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My manager was persistently rude me to me and I asked him why and he said 'that having me back was a huge adjustment for him because women don't come back from maternity leave.'

He said 'Come back? who is going to look after your kid? The nanny or you?'

He said this and was rude even after I told him the baby was home with another family member while I was at work. I'm not sure how that means a 'nanny.' Is he a misogynist? Is that a prejudiced manager?

Also, he was calling me on my leave and talking to me and I'm not sure why he would do this if he thought I wasn't coming back. He said he missed the sound of my voice very creepy.


Edit: He attacked my character and said: Does your kid talk yet? Do you even know? Do you care?

He never has one on one meetings with me and he was over the moon to hire a new guy but when I came back he was not welcoming and said who is going to take care of your kid?

Edit:

This man also pressured me to tell my coworkers who I don't like about my pregnancy. Then when I went to HR about his comments he said I have bad social skills but he was the one coming up to me and saying that sexist stuff.

This is in Canada.

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closed as off-topic by Lego Stormtroopr, Kent Anderson, gnat, Joe Strazzere, Adam V Feb 1 at 19:15

  • This question does not appear to be about the workplace within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

29  
He... missed the sound of your voice? Oh dear. Straight off to HR, without a moment's hesitation. Today. – Lightness Races in Orbit Feb 1 at 11:01
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I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this seems like a rant disguised as a question. – Lego Stormtroopr Feb 1 at 11:06
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Judging by your previous questions, you seem to have a very toxic work environment. Perhaps it's worth considering changing jobs if that is an option. – Nobilis Feb 1 at 11:47

Focus on the fact that his "concerns" have nothing to do with your ability to perform your job.

Firstly:

he said 'that having me back was a huge adjustment for him because women don't come back from maternity leave.'

A simple counter is to simply ask "Why? Women can and do come back from maternity leave. It's not like having a baby prevents us from being able to do our job!"

He said 'Come back? who is going to look after your kid? The nanny or you?'

Again, don't engage with anger, simply state matter-of-factly that your child-minding arrangements aren't really anything to do with how you do your job.

Also, he was calling me on my leave and talking to me and I'm not sure why he would do this if he thought I wasn't coming back. He said he missed the sound of my voice very creepy.

Ok, that is creepy. If someone said that to me, I would have asked if he says that to any of the other staff if they're away. If this kind of behaviour continues, I would definitely recommend you flag it as potential harassment to your HR department.

It seems like your manager does have an attitude problem, but counter the sexist remarks with direct, objective comments that your having a family (don't say "baby") has no more impact on your ability to do your job than anyone else dealing with family commitments. Hopefully in time when your manager sees you are doing your job, he might finally join the 21st century.

Based on your edit:

Does your kid talk yet? Do you even know? Do you care?

He never has one on one meetings with me and he was over the moon to hire a new guy but when I came back he was not welcoming and said who is going to take care of your kid?

This needs to be countered by asking "Having a family does not impact on my ability to perform my role. Do you ask any of your other staff about their family commitments?"

I think you may well need to talk to HR as his attitude is bordering on harassment, and it is not acceptable for it to continue.

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4  
"Why? Women can and do come back from maternity leave. It's not like having a baby prevents us from being able to do our job!" sounds quite confrontational. I would stick to simply stating that we are able to do your job, and you coming back from maternity has no bearing on this. If his comments continue or get worse, I'd definitely go to HR. – Thomas Bowen Feb 1 at 9:54
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Never mind whether it continues; if it were me I'd be talking to HR already. Your family arrangements are absolutely none of his business. All he needs to know is that you are willing and able to continue working at the company. He has asked inappropriate questions about private matters, he has made insulting insinuations about how you treat your child, and he has made inappropriate comments towards you. This needs to stop immediately. – anaximander Feb 1 at 10:05
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I don't know if the whole voice thing is that creepy in a vacuum - I have what some people call a "radio voice" and have had more than a few make comments like "if someone else had said those exact words, it wouldn't have gone the same". Some people really do have a calming effect on others. That being said, this isn't in a vacuum, it's in context of a number of other creepy/inappropriate phrases, so at best it isn't helping and at worst it's fuel on the creepy fire. – corsiKa Feb 1 at 15:28
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I would like to point out that almost every woman i have worked with returned from maternity(sooner or later). It's such a norm that all we do is lockdown their accounts whilst they are away to prevent unwanted intrusion. – Terry Feb 1 at 18:30

Yes, it's a prejudiced attude. But the best way to correct him is simply to demonstrate that he's wrong. Until and unless it appears he's letting this prejudice affect how he treats you professionally -- or unless he keeps pestering you about it past tge first few days -- just reply to "women don't" with "obviously I did" and let him realize on his own that he is out of date and overgeneralizing. The lesson sticks better if he's made to draw that conclusion himself.

