How You Should Report A Harmful Workplace

Unfortunately, not all workplaces are as good as the next one. While it’s true that most companies are comprised of decent people just trying to earn a living and generate value within a sea of competition, some aren’t and are quite happy to use shortcuts to gain success.

This can become fairly apparent if you begin working for them. It’s always important to be mindful of the red flags, even in a proven firm. Have they given you appropriate safety training? Do they care about the confidentiality and wellbeing of their staff? How do they regard customers internally?

It’s not always clear how you should initiate change if doing so could leave you high and dry, and you might not be certain about the entire legal framework regarding the parameters your company works in, confusing you if it’s worth escalating the issue.

Well, in this post, we’ll give you a few tips regarding how and when to report a harmful workplace.

Don’t Accuse, But Build That Paper Trail

If you start to notice some slightly suspicious activity going on at your workplace, it’s wise to start documenting everything. That might involve keeping a detailed log of specific incidents, conversations, and anything that raises red flags. Dates, times, who was involved or witnessed it, keep jotting down anything you think important and saving emails where appropriate. Don’t mention anything just yet, because you might be sold out or hidden from the ongoing issues, but you don’t have to accept any tasks you’ve uncomfortable with either.

Having that complete “paper trail” will be helpful if you want to take action later instead of just having a “they said, they said” situation. Build up as much factual evidence as you can, and it will help your report become that much better. Or, you’ll gain nothing extra, and in relief wonder why you were so worried to begin with.

Read Policies & Contracts With A Fine-Toothed Comb

The chances are, if your workplace is pulling shenanigans, they’re probably violating their own policies and codes of conduct left and right. Don’t just complain about it amongst your coworkers, because this could give you away, although if you genuinely trust someone on the team, you might share concerns. Be sure to read through those company guidelines, understand the proper reporting procedures, and then take it up with HR, ethics officers, supervisors you semi-trust – whoever is supposed to enforce them. If this doesn’t cause any waves, then you might wish to look outside.

Escalate That Issue

After you’ve tried reporting through proper internal channels, you might find that your employer just swept it all under the rug or maybe even retaliated against you for speaking up. Now it’s best to take it outside the company. Explore what governing bodies, labor agencies, or watchdog groups you can file complaints with that can actually investigate and hand down real consequences. Bring documentation (that first tip comes in handy here), get coworker witnesses to back you up, and talk to employment lawyers about whether you have a legitimate case for escalating things legally. You might even find a professional service like Rankin & Gregory, LLC (RG Injury Law) if the consequences affected you personally. Here you might prevent anyone else from being affected.

With this advice, you’ll be certain to report a harmful workplace with the best of intentions.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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