Reader: A competent junior co-worker recently confided to me that he has been living out of his car since his lease ended a month ago. He has acquired credit card debt while being underpaid and working long hours for two years at our 50-person organization. His finances are reaching a breaking point. He has resolved to give up on Washington and move back to his parents’ home if he does not receive a raise. I think he could get a raise if someone higher up knew his situation, but the prospect for raises this year is dim at our organization. We don’t work together directly, so it’s hard for me to lobby on his behalf.
I hate seeing my friend and co-worker driven to this point. He has refused all my offers of help so far and doesn’t want me to tell anyone. Do I have an obligation to say (or not say) something to someone at my organization? I know this is personal, but I feel my organization should know that a staff member has been driven to homelessness by his paltry compensation.