Whistle or walk

By Alina Tugend via nytimes.com   Article

Opting to Blow the Whistle or Choosing to Walk Away

“And while many think of ethics violations as confined to obviously illegal acts, like financial fraud or safety violations, the line often can be much blurrier and, therefore, more difficult to navigate.

According to the Ethics Resource Center, a nonprofit research organization, the No. 1 misconduct observed — by a third of 4,800 respondents — was misuse of company time. That was closely followed by abusive behavior and lying to employees. …

But offensive behavior that creates a hostile work environment, although often not thought of as unethical behavior, is the leading reason people leave their jobs ….

So does lying to employees. Lester … worked at a global consulting company for about three years, earning high performance ratings. At one point, he said, he accidentally learned that his manager had deliberately lied to deny him a promotion opportunity. Lester spoke to the hiring manager to no avail, and because the company had a strong ethics program — including a specific “no retaliation policy” and a hot line to report ethics complaints — he reported the situation.

An investigation found no wrongdoing, and although Lester appealed the findings, no action was taken against the manager. That is when he says the retaliation began. …

One of the difficulties in cases like Lester’s is that no law has been broken. True whistle-blowing …is when people report seeing or experiencing something at their company that is against the law, rather than cases in which employees feel mistreated, but nothing illegal has occurred.”

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