Say you were getting a new job and the former employer,the owner of your company was not only a cheat, but a low life human being who made people work unpaid Overtime, gave no benefits, received kickbacks, and made people falsify information that may get them into trouble, and you had the opportunity to put him out of business...would you? And consider there are still other employees still working for him, that may depend on the pay, but are miserable. However there's the chance that if you don't come clean, he may turn around and say you were involved too.
Quietly go your way and hope the others get out too and take the chance something may come back to haunt you? Or just report him and protect yourself?
Hmmm, sounds like the IRS would like to get a hold of this. Maybe you need an attorney? Go with yer gut GT. You are smart enough.
Hours and wages are regulated at the state level. You can make an anonymous call and report exactly what you know giving as much detail as you want and never have to give your name.. In Wa State we would go to L&I.. I'm not sure who in other states, I would imagine your Workers Compensation Offices? If you want to e-mail me your state I can find a number for you (used to be a payroll specialist.)
Not paying or reporting for hours worked is a huge offense. The government doesn't just care that employees are being unfairly cheated out of wages, the govt also loses money on taxes that are to be paid. They take it seriously and will make an investigation.
I don't know your involvement, but if it was follow his illegal rules, or lose your own job the authorities will take that into consideration.
Within context of something similar, it sounds like the mortgage companies I dealt with when purchasing a home in 05'. I sought assistance from the FTC, U.S. Department of Consumer Affairs, and my State's RICO (Regulated Industries Complaint Office). I don't particularly like unethical financial sitautions, and more so, people or companies that abuse their power to gain from these situations. I would do anything/everything in my power to seek justice, anonymously, or not.
I read the replies, and you mentioned people would lose their jobs and in this economy it IS a terrible thing, so now I don't know what to think... My gut answer in the beginning was to report him and protect yourself. I think I stick with this one, to report him, he is creating suffering anyway for his employees.
Toad, whether you do nothing, there is a good chance something will come back to haunt you. Protecting yourself, is also protecting those other employees around you. You know what to do- You know what is right. If your asking our opinions, most likely you already know the right answer and your afraid to move forward. It is completely understandable. I wish you luck.
You could make a small fortune blackmailing him, and then you can still nark at a later date.. lol
I thought of that Mandy!!! I wish it were possible but then I'm sure I would be made out to be the nutso futso one.
Is it possible to make him look as though he is loosing it, I mean move things around, confuse him, Get him sectioned and then take over the whole Company, give the employees and yourself a fat check, Visit him once as month at the Asylum, just to make sure he is not improving... He deserves it.
I hate to sound trite, but usually the only thing to do in a situation like this -- for everybody's sake -- is the right thing.
Really hard question. Been there and done that. Got fired. If you are no longer working for him, it will benefit the ones still there...even if they think they have no other options.
You can report him to certain agencies and they will keep your name out of it. All I can say is if you know he is mistreating people, if you do not report, he will continue.
On the other hand, if you do report, he (of course) will deny it. He may blame it on someone else still there. But if he does what you say, he will continue to use people until someone stops him.
Be sure of your case, he will deny everything...and most likely have some false proof. There is no guarantee that you will cover yourself by reporting. He may try to involve you to help share the blame. If your people know you, that will make it harder on him.
I can almost guarantee that reporting him will haunt you. However...you must consider how much will it haunt you if you don't?
Golden, I am very sorry to hear you have this choice.
Ditto on the attorney. get all your ducks in a row and prepare for as much as you can, then do what you know needs to be done.
I know you'll do the right thing. Sometimes, unfortunately, people get hurt along the way when you are trying to do something good. People may lose their jobs, but will they be better off in the long run?? It may not seem like it now, but they may be thankful for it in the future.
I have to agree with this. In the long run, people will get a new job and be better off. Usually they will survive the transition. If they do, they will be thankful.
I hate that there are people who use others. I cannot and will not agree to it. When it becomes illegal I can do something about it.
Is it all a labor issue, or can you call in OSHA for endangering employees?
Well at least you have a new employer now. I am so glad for that as you will have an income. Congrats on that one toad and good luck with it my friend
As to the rest of this - I've read the thread through to the end - seems like you're on the right track, covering all bases with a view to fucking the bastard.
well let's say an attorney doesn't want to help because there is nothing in it monetary wise. If you call the labor board, people will lose their jobs. That's a reality. They may get some help eventually but more than likely it will be too late and who knows there may never be any help to come. Last company I worked for people went to the labor board but received nothing but a judgment in their favor. By that time, the company claimed bankruptcy and didn't pay anything out.
Osha may not hold the ownership responsible, typically they will go after the site representation and that scar will always follow you around.
This is a bad economy still and lost jobs are hard to get. Is is worth damaging other people's livelihood in the meantime?
