The question is “you have recently learned that a co-worker has been violating one of your company’s policies on an on-going basis. This violation is quite serious and would look very bad for your department if it were discovered. The co-worker has more seniority than you and he/she is well respected in the company. You are unsure if his/her behavior is illegal, but you are sure it is not right. What do you do? What are the issues? What are the ramifications?”
In a situation as the one stated above, the only way I would say anything is if there was an anonymous tip line, one that protected me and went through a third party agency. This is to ensure that there would not be any retaliation because I spoke up against the unethical behavior.
The ethics hotline is a confidential service and also a method for reporting conduct that may be unethical, illegal, in violation of professional standards, or otherwise inconsistent with the company policies.
The solutions to this problem are dependent on what rule was broken, including, what repercussions could occur as a result of the offender’s actions. This also weighs heavy into privacy. Is it even my business to essentially “tattle” on a senior co-worker? Would it even be worth it for the company? What specifically is the act that is being committed?
More information is needed before one should decide to turn the employee in. It is important to remember that this will essentially ruin the “offenders” career and he/she may even lose his job. I was always taught to keep out of other’s business and to not create a problem. It would not be my place to turn in an employee when there is a human resources department, and it is the job of human resources to keep track of what their employees are doing on a day to day basis.