klimkin/Pix

We all know that companies will do whatever they can to save a buck and move it into profit instead. That is how many successful companies were able to rise. There comes a time however when the big redline of ethics is crossed and the cost savings turns into an issue of causing harm to others.


DuPont chemical was one such company that caused grievous harm to an untold number of people through corrupt business practices. A compound used in manufacturing their Teflon was found to cause cancer and other issues in rodents decades before they did the studies to show similar in humans. Thousands of people have been affected, drinking water contaminated, loss of live stock, and irreversible environmental damage has been done.


However, it took an extended period of time between worker complaints of the toxin and action being taken. Although there have been monetary payouts, the company still functions making their products today just now hiding as a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company (DowDuPont).

Sometimes the corporate corruption runs too deep to be fully resolved. Redditor Chillay_90 wanted to hear other workers all too common encounters with serious corruption.

They asked:

"What's the most corrupt thing you've witnessed your employer do?"

They fled the country…

“At the first company I worked at the general manager had all his personal expenses paid by the company. His wife also had a company credit card and was paid a salary but she didn't work. The company paid for things like their groceries, house mortgage, car payments and family vacations.”

“The kicker is he wasn't the owner of the company. He had a creative accountant that hid these expenses but the owners became suspicious and they hired an auditor. It took them about 4 years to figure it out. He was fired and his family fled the country so I am not sure what happened to him.” optoph

She was a Mc-A**hole…

A few years ago I was working/living at a McDonald's in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The area manager decided to ‘save’ the store so she became very... involved... in its day to day micromanagement. One payday morning she made an announcement that, because everyone kept coming in asking for their checks and bothering her, she would be giving them to us when she felt we deserved them.”

“I called the local Department of Labor, who referred me to the state, who referred me back to local, who then told me they just didn't care and weren't looking into it. It eventually resolved itself anyway when she handed checks out the next day.” twistedlemon732

Do not work for free!

“I've had a couple that try to pressure you to work off the clock, without actually asking you to do so in order not to get sued. Suckered some people into doing it, if they complained after the fact they got canned. And by that I mean they got all hours cut until they were forced to quit so they couldn't file for unemployment."

“I just made it clear I wasnt playing their games in the first place. First time they tried me I was like 'I n't that working off the clock?' And they were like 'ohhh no no, of course not! We're not asking that at all, just looking for volunteers!'"

"I can't volunteer. Do you want me to stay, clocked in, or go home since my shift is over?"

"Oh well... I suppose you can go home. We'll figure it out"

“Needless to say, they did not like me much after that and made working there a living hell. Cut my hours to low numbers, but not altogether. But I had already asked my old boss if they'd take me back, which they welcomed me back with open arms. Only reason I took the new job was they paid like, 3 bucks an hour more. But obvs not worth it if I'm expected to work for free." Reddittoxin

Warranty scam…

“I was a mechanic that found out that the company was not letting me fix customers cars that had oil leaks when the customers had paid for a 200k mile warranty. The manager would tell the service writer to say that the warranty company declined it and eventually started making me take a photo to him so that he could tell me that the leak wasn't bad enough to fix.”

“The customer paid for a warranty and the company wasn't holding up their end of the deal because it was costing them money. They are one of the most profitable car dealerships in my town and now have 3 dealerships and are expanding.” Idontgetitbrah

Stealing workers tips…

​“I was working at a small brewery / bar, and caught the owner dipping into the tip jar at the end of big nights. It was a new place that just opened and was kind of struggling during the off season. We literally had a staff of two bartenders and the owners (husband and wife), so the bar staff would pool and split that days tips.”

“Come to find out that he was taking a cut of the tips because "he worked there too". When I confronted him, I explained that its actually a violation of the FLSA. In fact it's even an exact example listed as illegal things to do with tips. He argued that it was his right as owner and fired me, so I reported him to Dept of Labor.” Rustee_nail

​Political and corporate corruption go hand and hand.

“I used to work at a place that was owned by an organization with some political affiliations. There was a rich Middle Eastern investor who owed my employer money. Literally millions from a contract that they simply never paid.”

“It was quite a sensitive issue and one that everyone really wanted to keep out of court. Some negotiations took place and the investor agreed to pay but in return, wanted a spot on the board. Everything was agreed, the guy would pay and then there would be a big party event, with some press, for his appointment to the board.”

“At any rate, a few weeks before this was supposed to happen, the head of my organization became very ill and needed surgery and was gone for several weeks...the big party where the investor would become a member of the board had to be delayed. It turns out, our big boss wasn't actually sick at all and did not need to have surgery.”

