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I am responsible for enforcing the corporate travel &

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I am responsible for...

I am responsible for enforcing the corporate travel & expense policy for a fortune 500 company. The CEO is the signitory of the policy and all employees must verify that they have read it and will follow it. Recently a new group of senior executives have joined the company and have been annoyed that my internal team of expense report reviewers have rejected the execs’ expense reports. 2 weeks ago a friend/colleague told me that I have pissed off the wrong people and I need to watch my back. Specifically, my friend overheard the admin assistant of a C level employee say, “that T&E manager is an a-hole and my boss has had enough of him making my boss (C level exec) pay out of pocket for expenses that used to be covered by the company.”

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

PA

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will, full time

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I guess my question is can I do anything to proactively protect my job and reputation? I know the can fire me for any reason but I want them to know that this is not good reason to fire me. I am just doing my job and protecting the company from violating tax laws and regulations. Thanks

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 13 minutes by:
12/31/2017
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,403
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

I appreciate the difficult position you are in here. However, I must unfortunately tell you that this is a situation in which the law will not offer any protection. It is purely a matter of company politics. As an at will employee you can be fired for virtually any non-discriminatory reason, including due to your correct enforcement of company expense policy. It would be horribly unfair, but your employer is not legally required to be fair.

In terms of protecting your reputation, I'm not entirely sure what you mean. You could certainly sue for defamation if anyone makes false statements of fact about you and you can connect those false statements to actual damage (i.e. as payback, an exec falsely tells your future employer that you were terminated for a positive drug test). However, a false statement (i.e. "Bob is an a-hole") of fact is different from an unflattering statement of opinion, which is subjective and by definition not "fact." Everyone is entitled to their opinion, however unflattering it may be, and there is no way to stop people from having opinions or sharing those opinions. Again, this is just office politics and the nature of human relationships.

Politically speaking the best thing you could probably do is get some sort of direct support from the CEO who is the signatory of the policy. Explain that you are experiencing some blowback for enforcing his policy as he has created it. Perhaps the CEO can reach out to the other execs and let them know that you are only following orders and trying to do the job that was assigned to you. Perhaps the CEO will also keep this whole thing in mind if he ever hears anything bad about you, recognizing that it is politically motivated payback and has no connection to your actual performance.

Essentially, the problem you face here is a human problem, not a legal problem. The law is not a factor at all here, and so you need to think of ways to protect yourself from a political standpoint. Again, I think the best way to do that is to communicate with the CEO.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

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Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

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Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Hello again,

I just wanted to followup with you to make sure that you did not have any further questions or concerns. For some unknown reason, the experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not yet received either. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the site administrator.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.

Very best wishes.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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