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'A DNA test revealed the CEO is my half brother and now he's trying to get me fired.' UPDATED

'A DNA test revealed the CEO is my half brother and now he's trying to get me fired.' UPDATED


"A DNA test revealed the CEO is my half brother … and he’s freaking out."

Here's the original post:

My dad gave the whole family DNA ancestry kits for the holidays, and it turns out the CEO of the company I work for is my half-brother. Dad’s not the kind of guy to gift everyone DNA kits as a way of telling us he had a secret love child, so I don’t think he knew he had another kid.

We’re all grown-ups and know where babies come from and that things aren’t always what we expect, so I have a feeling this is a shock to everyone. The CEO’s company bio says he’s a “proud Texan, born and raised.” Dad was stationed in Texas ten years before he met and married my mother. The timeline all fits and so do the genes, I guess.

None of my siblings have initiated contact and neither has Dad. I’ve met the CEO a few times but he works out of the corporate headquarters across the country from the smaller division where I work. About a week after I got my results, an email went out from the head of HR stating that all staff had to take a refresher training on nepotism.

The training also included a new clause that said, “staff are not entitled to privileges personal or professional if familial relation by genes or marriage to executive or management staff is known or unknown or discovered during employment.” Other than being clunky verbiage, I felt like it was aimed at me. I found out no other branch had to retake the nepotism training and the email only came to our office.

My manager later pulled me in personally to ask if I had any questions about the policy. She was vague and uncomfortable, and I said I wanted to know why nobody else was brought in 1:1 to talk about the policy and why no other branch had to do the training. She just kind of ignored the question and said she was just following instructions, so now I think this was aimed at me.

I’m happy to drop the whole thing. I’m sure he feels as uncomfortable as I do about this, but to weaponize HR and make my coworkers waste a whole day on mandatory training just to put up a boundary seems messed up. A simple personal email of “Hey, I saw this. I don’t know what to make of it. Please give me space and don’t bring it to work” would have sufficed.

Even ignoring it would have been fine by me too since I wasn’t sure I wanted to be the one to initiate a conversation about this without having talked to my dad first. Dad has gotten his results back, obviously, and he’s avoiding the conversation. This is a big elephant in the room made a little harder by the fact that I work for this guy.

What bothers me the most is that weaponizing HR with the intent to make sure I know not to ask for perks feels messed up. I’ve been with the company for five years and have a great reputation. At least I did. What do I do?

When asked if the CEO would have gotten a notification, OP responded:

Yeah, the company is about 200 full-time employees mostly in our two states. He follows a lot of employees on LinkedIn and I’m in a marketing role so my team is in touch with corporate a lot. I’ve only met him in person a few times, but some projects bring me in close proximity to him and his direct staff.

The DNA test has an app, and you get notifications regularly via email and I think push notifications on your phone if you opt-in. I have no way of knowing what he opted into, so I assumed he didn’t know until the weird training. He has now blocked me on LinkedIn and all social media, and has blocked all my siblings and my parents. I think the jig is up. How do I make sure my job is secure?

The gist of the advice is to maybe leave a note acknowledging the DNA test, maybe ignore it, maybe go to HR and invoke the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, but definitely look for a new job.

A month after the original post, OP shared this update:

My short update is that he 100% tried to fire me. The long update is complicated but this month has been unbelievable. Just after my question was posted, my boss “Katie” met with me and told me she was aware of the situation and didn’t agree with how the CEO and HR had been handling it in regard to the nepotism training.

I told her my only plan was to forget about it for the time being and she supported that. She told me to come to her if anything changed. Things were quiet for a week until a major project I was working on was deleted from the company drive. It was a coincidence that I had backed it up on a USB.

Katie was suspicious about my project getting deleted and told me to save everything to an external drive and my hardware, and sure enough, the project got deleted again. After that, anything I put on our work servers was getting deleted within hours, as well as any correspondence with clients or my team members.

I started sending all my work communication and attachments to Katie and duplicating them on a USB that Katie kept locked in her office. It was like a James Bond movie. After a mid-month project meeting where I showed up with all my work on a USB drive HR pulled me in because “an anonymous concern” was raised about me “hiding” my work from my colleagues and tried to write me up.

Katie must have known something like this was coming because she handled it and BCCd me on all her correspondence with HR and the executive team outlining her concerns about the CEO’s and HR’s behavior regarding the DNA results and that she believed someone was remotely accessing my work computer to delete things.

The company VP was horrified. Up until this point, I didn’t know CEBro wasn’t the owner of the company. Katie and I had a call with the VP that day, who assured me that the owners were being made aware of the situation and that my job was not in jeopardy.

The VP also apologized for the write-up attempt and the fact someone was obviously remotely accessing my work hardware. That was on a Friday, and my attempted firing was the following Monday.

CEBro’s mom contacted Dad on the homefront as all this was happening at work. I won’t get into what was said but the gist is Dad was set up as an unwitting donor for a childless couple. As a family we decided to support Dad and just drop it because we didn’t ask for the complete Jerry Springer package, we just wanted to know what part of Ireland Grandma was from.

The Monday after Dad spoke to CEBro’s mother, I was walking through the lobby when HR literally ambushed me and loudly fired me in front of a client and like twenty of my colleagues. Security escorted me out in front of my friends and colleagues who had no idea what was happening so that was pretty dark and humiliating.

Katie stopped me on the way to my car and brought me back in for a video call with her, the VP, and the owners of the company. I explained what had happened since I got my DNA results back, the nepotism training, and editing as much of the personal stuff as I could for my Dad’s sake but the whole thing was humiliating.

I was unfired but asked to turn in my badge, as both CEBro and I were suspended pending a full investigation by the owners and their lawyer. I was suspended with pay, which HR vehemently protested against. The suspension lasted a week and I had planned to spend that time looking for another job but I just didn’t have it in me.

CEBro did not return after the suspension. I was offered my job back with an apology but I opted not to go back either and have been freelancing and taking some downtime because the last month has sucked. I did accept a generous severance package, so at least they tried to do the right thing.

While some of this sounds flippant, there have been a lot of tears and stress because this was a LOT. I don’t like being under a microscope at work or feeling like I’m “in trouble” so it was really increasing a lot of anxiety. I was also hurt because I loved that job and my team and being marched out by security felt awful. Dad feels guilty this turned into me almost losing my job, but none of this is his fault at all.

In all of this, I have to say the people I resent the most in this situation were the two jerks in HR who knew they were doing the wrong thing every step of the way and openly enjoyed the drama of it all. Rumors have reached me that both the people in HR are connected with CEBro in some way — like former college friends or exes or something. I wish them the future they deserve.

Sources: Reddit
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