I had an affair with another employee’s wife off the clock on my personal time. She and I work the same shift in the same district. There has not been any unprofessional conduct on the clock between the two of us. My supervisors recently called me in regarding this situation and questioned me on my personal sexual activity and it has resolved in them transferring me to another district and also a change of schedule to overnight shift. Is this illegal and do I have a case involving retaliation in the work place?
Ann Kiernan replies:
This does not sound illegal to me, based on what you wrote. Management does have a legitimate reason to inquire about a relationship if it is affecting work. My guess is that co-workers have complained, and that your supervisors are trying to avoid issues with conflict of interest and the possibility of claims of preferential treatment, or even of sexual harassment or sexual favoritism.
Since you indicated that you are a public employee in Arizona, you would need to look at your union contract, any civil service rules, local ordinances, and Arizona state law on privacy. Your union may be able to help you get a legal opinion on the question. Good luck.
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