The Biggest Workplace Scandals People Have Ever Witnessed

Woman stressed about office work issues
Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

We've all known that one coworker who tried to show up as late as possible to work, or who looked for ways to take longer lunches or breaks.

Fortunately, most of us weren't in situations where a coworker was actively breaking the law.


Ready to stir up some drama, Redditor Autistic_chickpea asked:

"Redditors of HR: What are the biggest office scandals or dramas you’ve experienced?"

The Origin of the Stereotype

"Normal scandal. The owner left his wife for his secretary. BUT the wife owned 50% of the company and she made him pay through the nose for it."

"He was a total stereotype! The company had become really prosperous, he started working out, and got a really expensive sports car (Lamborghini, I think). Then he dumped his wife, was publicly involved with the secretary, left his company to be run by other people, and ran off to California, married, and had kids."

"He was kind of a s**thead before that anyway."

- LimeSkye

Report It to Someone Else

"The second or third Human Resources lady got drunk at the holiday party and groped a bunch of people, stuck her tongue in someone’s ear, and fondled a guy’s wife."

"The head of HR swept it all under the rug and told all the witnesses and people she grabbed to 'manage it properly.'"

"I quit pretty soon after that. F**k that place."

- SemiAutomnemonicIful

Quite the Miracle

"The receptionist and the land administrator had an affair and she got pregnant. Her husband had had a vasectomy years earlier. The office affair ended, and the receptionist and her husband maintained that it was a miracle from God."

"It’s a small town and everyone knew about the affair. It was a big scandal. The receptionist and the land administrator were both kicked out of the church they belonged to."

"Publicly, the receptionist and her husband pretended nothing had happened and that this was a wonderful surprise. But everyone knew it was not likely to be the husband’s child."

- Binky103

The Story Doesn't Add Up

"I worked in HR for a small fast food franchise. It somehow managed to be wild all the time but the most drawn out was one of the store managers called out of work because she had carbon monoxide poisoning and was in the hospital."

"Of course, we wished her well and that was that for a while."

"Then she disappeared for a few days. She showed back up and said she was having some personal issues. Yadda yadda. Fine."

"Well, then she called and said she had gotten arrested because she was giving someone a ride and they had gotten pulled over and found meth on the other person. Hm."

"We just had a sneaking suspicion so we googled this woman. And she had been arrested multiple times for drug-related charges, including the time that she had just disappeared. Apparently, they were transporting a f**kton of meth to sell when they got busted the last time."

"Oh yeah, and the time she got carbon monoxide? It was because she was cooking meth."

- PrairieBunny91

It's My Job

"I wasn’t in HR, but I was in management, and you would be surprised at how many people actually think this way. These are the type of people who tend to think they’re setting boundaries with their workplace, which would be a good thing, if that’s what they were doing, but they think this extends to what their boss can do."

"You can’t tell me I’m fired."

"You can’t tell me I need to come in on time."

"You can’t tell me what my schedule is."

"You can’t write me up. The only reason you’re writing me up is because someone ratted me out."

"You can’t tell me what to do, I’m an adult."

"That may sound ridiculous but people really do think like this. They actually think they run the show."

"And this is why you should be wary of workplace advice, too. You have some good advice about how to maintain healthy boundaries at work, but if you’re seeing sh*t like, 'Never work for a company that has a disciplinary policy, you’re a girl boss, not a child, YOU’RE in charge not them,' then you should probably ignore that advice."

- Zestfullyclean87

Just Won't Quit

"Oh dear Lord, I am friends with an HR attorney for a large agency. So so many stories but possibly my favorite is one where they walked in and fired one woman for dereliction of duty soon as she showed up for her shift. Like she was horrible at her job and barely performed, she was probational and it was clearly not working out."

"She and her boss left for lunch and when they return, they discover the employee was back on campus and working as if nothing happened. Even greeted them at the gates."

"They were shocked and asked why she was there when she’s been terminated."

"The employee answered, 'I’m working. You can’t just fire me. This is my job,' and proceeds to turn around, ignore them, and keep working."

"They again repeated she’d been terminated and she needed to go."

"She said, 'I reject that. I don’t accept your termination.'"

"She literally had to almost be dragged out. It was quite entertaining."

- Similar_Candidate789

Collection of Affairs

"Two concurrent office dramas that resulted in a mass firing."

"First, my boss (Male, late-thirties), an ex-middle school teacher, hired and then knocked up an 18-year-old he used to teach. This is after he showed up to work a month before with a black eye, a gift from the baby daddy of the other teenage employee he was sleeping with. He was fired, divorced, and estranged from his own teenage children."

