As an employee of a company, you see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes. Just as much as a company’s leadership has a duty to maintain an ethical work environment, employees carry that duty as well. If you believe your employer is conducting illegal activity, you should not shy away from reporting what they are doing to the proper authorities.
Blackstone Law is a leading Los Angeles employment law firm. When it comes to upholding the integrity of a company, reporting and documenting any unethical or illegal activity by your employer is vital to the future of that company. If a business is discovered to be involved in illegal dealings, they may lose people’s respect or be boycotted altogether.
How to Handle Illegal Activity at Your Workplace
When you suspect that your employer is partaking in illegal or unethical activities, it may be challenging to know what you should do next. In any other situation where a fellow employee conducts illegal activities at work, you would likely approach your superiors about the issue. However, if the person conducting illegal activities is your employer, the first thing you may want to do is bring up the issue to them and get their point of view on what they are doing. If they insist that what they are doing is not wrong, you may want to report what is happening to the federal government at the U.S. Department of Labor.
Common Illegal Workplace Activities
Even the most seemingly ethical companies have been found to be conducting illegal activity behind closed doors. Some common illegal workplace activities to look out for at your job are:
- Abuse of power
- Conflict of interest
- Accounting or auditing irregularities
- Unlawful workplace harassment
- Workplace discrimination
- The sale or possession of illicit substances or items
- Coworkers or employers reporting to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol
All of these workplace illegalities are serious and should be treated as such. While it may be easy to turn a blind eye for fear of repercussions or termination, you hold an ethical duty to report any illegal activity you have borne witness to at the hands of your employer.
Procedures to Follow Before Reporting Illegal Work Activity
Every company should have guidelines in place for what needs to be done if an employer or employee is committing illegal acts at work. Before reporting anything to the U.S. Department of Labor:
- Make sure you are familiar with these procedures in your employee handbook.
- Take your concerns to the human resources department and get their opinion.
- Consider the possibility that the situation may be a misunderstanding. If that is not the case, you may want to consider hiring an experienced employment attorney to take legal action against them.
- Consider all possibilities, and if you believe that the issue is beyond your realm of control, you may need to consider moving forward with another job.
Los Angeles Employment Lawyers Are Here to Help
Discovering that an employer is conducting illegal acts can put you in a very uncomfortable situation, primarily if you have worked for them for a long time. While we tend to see the good in people, we must also recognize the bad, and as an employee, you have an ethical responsibility to report anything illegal going on at your job. If you feel you need to take legal action against them, hiring an experienced employment lawyer may be your best option.
Blackstone Law is a team of award-winning employment lawyers servicing clients in Los Angeles, California. Our legal team has extensive experience helping clients with issues regarding employment law and has the knowledge and dedication it takes to help build your case. For a free case evaluation, contact us here or call (310) 956-4054.