T Nation

Exposing Former Employer, Advice?


#1

OK hosers I need some advices. A few weeks ago I left my job because I saw a lot of poor decisions being made on the part of the owners and manager. You could say that it was "poor business ethics," which occurs everywhere, but since it was a facility which cares for dogs the consequences were that the animals were constantly being put in danger, being injured, getting sick, etc. The owners (clients) were usually just lied to or kept in the dark about the true nature and severity of the situations.

Since I have left a situation has occurred which was pretty serious and resulted in the death of a client's dog (this is the third dog which has died in the last month, the first one being a big reason I quit). After a lot of thought I have anonymously contacted a TV station which has investigated this place a couple of years ago for another incident involving harm to a client's dog.

I am totally in the dark as to how to go about this. Can the owners come after me if they know who I am and that I am exposing this? The only reason I've stayed anonymous while contacting the media is because I'm worried about what my ex-bosses will do... they are pretty heartless and will stop at nothing to protect their reputation, which is why things are to this point in the first place.


#2

[quote]sluicy wrote:
OK hosers I need some advices. A few weeks ago I left my job because I saw a lot of poor decisions being made on the part of the owners and manager. You could say that it was “poor business ethics,” which occurs everywhere, but since it was a facility which cares for dogs the consequences were that the animals were constantly being put in danger, being injured, getting sick, etc. The owners (clients) were usually just lied to or kept in the dark about the true nature and severity of the situations.

Since I have left a situation has occurred which was pretty serious and resulted in the death of a client’s dog (this is the third dog which has died in the last month, the first one being a big reason I quit). After a lot of thought I have anonymously contacted a TV station which has investigated this place a couple of years ago for another incident involving harm to a client’s dog.

I am totally in the dark as to how to go about this. Can the owners come after me if they know who I am and that I am exposing this? The only reason I’ve stayed anonymous while contacting the media is because I’m worried about what my ex-bosses will do… they are pretty heartless and will stop at nothing to protect their reputation, which is why things are to this point in the first place.[/quote]

First of all, Sluicy, I have to give you A LOT of credit for taking a stand against your former employers and trying to right a wrong. I can imagine the stress of trying to sort all of this out…

How could they find out that it was you, who exposed them? How did you leave the company? Did you voice your opinion to them when this was happening?

As an animal lover, I hope that they get what they deserve.


#3

id say youre doing the right thing. you could contact the aspca or whatever that is. if anything you could be charged for negligence by not exposing them or so i think. but i do not think they can come after you in any way. i am no lawyer though so i would proceed with caution. but good job getting the word out there, i hate people who hurt animals.


#4

You might want to get PETA involved… Though they might be too aggressive.


#5

[quote]imhungry wrote:

How could they find out that it was you, who exposed them? How did you leave the company? Did you voice your opinion to them when this was happening?
[/quote]

Well, when I quit it was due to two things: the first dog, a rescue dog, died on a Monday, and my buddy was fired on Tuesday for telling the truth to a client about the client’s dogs’ injury and how much the dog disliked it there. Wednesday morning I emailed my resignation and expressed that I felt management was making poor decisions leading to dangerous situations for both the dogs and the staff and I couldn’t in good conscience work for them.

If the story comes out they’ll probably assume it’s either me, my friend who was fired, or our other friend from there who quit last week when they lied about the latest dead dog.

Personally I would prefer NOT to be anonymous. I’d like to be a name and a face behind the story since it gives it more credibility, and of course it would be more satisfying. However, in some cases it may be my word vs. the owners, and they have the money for legal firepower and I don’t.


#6

Truth is a complete defense to any claim of defamation, so as long as you can somehow back up your allegations you should be golden, legally speaking.

Regardless, you might want to consider how easy or hard it’ll be to get another job once you’re a known whistleblower. Personally, I wouldn’t reveal my identity for that reason but YMMV.

Whether you put your name out there or not, good on you for taking a stand.


#7

[quote]Travacolypse wrote:
Truth is a complete defense to any claim of defamation, so as long as you can somehow back up your allegations you should be golden, legally speaking.

Regardless, you might want to consider how easy or hard it’ll be to get another job once you’re a known whistleblower. Personally, I wouldn’t reveal my identity for that reason but YMMV.