"Meanwhile, his office enemy, another department director, was fired for paying her own employee to be her child surrogate."

- Diabolicaldessert

Waste Management

"Not Human Resources but recruiter here. Found out a potential candidate was fired from his previous job because he threw his boss into a dumpster. The dude was 6'5, so yes, he picked his boss up over his head and threw him into the dumpster. Had to admit I'm envious."

- Chewie8291

Pick a Terrible Option

"We had a team building day and the CEO made it so his team won. The three married people (not to each other) had sex in the hot tub."

"There was also the VP that was having an affair with his secretary so he beat and stabbed his wife to death and threw the evidence in the company trash."

"Or you could go with the guy that was trying to bankrupt a division of the company so his equity company could buy it. When caught he threatened to kill everyone."

- diegojones4

An Expensive Relationship

"Not HR myself but at the organizations I have been with, HR itself has always been the dumpster fire drama group."

"Here is my best one."

"This was 2016. I am a Quality Manager and was hired by a little capital equity group to go in and try to help out struggling businesses that they buy. Great job."

"I'm working with a pump company, a big manufacturing group that makes pumps for city water suppliers, chlorine mixers, big machines to add chemicals and filter sewer lines, public pools... big stuff."

"On paper, the company should have been profitable, but they were losing crazy amounts of money. Sales were strong, and margins were high, but they couldn't make ends meet."

"We go in and start digging. We uncovered a LOT of s**t, borderline fraud, and just incompetence."

"One thing we found was the HR Manager and the Engineering Manager were going to trade shows, conferences, and trainings together every three weeks or so. We thought it was weird to take an HR lady to a trade show or a conference on pump design."

"We did some digging and found expense reports and airline receipts that didn't match up and hotels near conferences that were canceled or didn't exist. Basically, they were taking romantic getaways to have an affair and writing up close to $175k on company expense reports by claiming bogus business trips."

"Things like a romantic week in Maui, a 4-day weekend at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC, Skiing in Vermont, Cancun, so many trips to Miami we couldn't even keep them straight, Cottage in Park City, Utah, a dude ranch in New Mexico... it was insane. All with fake conferences nearby or conferences that they paid for but never even showed up and signed in."

"And this is the messed up part. As soon as it all came out, HR fired the engineering manager and was like, 'Oh yeah, that was all his idea,' and then kept the HR Manager on for another year or so."

"And this lady is now an HR Director for a major aerospace manufacturing company!" - Angelfire150

Can't Pick Just One

"My mother was in HR for about 35 years. She has some wild ones, including:"

"The guy who didn’t turn up to work for 2 or 3 days, when it was finally flagged for HR they went over to his house, convinced a family member to unlock it for them (a spare key), and found him face down on the floor of his bedroom having had a stroke (the dude survived)."

"Or the air-con engineer who got blown up while doing some work. His workmate was on the roof and put the wrong rod in the wrong hole, causing an explosion. Fortunately, an employee found him while he was literally on fire in the corridor and dragged him to some showers, saving his life."

"The creep who set up spycams in the women’s locker room, caught him because he was on his own video placing the camera in its hiding spot after they found the cameras, and footage was reviewed."

"There are so, so many more stories."

- Hughesybooze

Caught in the Act

"Security footage showed my manager rummaging through a computer he had no reason to be on. IT checked out the computer, and they found he deleted some security footage... so they recovered it."

"He was fired for having sex with one of the employees at work. She was fired, too."

- Nemo68v2

Consequences

"Guy didn’t come to work because his wife was chasing him with a knife and got arrested."

"She was chasing him with a knife because she found out the early morning of work was meeting up with another married coworker and banging in a relaxation room at work."

"It ended with two divorces, a fine, unemployment, and a new lock on the relaxation room that you had to ask HR for the key to use."

"She also ran over his work laptop and phone with the car after he refused to give her the password to check for more deets about the affair. Those couldn’t be repaired. The MacBook had tire tracks and was bent like a banana."

- GlamourousPickle

History Repeating Itself

"Not HR, tech/software company were tipped off by their bank and discovered a financial analyst was embezzling funds (progressively more monthly for 2 years totaling $500k) he was fired and sued. As part of the settlement the company got his fancy BMW, condo, and his girlfriend’s engagement ring."

"Within about three months, he landed a top government job, having lied in his cover letter and interview, claiming he still worked for the software company. His girlfriend posed as a reference via telephone."

"He got promptly fired and charged. He was sentenced to one year in prison and three years probation."

"In the time between being fired by the government and sentencing, he had landed another corporate job (who were aware of both criminal incidents)!"

- McStau

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