I am friends with a coworker who has confided in me that she and several other members of her team are being completely demoralized by another team member. I will call my friend Alice and the other team member Bob.
Alice is a tester in the group and Bob is a developer. Bob refuses to use the processes that have been put in place which prevents Alice from knowing what work needs to be done. When Alice tries to find other ways to be productive, Bob gets mad that she isn't doing tasks that he hasn't given her the resources to do. He slows down the project, causes errors, and generally prevents her and everyone else on the team from getting their work done. And to top it off he is long time friends with the team manager (lets say Eve), and so he tells Eve that everyone else is slacking. Eve is either too blind to see what is happening or doesn't care. Alice is so stressed out that she dreads coming into work because she will have to deal with Bob. This has been going on for almost a year.
Alice and one of the other members on her team have decided to look for new jobs. I totally support them on this, because they shouldn't have to work in such an environment. But it feels wrong to not fight back. Alice and her team members have contacted an ombudsman who advised them to A) speak to Eve, B) speak to the local ethics officer, or C) meet with HR. Alice doesn't feel that any of those people will be able to help, and has decided to just give up and get out.
My question is, should I contact HR/the ethics officer before they leave? I know if I told her I was going to do that, she would ask me not to for fear of retaliation. I don't worry about retaliation from those two people, but I worry that their actions will let Bob know that Alice told and he will just make life for her even worse.
The reason I want to speak out is that it doesn't seem fair that Alice and others leave because Bob sucks. I feel that it's bad for the company if a team like this dissolves. And I feel like if they leave without letting people know why, Bob will just continue to be awful to the next people who get hired.
I also don't know how much I should say. I would like to tell HR/ethics officer that the situation is serious enough that most of the team is going to jump ship, but I feel like that could again cause problems for Alice. How much should I reveal to cause action, without getting someone in trouble?
I would ask my mentor, but she is also long time friends with Bob and I don't know if I can trust it not to get back to Bob.
For context I am in a large company in the US. My team has never had issues like this and generally most people say they love working at this company and have been doing so for 30+ years. That's part of what makes this situation so upsetting.