Q: I am a secretary in a large law office where I answer clients’ phone calls. Often, I get requests to relay messages to the manager regarding a staff member in our office, such as: “I feel that my lawyer is dragging out my case,” or “He isn’t treating me properly,” or “I’m not satisfied with his work.” It is part of my job to pass on these complaints to the manager. How can I do this without transgressing the prohibitions of lashon hara and rechilus?
A: It is permissible for a secretary to pass on clients’ complaints regarding staff members. You do not have to be concerned about clients acting against halachah when relaying their grievances. Understandably, you should be careful to be gentle and minimize the complaints, and certainly not to exaggerate or add details. It isn’t a secretary’s responsibility, but the manager is obligated to deal with these complaints in accordance with halachah.
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