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TROUBLESHOOTER / I’m bullied at work for not taking part in fraud scheme

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female worker in my 60s. I’m worried about how to deal with a case of ongoing fraud at the medical institution where I work.

The person in charge of payroll calculations increases the work hours of staff members, except for me, at their own discretion so that they can receive a bigger paycheck. I was invited to take part in the scheme, but I declined. After that, I became the target of bullying at work.

The tax accountant at my workplace is probably aware of the fraud, but in front of the hospital director, only smiles nicely.

The current hospital director is a friend of the deceased former director, and took over the hospital building and staff from that predecessor. The person in charge of payroll calculations has been working at the facility since the time of the predecessor.

The elderly hospital director knows nothing of the fraud. I am thinking of blowing the whistle on the wrongdoing to the director, but I can’t, thinking that by doing so I may hurt the director’s pride.

Recently, I feel the bullying toward me has intensified. I know I can quit my job if I don’t like what’s going on. However, I don’t know how to deal with my feelings about this fraud. What should I do?

O

Dear Ms. O:

It must be intolerable that staff members other than yourself have cooperated with the accountant’s wrongdoing to receive unduly large salaries. You refused the invitation, and I admire your action.

They started harassing you afterward, certainly to drive you out of the workplace to make it easier for them to continue the misconduct. I understand that you are disgusted with such a workplace, but if you quit, you will only fall into their trap. Now, why don’t you exercise courage and do what you can to get rid of the misdeed?

First, it is necessary to inform the director — who is responsible for the medical institution — of the fact of the misconduct. As you’re trying to do, how about telling the director the fact of the wrongdoing you’ve seen and heard, then requesting that the director handle the issue properly?

Nevertheless, if nothing is corrected due to the old age of the director, you can report it to an administrative agency and speak with its consultation service.

In either case, it would be easier for you to do it if you could get the tax accountant on your side. Good luck, and I hope everything goes well.

Sachiyo Dohi, lawyer

(from Nov. 14, 2018, issue)Speech

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