Published on June 2nd, 2009 by Alan L Sklover
Question: Recently, my boss was demoted. After this happened, she started to make her own hours, and set her own daily schedule. She comes in late, and goes home early. She fills out her time cards falsely, but it goes unnoticed, because the people who approve her time cards are in a different state. I am doing all of her work. How can I let those who should know that she is lying on her time card, without getting myself in trouble?
Answer: Very carefully, because doing what is right is not always rewarded, sometimes it results in being punished. Have you ever heard the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished?”
I have three concerns for you: (a) your boss may have received permission to take this new “schedule,” and you might not know of it; (b) your boss might sense any complaint sent to senior management came from you and then she might retaliate against you; and (c) your boss might blame you for her sloppy or fraudulent time cards.
From your letter I don’t know if you work for a large company or a small one. Larger companies often have anonymous “Tip Lines” for just such circumstances. If your company has one, I suggest you consider using it to file a report about what your boss is doing, which is a kind of fraud, and mention in that call that you are not giving your name because you are fearful of retaliation. Try to give some level of detail of what your boss is doing, but at the same time try not to mention details that only you would know.
Your company may also have an “Ombudsperson Office” to handle such things. Check the company website.
If your company does not have an anonymous “Tip Line,” or official Omsbudsperson, then I suggest you consider sending an anonymous email (perhaps from a friend’s email account) to (a) the CEO, (b) the General Counsel, and (c) the Head of Human Resources, telling them that you “believe, but are not sure” that your boss “may” be filing false, fraudulent time cards, and in this way committing a fraud against the company. In your email, mention that you are not including your name because you are fearful of retaliation. As noted above, give some detail, but none that might indicate your identity.
What you seek to do is actually the right thing, but it may be risky, too. Hope this helps.
Best, Al Sklover
© 2009 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.