31

One of the ex-company I worked with, was a hell hole, with abusive bosses, the CEO who fired people because they dared to contradict him and all sort of twisted behavior like allowing people to come in drunk.

I left that place a bit ago , with the upper hand but the moral part of me is still thinking if I should report to the authorities what I've seen inside. The issue is I have no proof that can put a finger on the terrible practices I've seen there and not to mention that everyone who worked for that company is afraid of the ceo.

Many thanks for the insights you might be able to provide.

  • 31
    Out of interest, what type of authorities are you considering? Are there specific laws getting broken? – Gregory Currie Jul 27 '19 at 14:24
  • 14
    Did you actually observe anything illegal going on? If not, just post a rant about the company to glassdoor.com (or equivalent for your location). It might save the next guy or gal from making the mistake of working there. – selbie Jul 28 '19 at 2:20
  • 12
    What country was this in? Workplace laws vary considerably from country to country. What's fine in America can be illegal in countries like the UK or Australia. – nick012000 Jul 28 '19 at 5:40
  • 1
    Glassdoor will be a good choice indeed. Thank you all for your answers and comment. @SolarMike, probably but often, there is real pain behind those questions. I won't waste my time for the sake of asking questions ;) – Walter Jul 28 '19 at 14:26
  • 1
    Add a country tag. As for the drunk at work thing, that one I don't know if I'd let slide. Depends on the line of work and who's actually at risk. If a report to OSHA may save 3rd party lives... For now, I'm just going to hope you didn't work at a taxi company :) – Mars Jul 29 '19 at 0:47
92

should report to the authorities

What authorities? Most countries don't have a "be nice to your employee" laws. The only thing the authorities care about are violation of existing laws. If your former employer did indeed break the law and you have decent documentation or proof, that they did, then, by all means, report them. If not, that would be pointless.

If your goal is to help other people avoid this employer, you can post reviews on glassdoor.com or whatever review websites or social media platforms are relevant in your country and industry.

If your goal is personal revenge or just venting: Let it go and move on.

  • 8
    the goal is helping people. Nothing else. Thank you for your answer. – Walter Jul 28 '19 at 14:27
  • 8
    Most countries have no laws forcing employers to be nice, but most developed countries have laws against wild firing 'because so'... – Danubian Sailor Jul 28 '19 at 22:17
  • 1
    OP should make sure any reviews posted are able to be proved as truthful should the employer sue for libel, assuming this is a possibility in OP's country. – John Jul 29 '19 at 4:46
  • 1
    Some countries have laws against abusive behavior by employers, AKA moral harassment. Ex: France. – Mindwin Jul 29 '19 at 12:27
  • 2
    @JulieinAustin This is true in the USA (for certain contacts only!) but it is not true in most of the Western world: at-will employment is unlawful almost everywhere. – Konrad Rudolph Jul 29 '19 at 12:57
46

What are you going to achieve?

Just shout at the wall. Move on in life.

BTW - You say that you have no proof - therefore nothing can happen

  • 11
    blunt but I got your point. – Walter Jul 27 '19 at 13:40
  • 4
    Just because OP has no proof doesn't mean there is no proof. I'm not saying that changes the decisoin, but still. – corsiKa Jul 28 '19 at 2:00
  • @corsiKa if he has no proof, there is no proof at the moment so he doesn't have anything except his opinion and neither do we. – jwenting Jul 29 '19 at 5:16
  • 5
    "BTW - You say that you have no proof - therefore nothing can happen" That's not true. You can whistleblow, for example, if the employer is screwing the IRS and the IRS might decide to do an inspection to find the proofs. – Giacomo Alzetta Jul 29 '19 at 7:46
13

I think you should either let it go or maybe use a little bit of soft power to actually punish such terrible conduct.

You could go to Glassdoor and post that the company had such issues and of course tell your friends and people that would like to work there, so that they are aware of such a bad workplace.

Also, if you happen to find a better workplace, you could recruit key people or at least the ones that happened to be your friends or nearest to you.

7

There are sites such as Glassdoor.com which are meant for reporting this kind of issues. Please be sure to report your old workplace there and on other similar sites.

Other than that, you'd have to find a specific law that was broken to bring a civil lawsuit. There is no one central labor conditions monitoring board.

1

Most of the things you mention are either bad business practice but not illegal in most countries (like allowing people to work drunk, as long as they do not put anyone in danger) or cases where the actual victim needs to file a lawsuit (like wrongful dismissal). So there is nothing for you to report here. You could try to contact the victims and encourage them to take legal actions, but you can't take legal actions on their behalf.

What you could report to the authorities are things where the authorities are able to enforce the law without requiring a concrete victim. These are, for example, violations of safety or hygiene regulations or violations of tax or customs laws. But only do that when you actually have good reason to believe that the company broke such a law. The authorities won't be amused if you end up wasting their time for nothing.

  • allowing people to work drunk is indeed illegal in some countries, especially in ones that needed to battle massive alcoholism issues. – Mołot Jul 29 '19 at 9:37
  • @Mołot Even for jobs where they don't endanger anyone? Can you name an example? – Philipp Jul 29 '19 at 9:46
  • 2
    Poland, Article 17 of the Act of Upbringing in Sobriety from 1982 translates roughly as: "the manager of the workplace or a person authorized by him / her have the obligation not to let the employee to work if there is a reasonable suspicion that he / she has turned up for work after consuming alcohol or consumed alcohol while working" – Mołot Jul 29 '19 at 10:13

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.