Hi Brooke, I’m struggling with a situation and I don’t know where to start.
My boss and the Human Resources Director (Let’s call her HR) and I have all been close over the last fews years. But my boss and HR have had a close personal friendship outside of work partly because they live a mile from each other and they both started at my agency within about 3 months of each other. HR has been basically part of my boss’s family and knows her kids, etc. HR recently left our agency but stayed on as a consultant with some legal cases we are dealing with so she’s still kind of in the picture.
A few weeks ago, my boss told me that her son (who is now 22 but was 14 when they met HR) had an emotional breakdown and confessed to her that he and HR (who is in her 40’s) had an inappropriate relationship starting when he was 14 and until he turned 17 (i.e., lost his virginity to her). She was sorry for making it awkward because she knows I’m friends with HR outside of work. I told her I could separate the two and at that point, there was no solid evidence that any of the allegations were true. This is also complicated by the fact that my boss had a significant work-related injury and HR was a major advocate for her in her recovery.
I’m finding it very difficult to have interactions with HR because I believe that she could have done this. The signs are there and the evidence is growing. I don’t think HR even knows it’s been reported and if she does, she certainly doesn’t know that I know. We have a legal case in April that we will all be in the same room for and it’s likely to be weird and awkward. I’m tried doing models on this and I guess I’m so confused because I don’t even know what my thoughts are and what I want the result to be. I know the answer is probably very simple and if I wasn’t going to interact with HR in the future, it would be easy. But I will…and I don’t want to have feelings and thoughts that are unfair if all of this isn’t even true. And frankly, none of it is even my business.