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What to do when you spot your employee doing something illegal?

Brilliant question when you mean something illegal I'm guessing you mean within the jurisdiction of the company, office or working place? If it's in his home and what's he's done doesn't concern or hamper anything to do with the company, I'm definitely call him/her up and advise them against the danger of what he may be doing and I'll give him a break to stop whatever he may be doing which may be illegal.

However by illegal you may mean, stealing from the company, diverting funds, taking part in bribery and or falsification of company records and embezzlement?

First I'll give him a chance to state the reason the reason why he's doing one of the things I mentioned; sometimes it may be that be may be blackmailed into doing what he's doing and you can only find out the reason why he's taking illegal actions if you allow them talk and give reasons and explanations sometimes someone may be instigating them to do it.

INTRODUCING THE LAW; if you're definitely satisfied with the answer you've gotten and you've proven that he's guilty then the best thing will be to arrest and charge them to court so as to prove their innocence or guilt and then allow the law to decide their fate.


RELIEVE THEM OF DUTIES Bosses that are merciful often do not involve the authorities, so if you're soft hearted or Feel that the illegal things they did isn't worth calling the authorities then you can relieve of duties and well forgive them, this tilts to mercy and a sense of forgiveness to take this other other because in this pattern Justice may never be served. So it's either you persecute them using the law or relieving them of duties


If you are an employer you should already have the procedure somewhere in the company policy.

If you are an employee seeing another fellow employee breaking the law I would recommend documenting it if you can otherwise it could be your word against the fellow employee's word and you might not be considered believable for whatever reason.

Sometimes employers ask employees to do illegal things so a little bit of caution might be needed if you report it to a supervisor. Sending an e-mail reporting the illegal activity to the supervisor or employer would create more documentation so that nothing is verbal and the employer or supervisor can't later deny having knowledge of the activity.


Its important to set high standards in your working place. The truth is that your employees look up to you. You lead by example and you correct people when they are going wrong. If you see your employees doing something illegal and you do nothing to correct it, you could be setting a bad example for other staff. Before you know it, they will begin to do the very same thing and not be moved about it because they feel it doesn't matter to the boss.

It doesn't even matter if some members of staff think that you are being too strict. It's all part of the process. As an employer, you have to come to the realisation that not everyone will like the things that you do. You have to realise that even if it means going against your better judgement, some persons have to be dealt with so that others can learn and not engage in habits, practices that would leave a dent on the image of the organisation you are in charge of.

On the first instance depending on the gravity of the acts you should issue a warning. If the employee in question have been warned about the act once before, then it may just be time to let the hammer fall.


This depends on your morals and values really.

You have 3 options here. 

  • Tell your supervisor.
  • Directly approach the employee.
  • Do nothing at all.

If you know someone is doing something illegal, and you do nothing, you are legally liable most of the time for not reporting. 

Some people don't believe in "snitching" and would rather figure out their own way to deal with things.

Some people are indifferent to bullshit (like me) and would rather just not be involved at all...

This is a judgement call. Personally, I wouldn't put yourself at risk for legal implications by knowing and saying nothing. If the person isn't approachable, and what they are doing is highly illegal, I would advise that you try to confront this situation as soon as possible. 


Follow the disciplinary process. Start offering with an investigatory meeting finding out the facts. If you were the one that found the employee doing something illegal then it is recommended that a colleague of the same level or higher performs the investigatory. Once you have the facts you hold the disciplinary meeting. This will happened soon after once all witnesses have been interviewed. Then after the disciplinary there is an outcome . If it is gross misconduct (illegal activity ) it may very well result in the employee losing their job. The person has 14 days to appeal any outcome.


As an employer you should have the basics in place to handle this.

You confront the employee and suspend them from work and set a date for an internal hearing. You have to be seen as handling whatever it is fairly.

Once you have had the hearing and have heard all the facts the chair of the hearing will decide the fate of the employee. If it is a misunderstanding and genuinely not something done on purpose they may end up with a warning.

If it is more serious then you as the employer can decide if further action should be taken besides firing the individual. What you have to keep in the back of your mind though is there is normally more than one involved. We have experienced this quite  a bit and finding one normally leads to a small group who are all involved.

You can change procedures so it doesn't happen again and tighten up any loop holes. That is the only positive you can find from bad news though.


Depends what the unlawful demonstration is. In the event that it's not straightforwardly hurting anybody, I'd presumably overlook it.

On the off chance that it is specifically hurting somebody, at that point it depends how genuine the mischief is. In the event that it truly jeopardizes life or appendage, at that point I'd go up against the business. On the off chance that he doesn't react, I'd stopped and either report him or advise the jeopardized person(s).

The extremely intense one is the in the middle of circumstance. On the off chance that the illicit demonstration plainly hurts clients or contenders monetarily, yet not as far as physical damage, there's no wrong answer, as I would like to think. On the off chance that you go up against the business or report him, you do society an administration, however you likewise genuinely jeopardize your activity. Employments don't develop on trees, getting let go is constantly hard to clarify going ahead. My own inclination is that financial damage, while genuine, isn't that convincing.