I am an HR manager. An employee recently had a birthday and a manager wanted to do something special for them by having every employee in the company sign a canvas. The problem is that the manager also proceeded to tell everyone in the company the age of the person with the birthday. The employee is embarrassed and humiliated. What is the best recommendation for recourse?

Rita Risser Chai replies:

First I would hope the manager immediately apologized to the employee. Second, the manager should receive a documented verbal warning. Third, every employee needs to know that they should never bring it up again (our Respectful Workplace program is a good way to make that point). Fourth, you, as the HR manager, must ensure that the employee is never discriminated against on the basis of age. Be hyper-sensitive to any criticism or adverse action the manager wants to give to the employee. Also, be aware of posters, cards or other ways that age discrimination might be present in the workplace. Good luck.

Posted 12-06-2016

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