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GWarren For Business & Nonprofits
GWarren For Business & Nonprofits, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 355
Experience:  30 yrs Counsel, AVP Corp Governance Fortune 100 finance/ins, Nonprofit Bds, law firm. OH NJ license
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To whom it may concern. I have been working at my company

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To whom it may concern. I have been working at my company for 4 years. Within the last 2 years the company has been losing money. This was due pretty much to the economy, however as of late, half of our company has been either laid off or let go. While all this was going on, one supervisor/foreman has been pulling overtime consistently for the past 4 months (this is only reffereing to the last several months, it's actually been going on longer than that), with no real justification (i.e. clocking in at 6:00am but not showing up to work till 9:00am). Also, I know that this same person has been doctoring paperwork to make it look like his department is actually producing (making it look like his department is doing the work) work to cover up for it's losses. What I would like to know, does this constitute embezzlement and what I can do about it. I would really appreciate some insight on this situation to know where I stand and what I can do about it. Thank you.
Thank you for contacting justanswer.

While the activities you identify may constitute embezzlement (dishonestly appropriating assets of the employer and converting them to the employees own use) your further concern about possible action (retaliation by the employer) poses a concern you will want to be careful to address with any reporting you initiate to the employer or any outside agency.

New York has a state private sector whistleblower law enacted as NY Labor Law Section 740 (a further and more detailed provision as Section 741 was recently adopted to apply as specific to health care employees/workers).

Section 741 prohibits retaliatory actions by employers. I am providing a direct link to the law below:

http://law.onecle.com/new-york/labor/LAB0740_740.html

The issue will be whether the employer condones the activities or practice by the supervisor and that department. You would need to be very careful that you follow the provisions of the whistleblower law exactly to protect yourself. The law also appears to require that the employer have an opportunity to address the situation prior to disclosure to a public agency:

" Application. The protection against retaliatory personnel action
provided by paragraph (a) of subdivision two of this section pertaining
to disclosure to a public body shall not apply to an employee who makes
such disclosure to a public body unless the employee has brought the
activity, policy or practice in violation of law, rule or regulation to
the attention of a supervisor of the employer and has afforded such
employer a reasonable opportunity to correct such activity, policy or
practice."

Please consider whether your efforts would involve any of the following (based on the information you provided the individual supervisor's actions may not involve a through c) :

"Prohibitions. An employer shall not take any retaliatory personnel
action against an employee because such employee does any of the
following:
    (a) discloses, or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or to a public
body an activity, policy or practice of the employer that is in
violation of law, rule or regulation which violation creates and
presents a substantial and specific danger to the public health or
safety;
    (b) provides information to, or testifies before, any public body
conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into any such violation
of a law, rule or regulation by such employer; or
    (c) objects to, or refuses to participate in any such activity, policy
or practice in violation of a law, rule or regulation."

If you decide to take action, you may also want to discuss the matter with a local lawyer to fully and properly protect you. You can contact the local bar association lawyer referral service to identify and interview lawyers as to their experience and fees in such matters. You may also find it helpful to conduct a search for lawyers in Brooklyn online or through Martindale's law directory.

If you would like further clarification, please let me know.
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