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By DRing ·
I hope someone out there can provide some helpful advice on this sticky situation I've been dragged into.

I work as a Web Application Developer in a small, but very successful, company whose business revolves around services provided through our Web Portal. Our I.T. manager recently confided in me (over after-work drinks) that he plans to leave the business and start a company overseas based on our current business model and application code. And, if I'm interested in 'getting on board', there's the promise of lots of money etc.

Now I have been asked to start the modifications (during work hours and instead of my regular work tasks) that would be needed to make our current system suitable for use in this other country.

I suspect that senior management have no knowledge of these plans, or how I am being asked to facilitate them.

I do plan to speak with our G.M. before I am dragged in too deep, however I'm also highly aware of the fact that it is my word against that of my I.T. Manager... plus I'm sure there are numerous potential pitfalls that I haven't even considered.

So. What can I do to help cover myself here? And what else do I need to watch out for?

If anyone has some words of wisdom they care to share - please do. I have a great job and don't want to lose it.

P.S., Names and places changed to protect the innocent (me).

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It's usually better to remain open and honest.

by jkameleon In reply to Whilstleblowing

I was in similar situation recently. An IT manager left the company, started his own business, and tried to get me on board. The business he was starting was in entirely different field, and there were no issues with non-competition clause. There was a lot of slandering and backbiting, though. I played openly on both ends, and the whole story ended with me working part time for both. Not a bad thing in the times of bad economy and job insecurity. It also breaks monotony a bit.

Your case seems more problematic than mine. Starting a business with same application code and busines model elsewhere is a clear breach of non-competition clause, maybe even a theft. I would strongly advise against getting on board with the IT manager in question. If he's not fair towards your company, he would be even less fair to you. Promises about a lot of money usually fail to materialize in such cases.

The big question here is whether to **** the whistle or not to **** the whistle. If you like your job, I'd say yes, but, as you correctly observed, you'd probably need some proof. I think the best course of action right now would be to start dealing with the more immediate problem: That modifications during working hours you've mentioned. You should vigorously refuse to do any 'irregular' tasks unless you get the request in writing. If the problematic manager is dumb enough, he might even provide the written request, and that could be the proof you need. In any case, that should shake things up a little bit, and provide some clues about what to do next. There is also a possibility, that the IT manager is not the only one plotting to bypass your company's business, maybe he too was pressured from some higher up. If this is the case, your job might turn out to be a tad less great as you think it is.

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by CharlieSpencer In reply to Whilstleblowing

Document the non-standard work you've been asked to do, and the regular work that's suffering as a consequence.

If you don't think the guy has the technological know-how to detect it, put in a "back door".

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Lookout for #1

by robo_dev In reply to Whilstleblowing

Helping this dishonest manager is likely to end badly. If this loser is willing to screw-over the company he works for, don't think he won't do exactly the same thing to you.

Document, document, document. Emails, voicemails, etc. Personally I would speak with an attorney to be prepared in case things get ugly.

The only caveat is to do any evidence gathering without breaking the law would be likely that covert video or audio would not most likely not be legal, and could get you in hot water. (See HP, Carly Fiorina whats-her-name).

If you're a valued employee, you won't lose your job.

The biggest concern would be to watch your back with respect to your IT manager. Do a complete background check on him and find out everything about him....knowledge is power. If he has a past history of violence, then you would want to take appropriate security measures.

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Couple of thoughts...

by JamesRL In reply to Whilstleblowing

I would agree with the previous poster who is suggesting that the IT manager may be shining you on with promises to get you to do the dirty work. I would have no expectation of loyalty from him, if he is will to steal from his current employer and use you as an acomplice, his sense of loyalty and integrity is certainly more than suspect.

Document as Palmy has said, ask the IT manager for written specs to help prove the point if you feel comfy that this won't give the game away.

Then when you have a smoking gun, ask to see the GM and HR. You will be better off, trust me to have more than one witness to your conversation.

Your IT manager is stealing intellectual property and stealing your time, and you need to act before it looks like you were a willing participant.


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Perhaps you are the IT Manager

by The 'G-Man.' In reply to Whilstleblowing

and are looking for the ways you can get caught by your programmer?

OK,I doubt that but why not just say NO?

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