is comfortable with this. Whether he attends the meetings or not, I would want to give him the recognition he’s earned from doing excellent work.

      2. Someone Online*

        Would Darren get recognition? Hopefully. But it could also potentially put him in the sights of more powerful, monied people in his community. How much Darren wants to push this is up to him.

  5. MEH Squared*

    OP, please rethink your belief that Darren isn’t good at advocating for himself. He probably knows that there is no point in such a toxic environment. I hope Darren leaves soon and goes somewheere that appreciates him and his contributions. He deserves better.

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      I agree. Not only is there no point, it could be dangerous. And/or it might be a fight he’s had many times already and he doesn’t want to do it again.

      1. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

        Agree with both of you. There is strong evidence that Darren wouldn’t benefit at all from attempts to advocate for himself in this environment. Or any benefits would be more than offset by the BS he would have to deal with. He might be great at advocating for himself in situations that aren’t full of bees.

      2. MEH Squared*

        You’re right. It could be actively harmful in a place that is colluding to keep him in the closet. Darren knows this and is acting accordingly.

  6. Anna Badger*

    the thing about being as scary as Rita is that it’s almost entirely a matter of technique. things like being able to inject a bit of steel into your voice without raising it, and asking direct questions or making clear statements and then letting the silence after them haunt the other person, and saying what is right and true no matter how senior the person you’re talking to might be. like, it’s all stuff we can all learn to do.

    1. Mark This Confidential And Leave It Laying Around*

      It’s also her position: imagine this workplace without Rita. No one wants Rita to quit. But I hope Darren does and I hope the church ladies fall down an open manhole cover.

      1. bamcheeks*

        (The church ladies might well be mosque ladies, or temple or gurudwara ladies. Where I am in northern England a lot of welfare gaps have been filled by Muslim organisations and charities, not Christian ones.)

    2. bamcheeks*

      It’s also, in the case of service users, following it up with genuine warmth and care. JUST being scary probably doesn’t cut it. You’ve got to hit the note that says, we’re glad you’re here, we want you to stay, but you’ve also got to behave. It’s proper old-school pub-landlady skills!

    3. Ashley*

      The tips are great, but unfortunately not everyone really can safely be a Rita. There is a certain privilege that a role requires to be able to do this because there are many places where you will be terminated. Sometimes people don’t care about the truth and dislike people who ask questions.

  7. DramaQ*

    That is awful. They are happy to profit from his work but don’t have the proverbial balls to actually stand up for him. I hope Darren gets a better job. And when he quits I hope he salts the Earth on Glassdoor.

  8. Brain the Brian*

    I believe I commented on the original post expressing solidarity as a fellow “Darren” working elsewhere. And I have to say that lots of the things discussed in updates could have been lifted from my own experience in my workplace — especially recently, especially with erasure in front of clients, especially recent high-stakes work, and most especially about management doing exactly what they are legally required to, no more and no less. We don’t have a receptionist where I work, so I can confirm I am *not* the actual Darren, but I do have one or two coworkers just as supportive as Rita sounds. Strength to you and Darren, OP.

    1. Aphra*

      I’m so sorry that you, and all the other Darrens out there, are having to deal with this nonsense in 2023. it’s bad enough when your hard work isn’t recognised or respected because you have a bad boss but for that to happen because of who you are is unconscionable. I’m in the UK and your use of the term ‘erasure’ has a different resonance here. If you’re not already familiar with the band, look up Erasure, their tracks Respect and Oh L’amour are brilliant and the fabulous Andy Bell is a very visible presence in LGBTQIA+ circles here, with his bandmate Vince Clarke an ally since the 1980’s. How wonderful it would be for you and every Darren to be able to have ‘Erasure in front of clients’. I wish you season’s greetings, a much better 2024 and a much better job very soon.

  9. Kiwi Leslie Knope*

    It’s interesting that the person who has done the most to speak up is the person most would consider to have the least actual power in the organisation. Good on Rita, and more power to receptionists everywhere!

    1. Jean (just Jean)*

      Yes, I noticed that also. It’s ironic that her so-called low-status position probably gives her protection for speaking out. (It’s not ironic that an organization will disempower and underpay key staff like the front desk person, but that’s a larger topic beyond the scope of the present discussion.)

      1. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

        Though people with sense know that solid admin staff are absolutely essential to basically any organization, despite their lower status in the hierarchy. Nothing functions without the people in those roles. And it sounds like Rita is excellent at her job and would also be really hard to replace.

