How to Refuse to Do an Inappropriate Task for Your Boss

These days, it's rare to find a job free from the burden of office politics. If the only problems you encounter are with fellow employees, count yourself among the lucky. But if your boss asks you to do an inappropriate task, you may need this advice.

1. Consider your response carefully, and no matter what avenue you decide to take, be tactful and polite.

2. Restate the obvious when your boss asks you to do an inappropriate task. For example, "You mean you want me to do your personal work?"

3. Declare your feelings. Tell your boss you feel uncomfortable in this situation and give him or her the chance to make things right.

4. Find a way to imply that your boss should perform the task personally. For example, if you are asked to shop for your boss' spouse, you could say, "I know how much my wife appreciates the effort I put into picking out a gift for her."

5. Get others involved as a last resort. Speak to your boss' superiors or the human resource department, if this option is available.

Keep in mind that if the nature of the inappropriate task is sexual, it's illegal. Seek professional help immediately from a lawyer or even the labor board.

Know your rights as an employee. These rights include a safe working environment, freedom from discrimination and sexual harassment, and the right to speak freely regarding illegal or inappropriate behavior by your employer.

Consider looking for another job. An employer who would put you in an awkward position obviously does not respect you or your rights as an individual.

Don't anger your employer unless you have other options available. Your boss could make your work days seriously uncomfortable or even conjure up grounds to fire you.

Handling discrimination from a boss. by Elisa W.
If a boss is discriminating against you, be sure to keep a record of what happens and when. Work hard to make sure they can't find anything wrong with your work performance itself.

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