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I was working at company x three months ago where I found some serious financial & data irregularities. I raised them in front of my bosses but as they were involved they did not take any action. I escalated. I have used whistleblowing hotline of the company x and informed the audit department. While Audit department and the top management has taken preventive measures, my immediate boss got some intel of my involvement in this.

And in later months, company x had to lay off staff in hundreds and my immediate boss managed to lay off me giving my name in the list of staff to be laid off (My bosses were threatening me for quite some time to fire me and asking me to resign by myself in x months). My bosses also asked me to shut up when I was leaving otherwise they will not let me get another job or at least make it difficult for me and come after me as they have a lot of contacts everywhere.

Now I am searching new jobs and in company y, I have had three interviews so far and my expectations are I will be selected if nothing goes wrong. During the interviews, I have told that I had been laid off and there were hundreds of other staff members who had been laid off with me (I reason that perhaps company x do not want to leave any proof about laying off me so I couldn't take them to court though I never had an intention of doing so, in Middle east such things are taboos). I have also pointed out to the recruiters I believe I pointed out the irregularities and thats why I had been laid off and I further inquired about it from company x’s HR department but the HR department told me your had been laid off as per policy.The top management of the company x also asked Audit department not to share their findings with me and the auditor incharge apologised to me saying that you have fulfilled your duty and we fulfilled ours now the decision is in hands of top leadership. I had even been invited to meet with Audit department again after I left company x but as I was not in that country anymore I offered to help them by phone or by email.

Note: My immediate boss resigned last week and will leave company x in October 2017.

Question:

  1. Should I inform CEO of the company y, once I have the final offer and before joining? I fear that as company x and company y are in similar kind of business and at some point we encounter at some place (My colleagues will provide me reference letters).
  2. Would it make me troublemaker or a person who can’t be trusted?
  3. If this job offer doesn’t work out, should I be more open to tell recruiters that I voiced out against irregularities and that is my reason of leaving ?
  • No I did not, However I have told Chief Financial Officer by email that I would not use this information for any wrong purposes or at social media to defame them. Regarding intellectual property information, I think that is already in the job contract but these irregularities were outside the scope of IP though. – Anonymous User03 Aug 2 '17 at 10:37
  • @JoeStrazzere Thank you Joe makes absolute sense but does that mean I should be ready to face consequences at my new workplace? Would there be harm if I tell that without providing details? I can also request CFO by explaining her the situation to allow me to disclose, though I am not sure if I'll be able to get a positive reply. – Anonymous User03 Aug 2 '17 at 10:43
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    It seems as though the OP already knows the answer to their question. – Mister Positive Aug 2 '17 at 11:14
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    @JoeStrazzere As a hiring manager, if I hear whistle blower stuff in an interview I most likely run the other way. ( Snitches get... ) – Mister Positive Aug 2 '17 at 11:46
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    @MisterPositive I'm curious as that only communicates to me that the interviewer does borderline illegal stuff. If you are trying to maintain the law and comply with ethics then informing on violations to that is a good thing... – mutt Aug 2 '17 at 13:41
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Should I inform CEO of the company Y?

I believe that what happens in company X should stay in company X. Unless it pops out and get public audience, because of legal inquiries, trial, or newspapers, any disclosure, of any problem of any kind, from your former company should not come from you, by words or acts.

Leave it behind you, better keep things to where they originated / belong.

NOTE: to me, this advice may apply to business matters, but not be suited for health or security reasons of a greater importance to the public. YMMV.

Would it make me troublemaker or a person who can't be trusted?

You can be seen like the one who can't keep important information private/safe. Or not... You never know what people can think of that, how they perceive this kind of behavior. You'll only know if you disclose it, but, as @Joe-Strazzere said in his comment, they may see you as a snitch. Many may...

Should I be more open to tell recruiters that I voiced out against irregularities?

No, for the same exact reasons that you should keep private things... well, private.

From your point of view, it seems that what you did was appropriate. It seems like you already know what to do, but if a stranger-from-the-internet's point of view can comfort you, my advice would be: Move ahead, and focus on the future, and you next job/interview... And good luck!


You can also ask yourself: why does company X want me back? Is this because they appreciate my honesty, or a way to have me under control, and keep me silent? Isn't it better to look forward?

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It's ultimately up to you, but frankly I find it best to treat each company and individual as uniquely their own. Look out for repeat situations, but try to keep the dirty laundry of each place to yourself. Everywhere has difficult people and varying issues and airing that to unrelated people usually doesn't do anything good except communicate gossip and associate you with the bad situation.

It's best to start a positive first impression by connecting your good points with the new places good points and not getting stuck in a negative comparison.

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No, Yes and No

You blew the whistle to your internal audit department, so this is an internal matter. Do not disclose this to new potential employers. Your whistleblowing may or may not be seen as negative during the interview but you airing internal company laundry in the interview WILL.

You also shouldn't use it as reason for your layoff. It can appear vindictive and demonstrates a lack of discretion. You should either stick with the story that you were laid off during downsizing (has the implication that you were not among the better workers) or add that personal differences with your manager led to your inclusion into the downsizing.

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No one likes liabilities. Remember that. If you give indication that you acted in such a way as to cause liability, most likely you would be viewed that way as well. In the interview process, the thing people remember the most is the impression the interviewee gave ... not necessarily the facts, so be careful about what impression you create or might create, regardless of the facts. I would recommend just keeping that in the past unless they specifically ask, in which case you would be honest but brief.

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