Whether you put your name out there or not, good on you for taking a stand.[/quote]

But, if there are incidents which only myself and my two co-workers know about, because they happened to the rescue dogs (the place was both a boarding kennel and a rescue organization) or were covered up, does an anonymous person have any credibility when coming forward with these stories?

I have only told the reporter so far about the incident with the client’s dogs and said that if he were to look he could find quite a few clients and ex-clients with similar stories (not as bad, but in the same pattern). Oh, and I also gave him the name of the veterinary clinic which treated the dogs which stayed there, since obviously they have seen the injuries first-hand; though there were times when they did NOT take dogs to the vet who needed treatment, and this is where my credibility comes in, it’s just my anonymous story against theirs.


#8

I’d get PETA involved and let them handle the dirtywork, if they’ll do so. I know you’re ticked off (with good reason), but if you go after them publicly, you’re likely to get blackballed with other employers in town. The “Bubba” network is not something you want to piss off.

The bottom line is whether or not the dogs are treated humanely from here on (either by these guys getting their act together or getting shut down). Make sure that happens, and you’ve done your job.

Good on you for standing up for them.


#9

I’d get PETA involved and let them handle the dirtywork, if they’ll do so. I know you’re ticked off (with good reason), but if you go after them publicly, you’re likely to get blackballed with other employers in town. The “Bubba” network is not something you want to piss off.

The bottom line is whether or not the dogs are treated humanely from here on (either by these guys getting their act together or getting shut down). Make sure that happens, and you’ve done your job.

Good on you for standing up for them.


#10

For the time being, I would stay anonymous. If the story sheds some light on their unethical practice and harm of animals and they lose business, I think that’s all the gratitude you need.

I know how it is about wanting to expose shitty employers but having to stay quiet to save your own ass. I’m hiding from my last employer because he had the cops after me for months, simply because he’s a rich powerful white guy and I didn’t want to sleep with him.

I commend you for sticking up for these animals!


#11

One other thing to consider: Did you happen to sign a non-disclosure agreement? Involving PETA is a good idea. Voice your concerns about remaining anonymous, as well. I’m sure they will understand.

It is good you are exposing these people. The poor little animals cannot speak up for themselves, so you are their only hope. They deserve better treatment.


#12

I would pursue the company head-on.

I think the proposition of having a hard time finding jobs being a little faulty - Most animal care facilities (from my understanding, talking to people in the industry [I use to want to do something similar,]) operate legally and professionally.

If anything, I’m sure it’d garner you MORE respect.

Of course, I don’t tolerate any heinous treatment towards animals, so maybe I’m bias.

PETA? What about… like, the police? There’s clearly sanctions and rules being broken, and that’s something that’s on a larger scale than a terrorist organization.

Good luck; and please keep us posted.


#13

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#14

Don’t get Peta involved, if you’re a true animal lover, you absolutely loath these people.


#15

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:
Don’t get Peta involved, if you’re a true animal lover, you absolutely loath these people.[/quote]

Yeah, from what I know about PETA I don’t to trust them to take action in a sane way. If this gets on the news they will see it anyway.


#16

First off, that’s Mr. Hoser to you :slight_smile: No they can’t come after you (not legally anyway) if you were to randomy call up a TV Station and say there might be some strange things going on. They may not like you, and if you did it anonymously how would they even know? The one thing you may not want to do, is make a specific claim, because if it is found to not be true, you could be held liable for slander or some shit like that. You might want to just phrase something along the lines of… “some strange things going on” which is so general that it could encompass anything.


#17

Good for you Lucy. Stay anonymous for now. You can always follow up later.


#18

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:
Don’t get Peta involved, if you’re a true animal lover, you absolutely loath these people.[/quote]

x2


#19

Yes! The client whose dogs were killed/injured saw my post on insiderpages and emailed me with permission to give her name and number to the media. Poor lady, her husband died a few months ago and now this. I’m waiting for a reply from the CBS reporter–I asked him to let me know if they were going to run the story.


#20

Contact the office in your state that regulates vets and animal shelters. You are far more likely to get action from them then from the media. If a vet was involved they also have a professional liscencing board that oversees them.

The regulatory folks can also fine them and shut them down. The news media can just bitch.