What should you do when you spot your boss doing something illegal? Although it can be traumatic for you to find such things out.
But you have got to do something to protect yourself and your coworkers.
How To Report Illegal Activity In The Workplace
Your boss is no doubt a superior at work, but that doesn’t mean every decision he took would be right.
There are various illegal things that your boss can’t do, even if these seem to be harmless. If you see an unlawful activity at work, the first option is to leave.
Quit that job and find a new one where people do respect the laws. But in some situations, your financial condition will require you to stay and fix that issue.
Here’s the process for reporting illegal activity at the workplace.
1. Be Sure Of The Facts To Report Illegal Activity In The Workplace
Reporting an illegal activity depends on the facts you have on your table. You need to review these variables before deciding to report.
– What laws are getting violated?
– What’s the nature of illegal conduct involved?
– What’s the number of employees working at the company? As many laws apply only to a company with a certain number of employees.
– In what state the employee got employed?
If you are sure about these variables and have their answers, then you are ready to proceed.
2. How To Report Illegal Activity In The Workplace – Report It To The Right Person
If you are sure about the employer’s involvement in illegal activity, inform your supervisor.
Yet, if it’s the supervisor whom you suspect, then you should disturb the chain of command.
Most probably, the company will look into this matter and do something to resolve the issue.
But if there’s no response from the chain of command, then you can file your complaint in a government agency.
You need not get worried about retaliation. When the government agency investigates, they don’t reveal how they targeted the company.
Or they won’t reveal the name of the person who approached them.
If the employer is violating the labor laws, then you should report to a labor agency.
For instance, if the employee is getting deprived of overtime. Then he should report to the labor agency of the state where he’s working.
In most states, employee laws are important, and the state will protect them.
Employer’s illegal activities aren’t limited to employee mistreatment. Illegal things done by your boss can include major frauds or false advertising.
Companies have these hotlines where you can call to report an employer’s illegal activity.
Yet, if none of the explained options is available, you can blow the whistle to the police or a regulatory agency.
3. How To Report Illegal Activity In The Workplace – Whistleblower Laws Can’t Protect You
Although whistleblower laws protect you to some extent, it doesn’t mean you won’t be in trouble.
A person will always stay at the risk of retaliation due to the file he reported against his employer. Nothing will protect the employee from losing a job or facing other severe reactions.
A potential whistleblower should know it’s worth keeping a job than face long retaliation.
Whatever your next move is, make sure to document each step and keep records. You can take notes in the meetings and list the emails to keep proofs.
Remember not to put yourself in this until you’re ready to handle the situation. If you are not in the position to handle retaliation, then find a job somewhere else.
4. Examples Of Illegal Activities
Some examples of illegal work practices are:
1. Fraud or abuse
3. Irregularities in accounting or auditing
4. Conflict of interest
5. Selling or possessing illegal entities
6. Discrimination based on gender, race, or ethnicity
7. Coworkers reporting to work under the influence of drugs
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I Do If My Employer Is Doing Something Illegal?
First of all, if your employer is doing something unethical, convey it to the supervisor. If you suspect your supervisor, you can bring it to someone else from the chain of command.
What Is Considered An Illegal Activity?
An act that violates the law, the consequence of punishment by the court, is illegal. The punishment is always severe for illegal activities like imprisonment.
Are All Unethical Activities Illegal?
Unethical acts are those considered wrong by the culture or society. Illegal activity is always unethical, while unethical activity can or cannot be unlawful. Perception of ethics varies in different conditions and cultures.
What Is Considered Unethical Behavior In The Workplace?
Unethical behaviors aren’t as severe as illegal ones yet are harmful because of norms. Unethical behavior in the workplace includes all acts that violate the law.
You don’t need to go to work every day with the stress of the things your boss is illegally doing. Or you don’t need to put your career in danger by calling out their retaliation.
If it’s inevitable to keep the current job, approaching an employment law attorney is best.
Another option is to contact HR and submit your claim. It’s then HR’s responsibility to hire an investigator to look into this matter.
After reading this article, we hope you know how to report illegal activity in the workplace.
Whatever you do, remember to keep your nerves strong!
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Last Updated on 3 years by Shahzaib Arshad