“Actually what happened was, the head of the organization that owned my employer was running for political office and was worried about the optics of the whole event (only being able to get this rich middle eastern dude to pay us what he owed by putting him on the board and granting him a bunch of power over the organization) and basically ordered our boss to feign a long illness that would require the event to be delayed until after the election.” mejok

if they asked you to work extra they would delete hours…”

“Worked in a restaurant that didn't allow employees to work over 40 hours as they did not want to pay any overtime. Instead of you wanted to work extra or if they asked you to work extra they would delete hours off of your time card to keep it under 40. They always asked you when they did that in a kind of hush hushed way so it wasn't exactly without permission but I think it was bullsh*t all the same.” ​cloudstrife1191

stolen a combined 400 hours from eight people…”

“Growing up my father always told me to save my pay stubs and time receipts. I ended up working a job in my early 20 's at an airport moving cars. I get my paycheck one day and i realize that it's not right.”

“So i do a little digging, and a lot of math, and i figure out that the company was taking hours from me. I ask around and it turns out that they were taking hours from literally everyone at the job site. After doing more math we figured out that over the six months we all worked together, the company had stolen a combined 400 hours from eight people.” 42spuuns

​So you get fired for that?

​“Had a job out of college selling yellow pages advertising. A big part of the job was just renewing the old adds in the book and we had to call each business to have them renew their ad.”

“But as the yellow pages book became more and more obsolete more customers would cancel their ads. So the company changed the policy of having us call each business and instead put in a policy that any customer who didn't specifically call to cancel would be auto renewed.”

“Then they would purposefully send out the renewal notices late enough that the customers couldn't cancel in time to avoid the following years charges. If one of us did actually get a call from a customer looking to cancel and with time to legitimately do so and we actually cancelled them....fired.” totspur1982

Strangest Things Seen In A Contract's Terms And Conditions | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

Knowingly exposed their workers to asbestos…

“I work underground in the mines. One place started having, what the workers found out later, was asbestos type rock in the ore. The company took samples of it and then said it's kind of like asbestos, but it's not old enough to harm you.”

“Later after a bit of more concern from the workers, it was found out that the sample they took came back as inconclusive due to something else. They lied and allowed their workforce exposure to asbestos. I quit after that and found work elsewhere.” Chillay_90

Part of the healthcare conspiracy…

“Work for hospital, largest healthcare co. In that area. There was a situation where a doctor was involved in a law suit and I had to testify to some stuff. At the attorney's office I observed that THE ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORD OF THE PATIENT HAD BEEN ALTERED COMPLETELY. Everyone's notes had been changed. Scared the sh*t out of me. I realized then that no one really has any power except the corporation itself.” mxrichar

Some manual planned obsolescence…

“I worked for a pump company, We repaired all kinds of liquid pumps, from the little sump pumps you drain your basement with to the 2000 gallon per minute sewage pumps.”

“I was rebuilding one of the large pumps and the boss came in as I was assembling it, he came over to the bench and picked up the main bearings and took the seals off of the bearings. Essentially, it keeps trash out of the bearings to extend bearing life.”

“ He looked at me and said, ‘The warranty for a repair is 18 months, that's how long these bearings have to last. I buy the ones with the seals in them because they're cheaper and they look good on a itemized bill. So if these bearings last for 20-36 months, I'm losing money. Pull the seals out of these before you install them.’ I never did, f**k that guy. He was a piece of sh*t on so many different levels as well.” JomadicallyWondering

They missed the part in the Bible about giving away their riches…

“Worked for a Christian ministry that was fully funded by donations and run by volunteers who had to raise their own support. The CEO used donated funds to take his family overseas for vacations, to purchase 50% of a new vehicle whenever he wanted, to pay for golf trips for himself and his friends whenever he felt like it, and to help his children (who were also at the ministry) with house payments. Also forced the volunteers in the evenings to do childcare for his grandkids so that he and his children could go out to lavish dinners on the ministry.” ​GandalfsFavDwarf

Racism in the workplace…

My first promotion at my first job included interviewing applicants if the manager needed help and I jumped at the opportunity (which should have been a red flag for a 30+ manager giving an 18-year-old that kind of early responsibility). It was sales and according to her she hired almost everybody 'but if you need to make choices, I tend to skip the black people because they don't do good in sales and don't know that many people'."

“I was f**king speechless, I didn't know what to say though and was afraid of losing my first job. At first, I thought maybe it was a really racist bad joke because English is not my first language but that b*tch was dead serious. I just picked up my materials and set up but I eventually quit and reported her to the corporate offices and BBB after hiring every person that came in for a job that week." s-p-a-r-k-e-r

we had all been being poisoned…”

​“I worked in a restaurant and an employee began having breathing problems on shift. She went to the ER and was diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning.”

