Hi all, thanks for any help you can provide on this. In short, I wore a suit to work one day (without a tie) in my business casual office. I hadnt dropped off my dry cleaning in a while and was running short on clothes. I also happened to come in an hour late that day, but I had told my boss this in advance and it was fine. Anyway, a coworker made the assumption that I was coming from a job interview. She then told my boss that she thought I was looking for a new job elsewhere.
Now, here's the thing-- I actually had an interview that night after work for a part time/nights and weekends holiday job at a local department store. Just to earn some extra cash and have a nice retail discount around the holidays. I have no intention of leaving my 9-5 anytime soon.
So anyway, the next day, i was offered the part time job, and decided I would just let my boss know that I would be working on the side, as I didn't think she'd have a problem with it. As I suspected, she did not have a problem, and actually thought it was a good idea (and actually mentioned that bonuses may be small or non existent this winter for obvious reasons).
At this point, she chuckled and said she was really worried when I came in to talk to her, because she had heard a rumor I was looking for a new job. She thought that when I went to her office and asked her if she had a minute to talk that I was going to give my notice. She then told me who told her that and under what circumstances. Essentially, my coworker went to her and told my boss that she thought she should know that she thought I was looking for a new job, so she could 'be prepared' for my exit.
So, that's the long and short of it. Obviously, it's total B.S. office gossip. However, I had considered not telling my boss about the new part time job-- I mean, it's my business, and it's not going to effect my performance, so I don't feel like I'm obligated to tell my employer anything. But, like I said earlier, I just felt it was best to be up front about it and let my boss know, because I didn't think it would be a problem. But it raises the question- what if I hadn't told my boss about my part time job? She probably would have been analyzing my actions over the coming weeks. What if I banged in sick? He's probably at another interview! See what I'm saying? I just think that by spreading this rumor to my boss, my coworker jeopardized my good standing as a dedicated employee to my company (which I most definitely am).
So, I guess my question is: Do I have any legal recourse? Does this fall under the umbrella of creating a hostile work environment? Is anyone aware of any precedents that have been set in any regard to my situation (i.e. workplace gossip becoming a legal matter)?
In conclusion, let me just say that I'm planning on setting up a meeting with my boss and her boss to discuss the issue, but I want to know going in to it if there's any legal evidence to support my complaints, or if it's just general workplace gossip B.S. I'm sure they'll understand where I'm coming from, but I'd like them to agree that this is a serious matter and shouldn't be tolerated, and I'd like as much evidence as possible to back that up.
Thanks in advance!