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frustrated admin asst. in MA

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  • frustrated admin asst. in MA

    I work/live in Massachusetts. I joined a company about 4 months ago and recently quit because I was being asked to do something I felt was unethical (and possibly illegal at work). I am an administrative support person to two executives in a major division of a large corporation. Part of my job responsibilities is to manage expenses for the top two executives for the division. Recently, these two executives were asking me to falsify their expense reports so they could be reimbursed for things that the company would not approve as business expenses (client dinners that were not client dinners, hotel stays that were not for business purposes, etc.). And, not only was I asked to do this but I was expected to "cover for them" if it was questioned by our accounting department (located outside of Massachusetts but in the U.S.).

    After being asked to do this and feeling uncomfortable in telling them that this was wrong, I brought it to the attention of my reporting manager who is also the division head of human resources (by the way, she reports directly to one of these executives so I still felt a bit uncomfortable about discussing with her since she's not very good about respecting people's privacy/confidentiality but felt I had to say/do something). She told me that this had been going on in the company for quite some time and that in fact, a former CFO had quit because of it because he was sick of fighting with them about it and had been expected to just cover it up for them. She said talking to them about it would not remedy the situation and in fact, it could make things worse for me because they would know where it was coming from. Then she started talking to me about an "exit strategy" for me since it was clear that I was not going to be the "right fit" for the position, that I was too smart to be working with them, etc., etc. My translation of this was that to be sucessful in the position, I would be expected to look the other way (I was then told that their previous assistant had been willing to do this for them which is part of the reason they liked her so much). She also told me that she was dealing with some other issues with one of these executives such as making discrimatory remarks about a woman who was going out on FMLA because her son has been having medical issues (this executive had made a remark to her that when he dies, he'd like to come back as a 40 year old woman - intimating that woman over a certain age just get to do whatever they want and are lazy). Further, she told me that she too was frustrated with them and the things that they were doing but she had to be careful about rocking the boat because she had been promised a promotion by this executive (her boss) and was waiting for that to go through and was concerned if she pushed these issues, it could affect her promotion.

    So, not being able to handle the stress of the situation and not wanting to be a part of this continued cover up, I made the decision to quit because it became evident to me that nothing would be done about this and I'd be expected to go against my own morals in order to keep my job while possibly doing something illegal (not sure if their activities are illegal or not but I believe them to be certainly unethical).

    My question is, until I find another job, do you think I will be eligible to collect unemployment insurance? I am actively looking for another job now and think I will find something fairly quickly but am concerned about not bringing in an income in the meantime (luckily, my husband is working but we rely on my income as well).

    Please help???!! What should I do?

  • #2
    Whether I, or anyone else here, thinks you will be eligible for unemployment is immaterial. There's no penalty for applying if you don't qualify - go ahead and apply and see what they say. Do it immediately because if you do qualify, they won't backdate 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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