Dear Abby: My 16-year-old daughter, “Sierra,” started baby-sitting in the afternoons for a couple when she was 15. Sometimes her dad or I would drop her off; sometimes the husband, “Karl,” would before he left for work. My husband and Karl became friends, and when Karl and his wife split up, we let him stay on our couch for a few months.
Then we found out Sierra was pregnant and that she and Karl had been sleeping together before he split with his wife. My daughter is upset that we want to involve the police and press charges because she was underage. How can I get Sierra to stop hating me and understand that this relationship isn't healthy?
“The Enemy Mom”
Sierra is mad at you because you are injecting an unwelcome note of reality into her fantasy of “love.” Karl is a predator who needs to be answerable for what he did. He will also have to support that child until he or she is no longer a minor. Because he has shown himself to be amoral and irresponsible, involve not only the police but also the department of social services to ensure that he lives up to all of his responsibilities.
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Dear Abby: It was brought to my attention that an employee in my workplace was asked by his supervisor if he would be OK with working with a gay male before the person was interviewed. Is this even legal? She basically “outed” the potential employee in the workplace.
If the person she asked did have a problem working with someone who’s gay, it implies the man wouldn’t have been hired, which would be discrimination, wouldn’t it? Couldn’t that lead to a possible lawsuit? Or am I wrong?
Right or Wrong in Wisconsin
I discussed your question with an attorney from Lambda Legal, the national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people. Currently, 21 states plus the District of Columbia have laws that protect gay people from employment discrimination. Wisconsin is one of them.
The attorney said that “outing” the candidate to the other employee was “not necessarily illegal,” but that it was “definitely a bad business practice.”
In the 21 states that offer protection for gay people, a prospective employer cannot base a hiring decision on how comfortable someone is with the candidate’s sexual orientation, or the perception that a co-worker or customer might be uncomfortable with a gay person. That is discrimination, and it is illegal.
Dear Readers: The year is almost over. I can’t believe how fast it has gone! Please accept my heartfelt wish for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015. And if you are partying this evening, please be safe!
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.