  10. Ashley*

    Oof, “let’s impact his career and work recognition so he doesn’t get abused” is just so incredibly icky. Even just keeping him out of the meetings but recognizing the great work he did verbally as an aside would have at least been something but totally hiding his involvement feels extra gross.

    1. Observer*

      “let’s impact his career and work recognition so he doesn’t get abused” is just so incredibly icky.

      Really! I mean, it’s good that at least internally abuse is mostly being shut down. But this is just. . . bad. Very bad.

      1. Slow Gin Lizz*

        Yup. I’m incensed that this stuff still happens in 2023. (This is not news to me, mind you, it just incenses me.)

  11. Beth*

    This is really sad to read. Your senior team is totally fine with pretending Darren wasn’t involved at all with a project that he actually did the bulk of the work for? Consequences to his career are fine if it means avoiding telling a religious person that a gay person worked on the same project as her? They’re only willing to hold diversity trainings out of fear of legal consequences? The only person willing to stand up and say “This is wrong” is the receptionist??

    I understand being devoted to a mission, but there are so many ways to do work that helps people. I hope Darren finds another organization–a less awful one, that will appreciate his problem solving skills, ability to build and retain knowledge, and drive to get things done, and won’t try to shove him behind closed doors.

  12. Hrodvitnir*

    God. Now, I have experienced the outcome where you start getting shut out and nothing changes in response to speaking out, but it really, really sounds like OP could be doing more here?

    I’m sorry, but seriously, you need to be more on Darren’s side here. Advocate for him finding a job elsewhere? Because if this leadership is literally hiding his accomplishments to the detriment of his career, you’re in a position to rectify that at least in hia job search.

    I’m not saying it’s easy, but this is so upsetting to read.

    1. WellRed*

      Yeah I was prepared to say well, ok, tiny improvements and then I got to the second update. OP feel free to use your words and Darren’s name. This didn’t remove conflict and homophobic abuse by a long shot, just buried it.

      1. Cyndi*

        It’s really frustrating the way the second update is framed as “Unfortunately, we are behaving in this way that contributes to the problem,” as if this just magically happened to everyone out of thin air. This is the way you’re choosing to handle the situation, OP! You. Choosing.

  13. Berin*

    Gotta say, it’s like the first update didn’t happen – OP, I don’t mean to kick you while you’re down, but you can’t say “Live like Rita!” and then in your next update, go along with completely erasing Darren. This reads like a lot of handwringing, but not a lot of action.

    What would happen if you say “Darren” instead of “we”? Would the other charity stop working with you? Would your senior leadership team fire you? Or Darren? Sometimes it’s hard to see it while you’re in the thick of it, but I hope you’re able to really step back and try to game out some of the consequences of actually treating Darren like the invaluable member of the team he is.

    I hope Darren moves on.

    1. JS*

      I came into the comments to say exactly this. OP, please reflect on why, if you’re in these meetings, you’re not speaking up: “I also have to acknowledge that Darren has been absolutely key to making this work,” and “that’s an aspect that Darren worked out for us, and he did a tremendous job.” I’m sure you’re concerned about the professional consequences you’d face, but please take a minute to sit with the fact that you are ok with keeping Darren closeted to further your career. Is that the kind of person you want to be? A year, two years, 10 years from now, will you regret speaking up? Or will you regret staying silent?

    2. Lawren*

      Came here to ask this. OP did you try to say “Darren” instead of we? What was the consequence? If you have not done so, to me this reads like you missed a massive opportunity to openly advocate for Darren and follow Rita’s lead. Being stuck in guilt helps no one. Where is the action? Who is actually on Darren’s side? It was tough to read this update. I hope Darren leaves this organization for one with managers who actively support him and highlight his achievements.

    3. Clerically*

      Seconded. Like, maybe there’s bigger politics at play here than we’re used to, but honestly as a queer person it was really rough to see the tone shift between the two letters.

      We should all Be More Rita.

      1. Nomic*

        The difference is in the first letter someone else is being brave and standing up for Darren with clients. The update is the OP not taking the same brave path.

  14. bunniferous*

    I truly don’t understand. Why can’t they give Darren credit by name? Even religious people are required to treat others with respect even if those others do not hold to their rules, and it’s not like gay people don’t have jobs at all levels of society.

  15. Not Tom, Just Petty*

    “I feel Darren has absorbed the idea that a certain level of homophobia is just something you have to live with”
    The hell you say?
    There were multiple meetings where people were praising the work HE DID and you and your company FORBADE him from attending so you could LIE about his contributions.
    “I know he has had some bad experiences.”
    Like nobody giving him credit for his work.
    “and I feel he is not good at advocating for himself.”
    Because he’s not allowed in the room.
    OP, you know this is effed up. Please stop putting any of the onus on Darren, like he gave up, he’s not trying hard enough to fight it. He tried. He lost.

