I have information that could get a competitive colleague fired. If I share it, I would have to do it anonymously. This colleague has done some very shady things to me in the past.

I'm feeling uneasy about sharing this information. Is it ethical to share this information?

  • 2
    What does 'competitor' mean? A co-worker? Aug 17, 2018 at 22:53
  • 1
    Also, if it comes out some other way, and it's known that you already knew, would that hurt or help you? Aug 17, 2018 at 22:57
  • 8
    ...fraud*: Is she cheating, or just better than you?
    – Cloud
    Aug 17, 2018 at 22:59
  • 1
    No, the proof does not include her having an affair. That would be a low blow for sure. This is strictly the fact that I have proof she is working two jobs that are in direct competition with her job. I know it is for selfish reasons that I would like to see her implode and it would be nice to have her out of my territory but the proof is strictly about a professional misstep.
    – Mary
    Aug 17, 2018 at 23:07
  • 12
    Your first problem is that you think of your coworkers as competitors. Aug 17, 2018 at 23:56

5 Answers 5


What should I do? Just let Karma take over? Or share the info?

Based on your comments, if this is something that does not hurt the company, and also your job does not include exposing colleagues or hunting these proofs I'd say you don't do it and focus on your job instead.

Sure, you can expose her and gain some extra space on your "territory". But that is something you have to decide by yourself.

Just be careful that this "proof" is not a setup by someone (perhaps this person?) with the hopes that you fall for it and end up watered.

I think you would have better chances if you focus on improving your job skills and techniques, instead of eliminating the competitors.

  • In the comments, OP mentioned This is strictly the fact that I have proof she is working two jobs that are in direct competition with her job. This is actually damaging to the company, thus nullifying your argument for suggesting OP to not speak up about it.
    – Flater
    Aug 21, 2018 at 13:03
  • My argument is not only based on that. Besides, yours assumes it's OPs job to play police. Furthermore, op asked on the ethics and "kharmic" aspects of doing so. Op also clarified before that this does not damage the company according to their pov, if you read all comments: "what she is doing does not hurt the company, she has..."
    – DarkCygnus
    Aug 21, 2018 at 14:10

What should I do?

There is nothing wrong with taking out competition, the ethical side and karma is your personal choice.

Doing it anonymously seems a bit shady, but if you have to for your own protection there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that either.

  • 1
    Thanks. I want to remain anonymous because this person is CRAZY and I am fearful of her.
    – Mary
    Aug 17, 2018 at 23:03
  • 1
    @Mary well, we are deviating from the workplace territory into more philosophical topics, but perhaps the real test the universe sent you is to see how you react when given the chance to "destroy" someone...
    – DarkCygnus
    Aug 17, 2018 at 23:07
  • 1
    @DarkCygnus. Yes. THANK YOU! You just answered my soul's question. I know this is not right. I need to put my head down and work and forget about this nonsense. The universe will manage this as it is suppose to be handled. Thank you. You have inspired me. You must be much more evolved and enlightened than me. Your answer gave me a resounding YES in my heart. Thats it my friend. That is my answer. Thank you.
    – Mary
    Aug 17, 2018 at 23:10
  • 1
    @Mary I am really glad I could help you. Not sure if I am much more evolved or something, but I try my best to navigate the workplace (and this life) the best I can. Really glad I could inspire you :D good luck with that ;)
    – DarkCygnus
    Aug 17, 2018 at 23:13
  • 10
    I drank far too much whiskey last night and had some awesome insights into life the universe and everything,.... but can't remember them.
    – Kilisi
    Aug 17, 2018 at 23:38

If I share the proof I have I would share it anonymously.

But, in my heart I am feeling uneasy about sharing this information.

The fact that you aren't willing to do this in the open and in your heart feel uneasy, and you wrote that you know in your heart "this is not right" - tells me that you realize this will be unethical.

  • 2
    Or it really is the ethical thing to do and Mary is a good person, so Mary is reluctant to do something that hurts another and helps herself, for fear of letting personal bias lead her into something wrong. Either explanation fits the facts. Aug 20, 2018 at 16:11

This is strictly the fact that I have proof she is working two jobs that are in direct competition with her job.

So AFAIU, she is working two jobs additional jobs when, by contract and/or expectation of HR she should be only doing none without registering with HR. Potentially she did this without anybody knowing, so judging may is none of your business. But lets assume she did not, then the following applies:

I do not understand how this "does not hurt the company". It is central to the expectations of an employer where you have an employment that you are supposed not to work side jobs in secret. Even if it does not hurt the company currently every day in a measurable way, it still has the potential to do so, and, depending on her behavior in the other jobs actually already is (without you knowing). This person would be self-centered and maybe lying to cover up the fact that she works multiple jobs. Such behavior undermines everything which you need in a team. Besides she have proven one time (together with you old boss) that she does not hesitate to act against the company interest.

As i wrote before, you don't know what HR knows or not. I don't know the country you are in, so i don't know their viewpoint and the laws on it. You could do one of the following:

  • The most straightforward way would be when you find a real problem. E.g. orders being processed late or constant difficulty in arranging a meeting since she has strong time restrictions from her other jobs. If that is the case, go to you boss (assuming she is not sleeping with him again) and state this specific thing. If he says something like "I dont understand why colleague doesn't have time", consider it an invitation to speak out.
  • In Germany: go to the working council and ask for advice (without telling the colleagues name)
  • Go to HR or you boss, talk to them, first asking without telling the colleagues name if they would like to be informed in such a situation. "It came to my attention that a colleague is potentially working additional jobs and i wonder if I can or should tell you more specific about this suspicion confidentially" - never state it as a fact, it is not your task to establish if it is a fact.

I personally see this less as an ethical problem (she exhibited behaviors which hurt companies in the long run), but more one where you could get burned if it turns out that she registered the jobs.


Perhaps karma has chosen you to be the instrument by which this vicious and unethical person gets what she deserves.

It is not "ethical" to ignore unethical behavior. An unethical person, left unchecked, will go on to cause harm to people that you don't even know about yet. On behalf of those innocents, as well as for yourself, you should speak up.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .