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Chapter 18. Is Your Boss Doing Something... > When the Boss Violates Policy - Pg. 193

Is Your Boss Doing Something Illegal? 193 You may choose to bring the circumstances to the attention of the human resources department or similar internal agency, but again, you must have the cooperation of the victim to do so. What about other gray areas--for example, discrimination on the basis of characteristics like race, gender, and disability? Again, these are best dealt with by discussing the situation with internal company staff responsible for your company's adherence to employment equity laws. They pre- sumably have more expertise. As with the harassment issue, unless you're the victim in question, you'll probably need the cooperation and involvement of those victimized by discriminatory practi- ces. If the discrimination is a systematic process going on throughout your company (rather than isolated to your boss), then you can consider more direct action. As always, get legal advice. Finally, in the gray areas, some actions, while technically illegal, may be so trivial that pursuing them may be pointless and leave you looking silly--theft, for example. Let's say our boss is in the habit of pocketing a pencil or two from the company supply room. Maybe it's for his kids. Well, I guess if you want to be a stickler for the law, this could be theft. Do you have any idea how you will look if you pursue this? Like a complete fool. If you complain about this "theft," you'll immediately be considered as mentally strange or as having a hidden agenda or ax to grind. So use your common sense here. When the Boss Violates Policy Probably the most prevalent serious difficult behavior bosses engage in is cutting corners or violating internal corporate policy. It's not generally illegal, although it can be. Here are some examples: · · · · · · Hiring unqualified relatives Violating conflict of interest guidelines Treating people badly (when that is a policy issue) Not following standard procedures Juggling budget figures Some kinds of lying From the Manager's Desk Conduct a reality check if your boss appears to violate corporate policy. Do that by considering the damage done to real people, customers, or the company as a result of the violation. Is there any damage? There're probably a few more you could add to the list. Notice that the some of the ones we've listed can be fairly serious and some are not. Often it depends on the circumstances. Before we talk about how to handle these, let's consider the issue of corporate policy. I'm not a great fan of red tape and unnecessary corporate procedures, rules and such things. I understand why they are there, but to be perfectly honest, a lot of time those corporate policies can interfere with actually getting things done.