It's an adjustment for him? That means he's aware that he needs fo adjust. It's a first step.

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by ignorance ... and ignorance can be politely corrected.

Cue Sojourner Truth: "And ain't I a woman?"

If he does continue to ride you about it rather than adjusting his attitude, or if there's evidence that he's letting it interfere with how he works with you, then cue Peggy Seeger: "I'll fight him as a woman, not a Lady -- I'll fight him as an engineer!"

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This is very strange indeed that he would say it was a huge adjustment for him having you back, and yet inappropriately calling you while you were away. If it persists for much longer you should let him know that his behaviour is unnecessary and inappropriate. If he continues to persist you or it gets worse, then you might consider what you can do about it. For now perhaps ignore him as his opinion is clearly outdated, sexist and rude.

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The question isn't whether this was rude, or whether it was discrimination, but whether it was illegal discrimination. It is illegal discrimination if it isn't about you having a baby, but about you being female.

Are there any men working at the company that have small children? Are they told they should stay at home and not come back to work? Are they asked who is looking after the kid? If they are treated the same then it is just rude, not discrimination. But if men with small children don't get that kind of treatment, then it is discrimination, and since it's based on gender, it is illegal discrimination.

"He attacked my character and said: Does your kid talk yet? Do you even know? Do you care?" Did he ask any male employee that question? Because that is the question: Does he ask that because you are female and not male?

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Does the OP state where they are from? It's a jump to state what is illegal without first knowing what laws apply. – Myles Feb 1 at 15:31

A new child is a drastic change in your home environment. It's a massive change for you personally, and can and will have an impact on your professional life (not a bad thing). It's silly for an employer to think that because maternity leave is over, everything is going to go back 100% to the way it was.

That being said the concerns for a manager or boss fall into two categories. First, what impact is this going to have on the job. For example if your job required you to travel every day and you were rarely home, that may need to change. There may need to be considerations made if you used to work late every day, and now you need to get home on time. Most of these can be handled with a simple high level discussion, one that should have happened before you came back (Probably by someone in HR). Questions like, are child care arrangements made? Do you need to adjust your hours? Are there any big appointments or dates that we need to be aware of? Do you think you can maintain the same level of commitment as before? The goal here is to make sure that as an employer they are not setting you up for failure. However once you answer those questions your back to a full time employee and "things" are no longer their business (more on this latter).

Second, a boss may have friendly concerns. Are you ok? Too much stress to fast? How's home life going? The main point here, is that your boss can (not in this case) try to act like a friend and may be asking technically inappropriate questions, but with true concern. I don't think that this is the case in your current situation.

Once your past the initial "Are you ready to come back?" questions, then your in a weird spot as far as I am concerned. If you answered with "treat me just like before" answers, then you have to hold up that end of the bargain. There are a lot of new, returning mothers that make this mistake. They underestimate the impact that a new child will have on their lives. Most companies recognize this and have some kind of program to help address this. That said, once your back, you should be held to the same metrics as everyone else. If your late, it doesn't matter that it was an appointment for the new child. If you have to leave early, it doesn't matter that it's because child care had an issue. On the other side of the coin, you, as the employee have to hold up your end of "the deal".

Here's the point. While there are some concerns for the company, mostly, these should have been addressed before you came back. Now that your back, rather it's reduced hours or full speed, you should be treated like normal, and your work judged on the merits of your work. The fact that you are a new mother will have some bearing on "things", but not of a nature much more different then any other medical leave.

With some of his off color comments, you could either mention it to HR, or your boss's boss, or simply tell him it's not his concern. Depends on your level of comfort. In fact, depending on your situation and level of comfort, you may start looking for a new job. The workplace seems hostel, but there is also the chance that he just doesn't understand that these questions are making you uncomfortable. Rather you go the new job route or not, it's important that you state clearly, in writing, that your uncomfortable with the types of questions being asked.

You should also consider, based on how long ago the birth was, that your emotions may be more "raw" then they were before you left. That's no excuse for the boss, but before you may have had more of a tolerance for that non-sense, then you do right now. It shouldn't change your course of action any, but it is something to be aware of. Maybe your boss has always been an ass, and now your just more perceptive of it.

In the end you may want to find a more family friendly environment. Rather this is because of "harassment" or not will have to be determined by you. Just make sure that while you are deciding that you document any time that you mention to your boss that your uncomfortable. You should not have to be uncomfortable in your workplace.

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