Sorry, don't really cut his throat, I was just angry. My last job was working in a care home, the owner financially and physically abused the people within his care and when I tried to seek legal aid in order to form a case against them I was refused by dozens of lawyers because I had no money. In the end the company that abused its residents sued me for spreading rumors against them, go figure. Justice it seems is only for the rich.
the exciting part about all this is there will be a confrontation, a good face to face and I am hoping he starts yelling so I can jack him up real good. I honestly do not care spending a night or two in jail over it. However, I doubt he would call the cops because he knows everything will come out.
OK I changed my mind again, Go to town on him with razor blades and lemon juice.
I would advise keeping you temper in this situation because anything else will only hurt your attempt. However, if you could get him to hit you and charge him with assault...
John has good advise...anything I can do to help, let me know.
GT, it seems to me like the crux of your question is this:
Is dealing with this going to cause more damage than not dealing with it? People are going to lose their jobs if you do, but may hang on longer if you don't. Is this a correct assessment?
If it is let me say this, I have spent my life letting things done to me go. I always figured more damage would be done by attacking back than would be done by just letting the issue go. You know, not kicking sleeping dogs and all. I sometimes have regretted this.
In this situation I would probably consider a few things.
1. If I say nothing, will the former employer continue their illegal activities on the backs of the current employees. You must consider that down the road others may also find themselves in your exact position now.
2. I would feel I owed no allegiance to the employer.
3. I would have to strongly consider taking him down now. If a current employee blows the whistle later you may find yourself in a defensive posture instead of offensive if you act now. It's usually better to take the fight to someone rather than have it brought to you.
4. I am mostly talking out of my ass since I don't know the particulars of this situation, but I would say someone willing to do the damage already done will have no problem making more damage to save their own skin later. You must have the will necessary to follow through if you begin. There are organizations available to help that either circumvent lawyers, or employ them specifically for this kind of work related problem.
5. The upshot of this lame advice is that people are probably going to get hurt either way. You must remember that any action you take is not YOU hurting anyone but rather the employees past and current activities that have done this.
Good luck GT
And Mr. Z is a smart guy. For sure I am going to take the honest route as I still have time left. Normally, I don't tell building inspectors what wrong with this or that, but I was nice enough to point out all the problems for them. They smiled.
You really want to F-him over, secretly organize and form a union. Beating him senseless would not hurt him more than that.
Apparently this man has committed some sort of Fraud, use cheap matierials, didn't make code, something like that right? He is not going to say you were an accessory, that would be opening up a whole new can of worms, one he proabably don't want to. Wait it out, in the meantime try to get your recent employees a job at your new company, then take it's business and force him out.
One thing is certain, I will continue to work with these inspectors and though they are supposed to be "against" me, they usually are with me, so I am not going to violate their trust. This will cost the company big time as I know exactly where they cut corners.
The hardest part in all this is the employees who can't fend for themselves, you know the type that just want to do their job, never complain, and go home. I would hate to think their kids go hungry because of moves I made.
That's a right thought I think
In my experience, whenever I wanted to get somebody - no matter rightly or wrongly, I ended up inflicting more damage on myself. And there are a lot of folklore sayings on the matter
It wouldn't be because of moves you made. It would be because of moves the boss made to start off with. But I know what you mean. It is the tough part, here, but unfortunately the law can't change just because you are kind-hearted and don't want to hurt more than help. I've been trying to decide what I would do. Shit damn frakkin' hell I don't bloody know. It's easy to give advice, but bloody difficult when in the situation yourself.
You summed it up for me perfectly. My thought now is, whatever Goldentoad decides, is the right action; it is what is meant to be. This is how me and my s/o sometimes resolve issues around here, we go with whatever our intuition and direction leads us to, which often changes at the very last minute.
Golden, If they just want to do their jobs, never complain, and go home, who sticks up for the people in your situation? They won't, and they will back the boss hoping to keep their job...even if they are backing you now. I hate to say it, but be very careful around these people.
What were you building, the fact he was cutting corners could hurt more than a few. Rule #1 If it smells fishy, don't eat it, 2. Keep your mouth shut until you are confronted by the people who matter then act stupid. Works for me. I am not being funny I am serious, sometimes its hard to tell.
well I modernize schools here in LA but the open items for the inspectors are not anything safety related as I have assured that but there are loose ends here and there and with prevailing wages, it be very costly to perform at this point.
When I am gone, the project will drag on probably for an additional three months, rather than three weeks. Which is another huge cost factor as it ties up their finances and no new funds come in.
The innocent employees are caught in the crossfire, there is no escaping that.
