/ Asked by James
My supervisor accidentally sent me an email that was intended for someone else. Unfortunately, the email was the chain between me and my supervisor discussing time off I needed to attend my grandfather’s funeral (I was requesting one day and said the day would count against my vacation days). It seems my supervisor meant to hit Forward to send the email chain to a fellow worker, but but instead hit Reply. When I received the email, my supervisor immediately called and told me not to open that email I just received from her. Of course I did, and when I read the message, my supervisor had written discriminatory, derogatory and overwhelmingly disrespectful things about me. How should I handle this? This is basically my boss and I’ve noticed she’s grown somewhat dismissive towards me in recent weeks. I haven’t changed my behavior in the office, in fact I was recently told how well I was doing, nor have I asked for personal time off since I’ve been hired.
Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Wednesday, October 10, 2012
My recommendation would be for you to speak with your Human Resources Business Partner or HR Manager at your company. Explain what has happened and ask them how you should proceed. That's what I would do in your situation. Best of luck to you!
Answered by Michael, Hiring Expert at Johnson Controls, Inc., on Saturday, October 13, 2012
Mike Ganiere, Johnson Controls

I agree with Lori - you're in a tough situation, one that your Human Resources representative is well-positioned to help you with. That person will be able to help you figure out the best next action to take.
Answered by Susan, Hiring Expert at Praxair, Inc., on Monday, October 15, 2012
What an uncomfortable position to be in!  Unfortunately, these kinds of things do happen, and if nothing else it allows you the challenge to test your ability to deal with uncomfortable situations and to act professionally, regardless of your Superior's behavior.

Share the email with your Senior Human Resources representative, and ask what process will be used to investigate.  If you do not receive any update you should ask again, or escalate to the HR Director or higher.  

I don't know what kind of company you are working for, but I will assume they are responsible and fair, and therefore the situation should be dealt with appropriately.  However, assuming you and your Supervisor stay in the company, you should expect a difficult relationship for a period of time so best to ask the HR department for help in how to manage this professionally. 
Answered by Dawn, Hiring Expert at Daikin Applied, on Thursday, October 18, 2012
First, I'm glad that you are able to recognize that this is completely inappropriate behavior and that it merits action.  No one should ever be or feel discriminated against in the workplace.  As previously mentioned, your human resources department is your best partner in this scenario.  I would caution you against involving peers, even to vent your frustrations, as it might dilute the weight of your message to HR and their ability to step in to resolve the behavior.  

It is important that your voice is heard and that you feel safe and respected at work.
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