    1. Dr Wizard, PhD*

      Yes, thank you. As a gay man, this is giving me ‘Darren is beaten down and has given up’ vibes. And that’s entirely because of how the company, enabled by OP, has treated him.

      OP needs to accept her complicity in this. ‘Not quite as bad as everyone else’ isn’t cutting it any more.

    2. Miss Carter*

      Exactly. Darren is at fault for not advocating for himself when his own manager appears to be offering no pushback on behavior that’s grounds for a serious discrimination lawsuit? I don’t think so.

  16. Engineer*

    Your company really, truly does not deserve Darren. I sincerely hope he is able another place of work that will actually recognize his efforts instead of bending over for the sensitivities of religion.

  17. Pajama Mommas*

    Thanks for the update! OP, I’m wondering if you ever talked to Darren about how he wanted to handle things. I hear that you are in a tricky spot with the folks above you being so determined to avoid conflict. But would Darren want you to advocate for him more? Was Darren okay with the tradeoff between avoiding bullying vs his work not being recognized? What would have happened if, during the planning for these big meetings, you had said that you were uncomfortable hiding the work that Darren did? What would have happened if you reminded the senior leadership of the negative career consequences that Darren would experience from not having his work recognized? What would have happened if you spelled out the negative consequences for the organization if Darren were to leave? Are there other ways that you could be a better ally to Darren?

  18. Fives*

    This is so sad and discouraging. I think it’s worse after the second update than it was in the original letter. I hope Darren finds a new job where he’s not closeted like this.

  19. squidsss*

    This is terrible and frustrating. I have close friends working in services for people experiencing homelessness, which has a similar network of religious and government organizations involved. And a whole lot of those clients are LGBTQ+ themselves.

    Letting the homophobia stand hurts this one employee, but also other unknown employees, and your clients. It’s really not okay.

  20. Curtis E Interview*

    I’m sad to hear that Darren isn’t getting the recognition he deserves and (with no disrespect intended to the OP) I hope he moves on to somewhere where he can truly thrive. But my main takeaway from this is that I resolve to Be More Rita in 2024 and beyond.

  21. kanada*

    OP, ask yourself this honestly–you seem very concerned about the way Darren is treated, but have you actually done anything to improve the way your organization treats him, or other LGBT employees? Even /one/ instance of speaking up when someone says something disparaging, or one time where you pushed back on this policy of erasing his work? Because from all three of your letters, it doesn’t sound like you have.

    1. Dr Wizard, PhD*

      It also frustrates me that, as a minority herself, OP really doesn’t seem to have done even the bare minimum of Getting It.

      Like, has she even considered what it would be like if the situation was flipped? Where the company was happily defending Darren and speaking out for queer inclusion, but willing to tolerate racism and exclusion and elision of people of colour?

      I doubt she’d be okay with that *or* willing to passively play along with it. And yet, here we are.

  22. Nomic*

    OP: You make it sound like you just watched this happen to Darren. As opposed to being his supervisor. Why couldn’t you even say his name? It just sounds like you are dodging doing the tiniest bit of uncomfortable work to help him.

    I can’t imagine how he feels watching those who profess to be allies actively deny his work and accomplishments on big projects.

  23. BellyButton*

    This is awful. All of it. It may not be overt abuse, but it is still abuse. I am so horrified and enraged by this, and the excuses OP is making, that my comment may not be all that helpful or coherent.

    I don’t have to, and will not, participate in helping a company, coworkers, or associate partners discriminate against anyone. If I was asked to present and keep a coworker hidden, I would refuse. Until all of you stand up and stop allowing them to just ignore the issues and to abuse this coworker, nothing is going to stop. You all are benefiting from his work and keeping him in the closet. This is unacceptable. I would not present someone else’s work as my own, no matter what my boss told me to do. It is unethically and morally wrong.

    Op, you may not have the power to change the entire company, but you see how much one person- Rita- did to protect her colleague. She isn’t a “higher up”, she is one person who is willing to stand up for right and wrong.

    Be more like Rita.

  24. Ask a Manager* Post author

    I’m closing comments on this after having to remove some that are not in sync with the way I ask we respond to updates here. The LW is aware she and the organization failed Darren and no one should be happy about that, but you can’t be abusive to LWs either. (There are many examples above of constructive comments that name the issues without breaking the commenting rules.)

Comments are closed.