Watch you back. I practice nursing in a CYA type of way...cover you ***. Cross my t's and remember my tittles (love that word). Just watch your back! If anyone knows of your discomfort they may inform on you. The boss will then start collecting (fabricating) evidence against you. Take care!
This may sound paranoid, but been there, done that.
Yes, but I have many people who know the boss is up to things but never had anyone admit it. Its too obvious, a high turnover ratio in employees is always a sign of shady business.
This is such a tough call, G.T. I can't offer really anything but a prayer it all comes out in a good way.
I would report the person, but in my experience if your enemy is sneakier than you chances are they've already begun trying to make you appear incompetent.
Someone told me once:
"Eat first. Have morals later."
It was meant for issues I had with sales practices at a place I worked. Maybe applies more broadly here too, since you're in a position of impacting the ability to eat for others.
Yeah...somewhat agree with Shades. Bottom line--people got to eat. That being said, and since I've been in your position more than once (as employers are just a lot evil, aren't they?)if you want to pursue this, you need to figure out a way where you remain protected but can still cause the most amount of damage to the unethical b*stards.
Construct a trap, cover all the bases. Don't be drawn into any emotional nastiness, because it will only drain you. Work everything out as a plan before you proceed. Be premeditated and devious, . Sometimes you have to be.
Dob him in anonymously. He's a liar, a cheat and he's getting away with it. You could sit back and wait for Karma to take care of him or you could take matters into your own hands, it sounds like you feel very strongly about it and maybe losing sleep over this, but however you do it, do it smart and cover all your bases, if he's that dodgy, he probably knows the "system" and how to worm his way out of it. Sometimes it takes a group of people to make a difference and make a stand. Asking for help, such as an attorney as suggested by many fellow hubber's maybe the safest option for you.
I wish you luck my friend!
He would get an attorney, and If he is as dodgy as he probably knows a very good attorney, so you just chuck good money after bad.
No get him where it hurts in the Pocket.
Be creative do your worst, telling tales is sad so thats a no go. You either scare him Blackmail him, or get someone to break his kneecaps. lol
I do want to torture this a-hole, give him a real dose of some nasty karma, and I'm not saying that because I had a few beers now. For sure I am going to cost him some duckets, by me leaving now before the end of the project will cost him dearly and make him spit up his balls.
he'll have to find someone to finish the thing, then get charged delay penalties plus all the work I will point out to the inspectors.
I think I am going to take my chance with not reporting any fraud. If I am bothered, I will come clean on what I know. The employees feel they do not have a choice, they should, and my leaving will show them they can leave too.
My BF deals with this stuff in the construction business all the time--as an architect. Some real pieces of sh*t out there, yeah.
Yes. If they are in anyway compromising you, you just stop working and cost them $. Be careful, though, if there is a way they can go after you and sue somehow. Right now my bf has a similar situation going on. This guy is blackmailing him, saying my he owes him money, and that he will sue... It's crap--this guy works as a plumber or something, no way he'd actually do it--he's calling my bf's bluff--but it is stressful nonetheless.
Keep in mind that attorneys cost lotsa $$, and enlisting their help and taking it to court can draw the process out and may not resolve anything... Yeah, I'd withdraw from the project--here, if they acquire a reputation, nobody will want to work with the b*stards.
ooooh, lotsa swear words from me, ususual--but you get a little used to it from hearing the construction guys, .
Way to go the penalties will kill him, and you can network.... No one can afford to pay for either defamation or libel costs, unless huge corps are involved and I know that this is a slippery slope that even they choose not to tread..... I do networking..... You have the dirt, make sure it gets out there But disassociate yourself at the same time. I had a guy I had a prob with and I leaflet dropped. He left town... As ya said Karma comes, to people like that.. It is pretty rife in the construction bus tho.
I agree with people who have said the first thing to do may be to consult an attorney. Many will give a half-hour consultation without charging; and if you need representation, they'd be the ones to know whether you do.
Other than that, I lean toward protecting myself and letting the other people fend for themselves. They don't have to work for this person. They're the ones willing to put up with crap. They're the ones willing to falsify information, even if "encouraged" to by the employer. I know it sounds mean, and if any of them stood to get into legal trouble I'd have a harder time protecting myself. Other than that, though, people are responsible for what they do. I know it sounds selfish, too, but I think people have to take care of themselves; because the chances are really good nobody else is out to protect their interests.
You're right that your leaving will be an example to them that they can leave. If they're willing to work under those conditions they'd probably be willing to work at any number of other jobs (less-than-perfect or not).
I would honestly report him as it would be the proper thing to do.
I would probably try to find out as much as I could about any successful or failed litigation around the subject. Find out which department deals with this sort of fraud, are see if the press are or have been interested. Good luck GT.
Ouch! Either way someone gets hurt.
