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Chapter 18. Is Your Boss Doing Something... > How to Pass Along Information - Pg. 191

Is Your Boss Doing Something Illegal? 191 If you use internal company channels, get some independent legal advice about any whistle-blower laws you may have as protection. We suggest you do that first, before taking action. Your third option is to deal directly with law enforcement. This option may be the only one available to you if your company refuses to take a complaint seriously. It's probably appropriate to try internal channels first, unless the crime is serious or if you feel there is conspiracy to protect a person committing illegal acts. As with all the options, I suggest you consult a lawyer first, for several reasons. Again, this route offers self-protection. Also, an attorney can find out the best way of getting your information to the proper authorities. There is actually a wide range of agencies beyond the police, and determining which one is the right one may require some expertise. For example, you might need to contact the workplace safety and health regulatory body in your area for safety issues. You might need to con- tact the securities commission if you discover stock manipulation or insider trading. It gets pretty complicated. To reiterate, if you take this step, it's best to have some documentation and to make the rumors/fact distinction we talked about earlier. And never make frivolous complaints. How to Pass Along Information Regardless of who you approach to address an illegal situation, it's important to carry out the ap- proach correctly. There is a good way and a bad way to do it. The good way is emotionally neutral and well thought out. The bad way makes you appear vindictive and out to get someone. Here are some suggestions about what to do and what not to do.