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Manager is unprofessional, sexist and racist, but he will be leaving the company in 2 weeks. Should I complain about him to HR?


A new Engineering Manager took charge of our team about 8 months ago. He has great technical experience and this was his first time discharging the duties of a manager.

The first few months were lax as he was catching up with what the team had been up to, understanding the architecture and thinking of ways to improve on them.

Since the time he has taken full control, there has been a steady decline in his enthusiasm regarding the company and the work that we do. He is very vocal in pointing that the problems we are solving are hardly worth being called as problems and that he was worked on "real" problems all his life. He has been convincing 2 of the 6 members of our team to pursue higher studies and others to quit this job and join a real tech company.

Ever since he put in his notice 2 weeks ago, he has also become downright racist and sexist. He talks about how women are after mens' money and comments about black people which I will not be repeating here.

This is now making me really uncomfortable. I was about to lodge a formal complaint when I found out that he has decided to leave the company. But his behaviour since then has been appalling.

Should I go ahead and make a complaint about this? I am not sure if any action will be taken against him and if that will be of any help to anybody. Our company is based in India where being racist/sexist is not considered as big a red flag as it would be in any other tech company.

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It really depends on how you think this will be perceived by your managers. Working on the assumption that you can handle their nonsense for the next 2 weeks, the only reason to raise would be

  1. to show company management that you won't tolerate this nonsense from other managers

This is on its own a pretty strong reason to make a formal complaint. However, from your question it seems that nobody else at the company is showing this level of behaviour. Given nobody else seems to be exhibiting this behaviour, consider this:

If you suspect - and I only note this due to your last sentence - that you will be looked upon poorly for raising the issue, then don't raise the issue. They might look poorly on you because, say, your upper management are themselves prone to these views and support them being aired in the workplace.

Raising this issue would then give you the label of "troublemaker". You have to weigh this up on your own, as nobody here can tell you what your management are like.

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    Primarily what I have been worried about. All I see is downsides for me and no upsides for anyone – wplace Apr 17 '18 at 16:47
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    @wplace well, the upside is it sends management a strong cultural indicator that the staff don't like this behaviour, which will help nip future issues in the bud, before they become more systemetic. You raising it really does have strong positives.But you have to gauge what senior management/HR are like to make that call correctly. – bharal Apr 17 '18 at 16:48
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I would report him, and encourage others to do the same. The best case for you here is for HR to understand how volatile he has become and dismiss him immediately before his notice is up. HR may not care much about what he is saying, but they certainly should care how this is affecting the morale of other employees.

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What do you hope to accomplish if you did this? He's already leaving the company. Most complaints to HR would need to be investigated which would take more than two weeks.

Are hoping that something will be posted in his HR file? From what I understand, in the 'official' record this will not be shared from his file. Companies do not give bad references (even for stuff such as this) as they don't want the legal liability if he uses you company for a reference and does not get a new job because of that reference. An old employer had as a policy that they would only give hire & termination dates, job titles and a 'would you rehire' flag.

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Knock on HR's door. They obviously should know that this manager has given notice. Then you ask them "I have a complaint about X, and it's pretty bad. I know X has given notice already. Do you want to hear about it?"

It's quite possible that HR will see this as unnecessary work for them - which it is to some degree. If not, you'll tell them your complaint. It's up to them then to take action or not.

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Looking at the risk/reward ratio, I wouldn't say anything. He's going to be gone soon anyway, likely before any disciplinary action would be taken. I've seen a lot of overhead resentment towards peers who raise complaints, no matter how legitimate. That's wrong but common, and while it would be nice to get justice for this guy, I don't think that's even possible at this point without going out of bounds. Some problems take care of themselves.

If he were harming someone then heck yes, do something stat, but he sounds more like an aggravation than a danger.

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