My Coworker Is Anorexic - Should I Say Something?

Dear Cubicle Coach: I'm in a position of authority, and I think

one of my subordinates has anorexia. It hasn't affected her work, but

she's lost a lot of weight lately and she seems very unhappy. Is it

overstepping to say something?

Dear Walking on a Thin Line: As the Coach's ever-helpful

labor attorney on call so aptly puts it, "Even the most

well-intentioned action toward an employee can be misinterpreted." No

matter how Nicole Richie - like your minion appears,

don't bring it up without first notifying HR, which can help you frame

your conversation around work-related symptoms rather than personal

concern. The goal is to offer support without compromising your ability

to raise performance issues later. Sorry to go all legalese on you, but

you're a boss, and you know half your job is avoiding lawsuits. So

whether a colleague shows up to a meeting with bruises on her arm,

powder under her nose, or a protuberant clavicle, always consult an expert before getting involved.

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