Should I be a whistle blower at work?

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November 9, 2018


I've been at a company for 5 years that I've been trying to leave.

I've recently found a paper trail where my direct boss has been taking company funds for personal use. My manager also seems to take advantage of his position and hardly show up at the office and has cost the company money already through poorly managed projects. He has us do free work for his friends or other local businesses off the books, so he can get discounts and free services.

I don't think the owner is aware, but should I let the owner know with the proof I have? I have examples of forged accounts with fake client names, claiming there putting money into the company etc.

Part of me wants to speak up, because if I got fired for coming forward, it could be viewed as unlawful dismissal and I'd be taken care of on my way out.

How would you guys handle this? Thanks

Post Information
Title Should I be a whistle blower at work?
Author golden_pikachu
Upvotes 56
Comments 42
Date 09 November 2018 05:01 PM UTC (2 years ago)
Subreddit askTRP
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[–]aaaGreg64 points65 points  (4 children) | Copy

How is your relationship with the owner? How are their relationships with the owner?

The owner might be aware and in on it, so tread lightly.

[–]FatGirlsInPartyHats 1 points [recovered]  (2 children) | Copy

This is the correct answer. Things are rarely as black and white as you'd might suspect. There could be some seriously shady shit going on and you could easily become the "problem". Getting rid of someone for something like this without incurring legal trouble is SUPER easy.

If you're trying to leave the company then leave and tell him on your way out as a courtesy.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

This doesn't sound like shady shit because the manager is doing favors to local businesses. It doesn't seem like the business is a front for a drug cartel. Then you never know, your boss is Guss Fring.

[–]jackandjill2212 points13 points  (0 children) | Copy

This is precisely what I was going to say. People in upper management usually have strong ties to the company if you catch my drift. They may not care about it but if you get the law involved or something it'll disrupt the status quo. When they severe your ties with it you probably won't be able to rely on the law to clean up the mess because they'll be attempting to cover their ass.

It's like a kickback.

[–]SeriousAccount022 points23 points  (0 children) | Copy

Get hard evidence of all of this before you say anything, and have a copy at home. I'd definitely say something. It's always nice to fuck over evil people and if you can make money doing it, why not? As long as you don't screw up your reputation within whatever industry you're in and make it harder for yourself later on.

[–][deleted] 13 points14 points  (4 children) | Copy

Didn’t say how big the operation was. Hard to imagine a situation where an owner involved in daily operations and the finances would be unaware of this going on, particularly forged accounts. It takes a few minutes of looking over payables to question why you’re cutting checks for invoices you don’t recognize.

Tread lightly here. If your intentions are pure then play dumb and just say hey I found this stuff that looks odd to me. Can you also look into it. If your intentions are vengeful against your soon to be former boss be careful you never know when an old contact can help you out in the right situation.

I’d personally say not my monkeys not my circus and move on to the next job.

[–]golden_pikachu 1 points [recovered]  (3 children) | Copy

The owner is an old retired guy that pops by every year and a half. He just focuses on vacationing and having money come in. I'm sure he'd be pissed to know someone is taking from his pockets.

[–]MrAgamemnon9 points10 points  (0 children) | Copy

Remember: No good deed goes unpunished.

The owner is an old retired guy that pops by every year and a half. ... I'm sure he'd be pissed to know someone is taking from his pockets.

That's his problem for not being actively involved in his business.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Maybe he would be pissed. Maybe he’d think your boss is skimming a bit but still producing for the owner and company, so he helped himself to a bit of unauthorized bonus so fucking what. Maybe the juice is worth the squeeze. Maybe the owner just dgaf while he’s got a thing generating enough cash to keep him living the high life. You don’t need 8 figures for financial freedom, you need enough to be comfortable.

You are greatly risking getting blackballed from your industry. The industry I am in is quite incestuous. You get a reputation like this and you’ll never shake it.

Your life your ethics. Decide what you can live with.

[–]HurricaneHugues10 points11 points  (0 children) | Copy

You should be ready to jump ship. Start sending out resumes and applications to other jobs. Contact a legal advisor first. And THEN make your move. You also need to collect enough documentation as well to prove your claims.

I say definitely do it.

[–]FearGarbhArMait5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy

Talk to the owner and keep it private, attempt to leverage the opportunity into a promotion. Loyalty is costly.

[–]dickcomments5 points6 points  (3 children) | Copy

CEO here.

You don't give enough information for a proper answer, such as:

1) How large the co is 2) Is it in a regulated industry 3) Is there an HR department 4) Does the company have a code of conduct/ethics agreement 5) Did you come about the information during the course of your normal job/duties

If it is truly defrauding the company, you are now a party to it if you don't speak up (translation - you could be considered part of the crime if charges are brought) So, the question isn't should you... it is how should you.

Can you please provide more info and I'd be happy to provide some potential paths for you.

[–]golden_pikachu 1 points [recovered]  (2 children) | Copy

The company has downsized 3 times in 3 years. They keep just enough people on staff to barely run the place. We have about 11-12 employees where we used to have 50.

I think they purposely keep the number low to keep more of the profit but to also not give us things like sick days etc. It honestly looks like the place may close down in another year or so.

