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Should I act? Can I act? Massachusetts

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  • Should I act? Can I act? Massachusetts

    Hello,

    I'm in a rather awkward situation along with a coworker of mine and we're not sure what we can or can not do.

    Recently, another co-worker of ours (I will refer to as X) has become dissatisfied with his stature in the company and began making noise about wanting a more full time position and more responsibility. While ambition is normally a good thing, in this case X is just adequate at his job and has unfortunate delusions of grandeur. Additionally, after not getting the response he desired from his immediate supervisor, X decided to continue up the management chain making power point presentations as to why he should be paid more and demanding that the company buy him an iPad or pay for his personal cell phone (we're a small not-for-profit so it's only about 4 steps to the CEO).

    X has not been fired because management feels that his work is indeed adequate and had the potential to improve. Additionally, aside from this specific situation he's always been a 'nice guy' and nobody wants to fire him. However, things have taken a turn for the worse.

    X has now been disciplined and told to stop complaining, which he appears to have done. However, he recently told another coworker (Y) and myself that he's now going to try and get the CEO fired (the CEO answers to a board). He's found a few technicalities and is intending to bring this information directly to the DA rather than just trying to resolve the problem first.

    We have tried to stay out of it, but X sent us an E-mail with the next steps he plans to take. Suffice to say that his next actions seem inappropriate and Y and I feel as though we need to tell our supervisor. However, (and this is where my question comes in) at the beginning of the E-mail he stated that he hopes we will take this information in confidence.

    By choosing to read what followed are we legally required to not bring this information to our supervisor?

    I apologize for the long windedness of this post, but I know the details sometimes make the difference.

    Thank you in advance for any advice you could provide.
    -J

  • #2
    Are the "technicalities" he has found actual illegalities, or just violations of company policy?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cbg View Post
      Are the "technicalities" he has found actual illegalities, or just violations of company policy?

      They are illegalities ranging from small to potentially damaging. On the small end, OSHA posters aren't properly displayed but rather than point it out to be fixed X is quietly making a list. On the potentially more damaging side, after being told the conversation was over and he would not be receiving a raise X sent multiple copies of a letter via certified mail to the CEO and members of management and the board. The letter was just more whining about wanting to negotiate more. When the CEO read the letter and saw what it was, he decided not to bother the board member with it and never delivered the letter.

      x is claiming he will get the CEO fired on the grounds of tampering with the mail combined with an array of little violations.

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      • #4
        No law requires that you report this to your supervisor. However, no law prohibits your supervisor from firing you if he learns that you knew about this and did not report it.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Am I legally allowed to report it if he prefaced the E-mail with instructions to keep it confidential?

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          • #6
            Yes. His request that you keep it confidential is not a legal mandate that you do so.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              Frankly this nice adequate employee sounds unhinged and I would be more than a little concerned with the approach he is taking and the way he is going about it. OSHA posters are required but unlikely to result in anything more than a request from OSHA that they be displayed. It isn't like the CEO is embezzeling funds. His need for vengance is a problem though and so I would skip going just to your direct supervisor and let the CEO know as well. You know the personalities involved and whether copying your supervisor is best.

              Either way, you are not obligated to keep anything confidential though discretion is a good thing. I'd notify whomever is responsible for posters that they are missing the ones they should have and let that one go.
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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