Where I work there's a strong culture of "not snitching". Several coworkers leave 1-3 hours early. There is one in particular ("Bill") who literally does it each time. He often boasts about never having worked a full shift. Usually there's only two of us working at a time, so it's obvious to me when someone leaves. Everyone can see each others schedule. Often people ask me if I'm OK if they leave early. I find these questions uncomfortable because I don't see it as my decision. Some have very valid reasons (like there work permit only allows them to work certain number of hours per week) while others don't IMHO (they are tired from working another job or want to get coffee with a friend). To be clear people always clock out when they leave so this isn't time fraud.
Recently Bill (the one who leaves earliest) left me to work alone on a very busy day. This time he didn't even ask if I was OK. I messaged the manager informing her I was having trouble keeping up with the work load and I was alone. I also mentioned Bill always leaves early and if she was aware of this (to which she answered no). The pay system is automatically linked to the clock in/out times so I guess the manager doesn't need to keep a close eye on the times people are leaving.
We recently got a new manager. The previous manager was very laid back and I think he may have told some people that if it's not busy one could leave early. But I doubt he meant they could leave hours early each day.
Today I had a talk with the new manager. She told me she wasn't OK with people deciding when to leave and will stop it.The same day another coworker said he wanted to leave early.
Obviously if we are short 1 person there will be less work done or I have to pickup the slack, so that's how it affects me. Also in terms of fairness, sometimes I may feel like leaving early. Even if it's not busy when the person leaves, it can always pickup later.
My questions are when is reporting someone's activity considering snitching or being a rat? Next time someone asks me if they can go home early what should I do? What if they tell me more so than ask me? If I wanted to leave early should I too not involve the manager?
Some answers/comments mentioned ethics. I'm certainly not here to be the ethics police, but I think it's a little bit unethical to routinely not follow the managers instructions while intentionally keeping them out of the loop. I mean am I crazy or is it rather strange to go home when you feel like it when you are scheduled to work a certain shift?