I would echo the advice on talking to an attorney as well as researching the applicable whistleblower laws at the state and national level to ensure that you are doing everything you can to protect your reputation and A**.
If you are still undecided. DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT! YOu do not want a case of He said/He said. Make copies of changes - keep a journal of who said what to who and when they said it. It may not be admissable in court- but it can be used to show a pattern of behavior, to subpoena the correct information - remember witnesses, and give you a better air of credibilty to any attorney who thinks you're just a pissed off employee.
If I read this correctly, you are talking about your current employer? If not, then talking to other former employees and possibly joining together to see an attorney about this may be the way to go.
As for the people who are still there? Think of the story of the snake that convinced the maiden to let him warm himself upon her breast - as soon as he was warm, she was bitten. Upon asking the snake why she was bitten, the snake replied " You knew what I was, yet you let me get near you anyway."
If they know what the employer is - if they get bitten - they knew what he was.
I was in a situation where I was involved in something and given advice by the person heading up this 'something' and the advice was wrong. And this person left me out to dry. I was used as a scapegoat. What happened after was I was in the position (not in a position of power, but more of a snipers position, figuratuvely speaking) to bring him down. Unfortunately I knew that if I did so, 3 dozen other people like me would be left without support.
Bringing him down may have been the right thing, by me, and indeed for the greater good, but I wouldn't have the chance to explain to 30+ other people the full situation. I could very well have been used as a scapegoat again.
So I let it be. I moved on.
In less than 6 months I would find out that this guy came crashing down anyway. Without any interference from me.
Karma? Who knows. But I celebrated in the misfortune that he so richly deserved, also knowing that if he were the type to be vindictive (and the ones in the wrong usually are) I'd have to have been watching my back for some kind of retaliation if I had played a part in it.
Your situation sounds far more complicated. There are so many variables. If I were in the same circumstances my fall back strategy would be "how can I remove myself with the least amount of fuss or damage". Once you figure that out then think the other avenues through, content that Escape Plan A is ready and waiting for you for a speedy exit.
Nanny's advice to document, document and document is right on!
A situation I experienced in the past was different, but when I was in the corporate world, I had a dispute with a female VP, who gave everyone hell, and since I didn't want to use her style of management with the staff under me, she didn't like me. She won when we both sat in a meeting with human resources, because she had documents of everyhing I did, didn't do, (I still see her in my mind, taking out papers with notes and passing them around!) and I had only my word. Never forgot this, how if I had prepared myself better I would had an advantage too. The staff that was supposed to support me, didn't do anything, they were too scared of her as they needed their jobs. I quit after 23 years of working in Citigroup, but she was eventually let go along with her friends of dishonest VP's.
Well, GT, you've gotten great advice on all sides of the issue, including those egging you on to pop the guy in the jaw.
My experience/advice is this. It is NEVER a good idea to close a door on a former employer. No matter how miserable the owners or the conditions, it is in your best interest to leave their employ on positive terms.
The employment practices of this person have been going on well before you worked there. Unless you have solid evidence of your accusations, you are really putting YOURSELF at risk by taking this a-hole on. Unfortunately, right is not always might.
I think the best thing you can do for the people you worked with there is to try to bring them into your new place of employment, if at all possible. In the interim, these people do have a choice, even if it may not seem that way. As the economy picks up, their options to take their skills elsewhere will increase.
I hope you don't think I'm being a pansy-ass on this. I'm being -- at least I think/hope I am -- very pragmatic.
Not to mention that here you are starting a new job. Do you want your new employers to catch wind of this and label you as a troublemaker? Nah. I didn't think so.
golden, I have been there and I know you can't just let the ones who stay hang...yea, they may (and may is a big word) get another job somewhere else, but they still have family to support.
Not every one (and not everywhere) is able to get new jobs now-a-days. Your care for these people means very much. They may support you, but can you deal with them losing their jobs over it?
Been there, and I couldn't. People will say they will support you, but when it comes down to supporting their families or supporting you, family will win out. Know this in advance and do not be disappointed. People almost always protect their own first.
It takes a truly amazing person (like you) to want to help in this way. Like all great Americans, it comes of a want to help...not a want to get. I think if it was just you, you would leave without worrying. They must be hurting others for you to feel so strongly...just my opinion.
Good advice all the way around my dear...but only YOU know the truth and the truth is always the best way to go...Follow your Heart...be strong and sensible and don't try to big a big hero...
I know you have many feelings for many people cause you yourself are such a good man, but we all have our choices and we all re-act differently..
"You can say anything you want, but it is what you do that counts"
Simply follow what you believe in and be true to yourself...My prayers always to help guide you and Good job getting the new one...I never had any doubts about that..God Loves You John...) Hugs G-Ma
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