A friend of mine is having an issue at work, and I was hoping someone could give me a bit of advice to pass on to her.
My friend works in a family run company. Her father runs it, and a good percentage of her family works there also. Yesterday her brother brought his daughter to work while she was sick with the stomach flu. There is only one bathroom, and the kid was occupying it for a good percentage of the day. She spent the rest of the day lying on her dad's office floor in misery while he worked. It seems that certain family members in the company think that it's fine to bring a sick child into the work place because "it's just family" who work there. This has happened before, and my friend is very, very angry about this. So were several other coworkers, but nobody wanted to confront the offender because not only was he one of the highest bosses, but the owner wasn't sympathetic about this either. And it's all family, so there's all sorts of family history going on.
Unfortunately, the people who believe that it's ok to expose everyone to whatever their kid has brought home are also the ones in charge. My friend's father is firmly of the "just suck it up and get back to work" mentality, so it will be difficult to approach him about this. The brother who did it this time is one of the office managers, and he sees absolutely nothing wrong with this. I find it absolutely amazing that he sees nothing wrong with dragging a sick child out of bed and forcing them to spend the day lying on the floor in his office, let alone exposing coworkers and members of his own family to illness, but he just doesn't get it. Most of the other people in charge don't get it either. My friend is not management, so she has no say over office policy.
Also, since it's a fully family run business, anything she says can have some serious personal repercussions. She did reply to a facebook post by the wife of the brother who brought in the sick child. The original post was something to the effect of "isn't it great my husband works for a family company so he doesn't have to miss work due to our sick daughter!" My friend was quite delicate about it, so the message probably didn't penetrate.
It's a big mess since it's family as well as a work issue. Does anyone have any advice on how to politely approach the bosses to stop this "it's family, so it's ok to bring sick children to the office" idea without causing serious problems in her work AND family life? It's happened before, and not just with this brother. Unfortunately the other people who are doing it are also in management positions.