I have noticed that she repeats to others what is told to her; therefore I do not tell her anything.
Thelma recently sent around a sympathy card for everyone to sign for a woman in another department who had suffered a miscarriage. (I had no idea the woman was even pregnant.) I thought the card was tacky and a form of gossip, and I told the coordinator so. Her response to me was that this woman has had other miscarriages!
How can I put a stop to her insensitivity and gossip? Should I go over Thelma's head and report her, or confront her one-on-one? I feel like I'm in a no-win situation. Also, this is happening at a large, respectable law firm. She recently asked me why I had gone to the doctor, and I responded by saying, "Didn't I tell you? Then, I guess it's none of your business." She didn't get the hint (!) and resorted to asking my co-workers if they knew. - Invaded in New Bern, N.C.
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Dear Invaded: According to my labor law guru, Nancy Bertrando: "In most states - if not all - people have the right to privacy with respect to any medical information. Employers have the right to require a physician's verification of a need for a medical leave, but not an underlying diagnosis. If Thelma asks you again, say, 'I'm not comfortable answering that question, and it's not appropriate for you to ask.' "
Frankly, I find it shocking that in a "large, respectable law firm" they don't already know and abide by this.
Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.