Enough is Enough – Reporting Your Boss for Ethical and Legal Reasons

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We’ve all heard those stories about horrible bosses who seem to violate every ethics code in the book. While it’s funny when popular sitcom bosses cross over social and even legal boundaries, it’s much less hilarious when your actual boss crosses ethical and legal lines. Especially when it affects you directly.

If your boss has crossed a line, you might feel hesitant to file a report. Because your boss makes his or her behavior sound reasonable, knows more than you do, your peers may not be as concerned as you are, or you fear losing your job, it can be difficult to feel confident that reporting unethical and/or illegal behavior is the right thing to do.

Ultimately, if there is any illegal activity or serious ethical violation and you feel like you should report it, you should. Here are some situations that you shouldn’t hesitate to report.

  1. Aggressive behavior such as shouting and insults. Perhaps you have just started a new position. Your boss, however, is impatient with how slow he or she feels the training process is going and begins shouting at and berating you, calling you names and putting all of your efforts down.
  2. Discrimination against employees because of race, religion, etc. Perhaps your boss demands that you work on days that are holy to you or you are passed up for a promotion because of your race or gender.
  3. Coercion or pressure. Perhaps your boss approaches you and asks you to create documents and reports with false information. He or she expects you to go along with corrupt practices that violate moral and legal codes.
  4. Violence. Perhaps your boss gets upset easily and has been known to use violence before. Whether throwing and breaking equipment or physically threatening an employee, violence is something you have to be wary of around that person.
  5. Wage violations. Perhaps you got hired on at a job a great rate with the opportunity for overtime and professional growth. You work hard and put in extra hours. When you get your paycheck, you find that your overtime hasn’t been paid out and your boss has all sorts of excuses as to why.

If you’re dealing with a questionable situation at work, you don’t have to keep it to yourself. Talk to your HR department or even a lawyer or the police if necessary.

At the Law Firm of Stefan Shaibani, we take legal violations in the workplace very seriously. Contact us if you’re dealing with wage and hour issues like unpaid overtime, employee misclassification, or minimum wage violations by your Washington DC employer. You don’t have to go through this alone, we can help.

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