Is Your Boss Doing Something Illegal? 188 There are a few reasons why we highlight the differences. With people we don't like, we have a tendency to accept rumor or third-party accusations as fact when we have no actual proof of the accusations. Not separating what we observe or know from what we suspect is a bad idea. Con- fusing the two puts us at risk. If you use rumor to identify wrong-doing, you may find yourself in an impossible situation--making a charge without really having proof or documentation. If you do that, you will put yourself in an impossible situation with respect to continued employment. This Won't Work! Don't confuse direct observation and proof with rumor and third-party reports. Sometimes things aren't what they appear, and if you take action on the basis of rumor, you put yourself at risk. Here's another reason to make the fact/rumor distinction. Illegal acts involve the legal system, whether it be law enforcement or the courts. The legal system requires that there be some basis for investigation, and rumors aren't usually sufficient. In fact, if you approach a law enforcement agency with a rumor, probably nothing at all is going to happen. If anything, you will lose credibility. Here's yet another reason to make the distinction, and it has to do with fairness and equity. While