The owner didn't think it was from the restaurant (despite the fact that the employee was on shift for five hours and went straight to ER) but after several weeks of complaints from this employee decided to put up a CO detector. She put it out on Saturday morning at open and two hours into the shift the alarm went off.”

She picked it up and rushed it into the back stating that it was malfunctioning. She refused to put it back out. Two weeks later and everyone was getting sick while at work. The owner denied that anything was wrong and refused to acknowledge that employees were getting sick.”

“I called OSHA and after an inspection it was determined that the HVAC unit was pumping CO into the restaurant and we had all been being poisoned. The owner was very upset that she had to pay to fix the heating unit and "couldn't believe someone would do that to me" (call OSHA).” noh8tred

got shocked by 220 volts a few times…”

Shocked Ash Ketchum GIF by Pokémon Giphy

“I worked for a signage company as an installer, some of the signs had LEDs and required the transformer to be connected to a mains cable. In South Africa its law that if you're dealing with electrics you have to be qualified, obviously no one that worked there was.”

“So like a dummy I just connected the main cable to the transformer for any signs I installed, and got shocked by 220 volts a few times, before I left I saw an invoice to a customer that I just installed a sign for, and the owner was charging the clients for a professional to do the electrician work. All the while I was doing it.” southafricabest

Profiting off illegal baby formula…

“When I was 20 I was working in a supermarket. At the time I was working there there was a global shortage of baby formula (milk powder.) The town where our store was located had a leading formula factory not even 5mins away. So we always had it in stock, and usually more than other stores. Even though we were only allowed to sell people one container at a time. So every once in a while I would walk back to where the freezers and loading area was.”

“And every so often there would be a van parked up by the open doors, where only trucks are allowed to load and unload the carts of products. The van arrived empty, and it left filled up with, you guessed it, baby formula. Followed by this driver wandering through the stockroom to the service desk and making two consecutive transactions because the maximum amount you could pay in one go was 2999.99. I think my boss's franchise was shady as hell.” Highway2022

Someone needed to call OSHA…

“I work in a MNC, and it is mandatory for each factory of the company around the world to share and report to HQ if there is any accident happen. In 2016, there was an accident happened where the finger of an operator was cut and bleeding previously, because the PPE implemented wasn't up to the standard for the task."

“Luckily it was flash wound and not an amputation injury. The factory treated and gave paid sick leave to this operator and reported this accident with action plans to prevent this from happening in the future."

“Few months later, a new plant Manager joined Mr. BA, started with our plant in 2016. He will soon be the most corrupt sob in the plant. Almost every year since 2016 there was at least one minor accident happened, and he will ask his subordinate, the HSE manager to keep quiet and not to report to anybody."

"Every single year he and the safety manager will proudly report to us all that the last accident was in 2016. There was an accident happened during Social Accountability audit, when the auditor was reviewing documents in the office."

"A maintenance guy's arm was sprayed by hot glue and got second degree burn, they will ask the maintenance guy to keep quiet, secretly go to ER, and come back to work the next day (as they don't want a loss time) and surprisingly, the maintenance guy follow this instruction."

"Another accident happened when an operator accidentally had his tip of a finger chopped off by a machine and also, no report. Until today, the factory proudly report every day, it has been 1800 more days since the last accident." ​beary12345

Higher Ed. had a lot to hide…

​“I've worked in higher ed my entire career this far and particularly in some Ivy League schools so yikes I don't even know where to start…I can think of a few examples of students actual civil rights being violated and also someone embezzling over $100,000 from funds set aside for students with disabilities off the top of my head.”

“As corrupt as those things are though, they aren't the worst. I would argue that across the board in higher ed, the most corrupt thing is the coverup. The bigger the university, the more they try to hide these literal crimes to protect their reputations.” Ghostridethevolvo

Corruption everywhere…

I have a few. I worked for a company who once took our Christmas bonuses and donated them to a family with a special needs child 'in our name'. We later found out that the mother of the special needs child was the cousin of the owner of our company but this was never disclosed to us by the owners. I don't mind giving to charity, but the way they went about this was super sketchy."

“Okay, last one. I had a side job with a small TV station and one day my paycheck bounced. I went to the owner, who claimed it was a mix-up and gave me cash. Then it happened again. I go to the HR girl who tells me that the owner of the station likes to gamble at the casino with the account used for paychecks. Quit then and there." AlanaDev

Perhaps the most concerning thing about these experiences, outside of victim impact, is the fact that most of these white collar type crimes are rarely or minimally prosecuted.

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