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Leaving an Unethical Company

DILEMMA

I am leaving my employer where I have worked for the last 20 years. My primary reason for leaving is due to the fact that I am now aware of multiple significant cases of fraud with both customers and vendors (upper management is aware of and abetted in these frauds). Should I notify these vendors and customers of what I have found out about, after I leave?

Regretting necessary career change

RESPONSE

Thanks for writing. Blowing the whistle on an employer requires a tricky balancing act, namely ensuring justice for those who have been harmed and fairness for the party being accused. In your situation, it may be best to go to legal authorities (preferably through legal representation of your own). That way, your claims can be investigated and validated through proper channels before your employer’s name is ruined. Furthermore, this will ensure that your own rights may be protected through state and/or federal level legislation. If your suspicions/ knowledge still hold true after an investigation, your former clients will likely find out about your employer’s fraudulent activity anyway.

Kenman Wong
Professor of Ethics, School of Business and Economics
Seattle Pacific University

If you have an ethical dilemma at your workplace,
email Ethics at Work (eaw@ethix.org).
We will publish some of these in
Ethix along with our diagnosis.

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