[–]dickcomments4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy

I gave you 5 specific questions, you only answered one.

Sorry, can't help you.

[–]bama79rolltide11 points12 points  (0 children) | Copy

An owner would want to know. Bring all the paperwork with you. Go to a dinner. Ethics matter.

[–]orezavi2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

From what I learned, focus on interest and power. Your boss might be powerful but is it in his interest to know that YOU are snitching on them? Is it in YOUR interest?

[–]cyphrrr 1 points [recovered]  (4 children) | Copy

Record any conversations you have with the owner if you end up blowing the whistle

[–]MisterDSTP1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

Record it illegally?

[–]DirtyBastard131 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

May not be illegal depending on where you live, and the punishment of illegal recording might be outweighed by the benefit of recording.

[–]MisterDSTP0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

But could the evidence be used if it was recorded illegaly?

[–]DirtyBastard130 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

In a court of law, perhaps not, but might be useful elsewhere.

[–]assholesfinish1st2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

The best time to find a job is when you have a job. Having options gives you power. Whatever you decide, say nothing until you have an offer in place.

[–]4Sammich[🍰] 4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy

When you leave will you be going to a direct, local competitor?

Do your bosses have connections with those operations?

Are you ready to be deposed should that come to a criminal proceeding and have verifiable information that you were SUPPOSED to have access to in order to discover the fraud?

If you do this anonymously can access to the files and data in question be linked back to you or is it an "All fingers in the pie" kinda program?

Are you ready to be blacklisted from your industry and become nearly unemployable in it? Are you open to literally abandoning the last 5 years of experience because you can't stay in that field?

This happened to a very good friend of mine when he whistle blew AND he had governmental protections.

[–]3chazthundergut5 points6 points  (1 child) | Copy

Do what you think is best.

But if it were me, I would keep my mouth shut.

Just as a personal rule, I never snitch. Unless it is a safety issue

[–]MisterDSTP0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy


[–]chockle1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

if you are ok with the possibility of no longer being employed at the company. fire away.

[–]Goal10der1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Don’t get involved, you want to leave the company anyway. Make a peaceful and blissful exit.

[–]classicrando1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Uf you do, create a new email address at home on a non-work machine. Then create multiple deadman mechanisms to release the data to the press, poliice and personal friends/family of yours.

[–]Yog-Nigurath1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Keep us updated!

[–]friendandadvisor1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

If the owner says "Who else knows about this?", while locking the door, start fighting your way out!

[–]MisterDSTP1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy


[–]Original_Username70 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

As a business owner, I would definitely want you to let me know if it is costing me money. But if you think it's just a part of the culture, then keep your lips sealed and look for a new job.

[–]DirtyBastard130 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Consult a lawyer. Keep your mouth shut (tell no one, you don't know who's in on it) Gather evidence, document everything and keep backups off-site. Part of me wants to advise you to keep your mouth shut lest they fire you or pin it all on you. Shit rolls downhill not uphill, the management will get rid of the rank and file before they get rid of the brass.

People get away with illegal stuff all the time and the laws aren't for the protection of the little guy. By speaking up you may be blackballed in the industry. The unlawful dismissal can be gotten around by blaming any other infraction you've committed.

At one place I worked at, the managers were embezzling/underreporting revenue and the owner (who claimed she wasn't and offered rewards for the identity of the one who was stealing) was almost certainly in on it. I kept my mouth shut because I needed the job and didn't want the manager to pin the blame on me. (also had no hard evidence to prove any of it) The guy who reported it got fired a few days afterward. The head manager resigned but was still welcome back for special events (fishy). After a year the same manager who embezzled was back.

Perhaps the local labor commission or EEOC would be interested in hearing about this. If you must tell the owner, present clear evidence of what is happening, and who is doing it, including evidence that it wasn't you. If you could record that conversation, do so.

[–]Joeboard0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

First of all, what do you mean "trying to leave"? No one is forcing you to work there.

This is a good opportunity for blackmail.

[–]terminaldoubt0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Blackmail the boss

[–]MrAgamemnon0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

What do you have to gain by blowing the whistle?

Probably nothing.

Document everything just to protect yourself and start looking for a new job.

Nothing good will come of this.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (2 children) | Copy

Maybe. But try to blackmail him first.

[–]DirtyBastard131 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Could backfire in a number of ways.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

Yeah, for the guy being blackmailed. The downy owl will be neither averse nor adverse to his sleeplessness and worries.

[–]30aughtfool-3 points-2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Man, is it your company? Snitches get stitches. Stay in your lane.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

When contemplating issues such as this. Ask yourself a few questions for THEIR point of view. So: 1. How would I defend myself against such allegations? (Sick family member, drug/alcohol issues, mental health problems, etc.) 2. I know you're not happy and want to leave this company. You are just being a spoil sport for the rest of us. Just hurry up and leave. 3. I've got contacts,this guy will never work again.

That's it. Good Luck!

[–][deleted] -2 points-1 points  (0 children) | Copy

Mind your business, snitches die. Nobody respects a brown nosing pansy whistleblower. Is he stealing your money? Exactly. Stop listening to these “red pill alphas” who are real life pussys who come to the Internet to figure out how to get laid.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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