My manager read out loud to everyone in the office an email that a past employee wrote to her and the supervisor. It was so uncomfortable and I feel like she will do the same to anyone else that leaves. I believe this is wrong. But I'm not sure it's just my opinion. Do you think that was wrong?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Wesley Long, jmac, CMW, Hugo Rocha, CincinnatiProgrammer Jan 8 '14 at 12:49

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Any answer will be opinion-based. Any email sent to a company becomes theirs to do with as they will. If you are afraid of this, always remember: Never email anything that you'd be upset about seeing in the newspaper or read in court, and never say anything on the phone that you'd be ashamed of if your grandmother heard it. – Wesley Long Jan 8 '14 at 2:57
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    Hey paintingrl, and welcome to The Workplace! As Wesley explained, questions that get the best answers here inspire explanations of "why" and "how" rather than just asking for opinions. Could I suggest an edit to your question to focus it on something more actionable? For instance, "How can I express discomfort about an action with my manager?" or something like that? – jmac Jan 8 '14 at 3:57
  • @WesleyLong Good point!!! just adding conversation recorded without any mini Miranda do not stand in civil courts (its country specific) – amar Jan 8 '14 at 5:34
  • What goes around comes around Email being a legal document should not be written in such a way that the writer has trouble owning it later on. As for the inconsiderate manager he is spoiling the name of organization. There are N number of organization with big sack of money but a general bad name in market. Good resources shy away from them. every one says they are bad and no one can give a specific reason.They get this kind of reputation by doing numerous acts like the one which you mentioned. You can take this act as an hint and be cautious. – amar Jan 8 '14 at 5:42
  • What I am missing in the question is the (assumed?) intent of reading that email out loud. That helps in answering. Please add that to your question. And I suggest you also change the question title to the core: it's about reading out loud someone's email. 'Unethical manager' is your opnion about him/her and is irrelevant in the scope of 'workplace'. – Jan Doggen Jan 8 '14 at 8:50

Depending on what was in the email, it may or may not have been ethical. However, it was certainly inconsiderate, both to you (and the other current employees) and to the ex-employee. There was a presumption of privacy in that communication that was violated.

For anyone planning to separate from this manager, whether within the company or to a new employer, it's probably better to route all feedback through HR. What it sounds like (although you aren't saying) is that the ex-employee unloaded on his/her immediate supervisors. The manager might be doing this to point out that the ex-employee had grossly unrealistic expectations. The overall effect is to muffle feedback - no one is going to be forthcoming with someone that doesn't keep private matters private. This manager may find she is being bypassed when it's time for promotions.

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