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My Coworker Married Our Boss – Finding The Remedy For Biased Behavior In the Chain Of Command

One of my coworkers recently married our boss.  Now everyone wonders what information they may be sharing about the rest of us.  We try to avoid talking to them, but that’s hard to do because we work in a small medical clinic.

Our CEO apparently has no problem with their relationship, because he was the best man at their wedding.  This clinic is partly owned by a large hospital, but we’ve been told they have no policy against employees marrying each other.  What should we do?

Marie’s Answer

While there may be nothing wrong with coworkers getting married, there is everything wrong with a manager marrying an employee.  When making decisions about compensation, assignments, or appraisals, managers need to remain unbiased and objective.  There’s no way to be impartial about your spouse.

For that reason, professionally run organizations never give managers authority over family members.  If a manager and employee marry, then one of them must change jobs.  So even if your hospital allows employee marriages, supervising relatives may still be prohibited.

The hospital’s human resources department should know whether such a prohibition exists and whether the ownership agreement allows it to be applied to your clinic.  But if not, perhaps the HR manager would agree to have a helpful chat with your CEO about the problems posed by this arrangement.