Fraud and Unethical Behavior in the Workplace

It is very sad yet quite true that employees in just about any kind of business will from time to time come across team members who are displaying unethical behavior. That behavior could span a wide variety of activities. Some of the most common types of unethical behaviors include things like copying software so that they can use it at home, falsifying the amount of time they have worked, or even falsifying business records and or embezzling money from the company. Though there might be a difference between behavior that is considered to be unethical and behavior that is considered to be illegal, it is actually up to the business itself to determine how it will deal with such activities… whether or no they are illegal.

Recouping Loss

Let’s say that you have a stock broker who you feel has mismanaged your investment by making risky or unorthodox or maybe even illegal investments. You might decide to get the services of a loss recovery team to try to recoup those losses. Will you be able to recover your losses that resulted from their unethical and possibly fraudulent behavior? This is determined on a case by case basis, but it never hurts to look into it. If it seems like you have a good case, then it might even progress to litigation.


Did you know that unethical practices involving doctors usually begin while they are still in medical school? This is because they see their teachers doing it and get the idea that this type of behavior is ok. This is based on a study that was published in the British Medical Journal. That particular study found that almost half of the medical students participating in the study felt pressured to act in unethical ways while they were in training and nearly 2/3 of them were regular witnesses to their instructors acting in unethical ways.

What can you do about this?

If you feel that a doctor has behaved unethically, you can report him to the State Board of Medicine or its like in your state. All doctors have to be licensed by the state they practice in and are governed by some sort of medical board. Those medical boards are the ones that have to investigate allegations like this.

Significant Costs and Risks of Unethical Behavior

The costs and risks that are associated with unethical behavior can be astronomical in terms of dollars, but they are also incredibly high in other costs and risks that are nonquantified. They include things like:

  • Doing business can be increasingly risky and there is a severe possibility of damage to the brand and image of the company and the possibility of bankruptcy.
  • Productivity is decreased.
  • An increase in internal conflict as well as misconduct.
  • A decrease in the performance levels of the employees.
  • An increase in the turnover rate for employees and employee recruitment becoming more challenging.
  • A decrease in the success of recruiting and retaining employees.
  • An increase in absenteeism.
  • A decrease in the probability that unethical behavior and misconduct of others will be reported.
  • An increase in such dysfunctional behaviors as:
  • Misrepresenting results
  • Lowering goals
  • Credit not being given to others
  • Overpromising and under delivering
  • Withholding information
  • Scapegoating
  • Not paying attention to detail

The best time to avoid these risks and costs of this type of behavior is before it happens, not after. One way for you to do that is for every individual to commit to creating an environment in which ethics are honored and recognized, demonstrated and rewarded in everything that is done by everyone involved on a daily basis.

Beyond that, the consequences of unethical behavior need to be clearly stated. This is so that both the person who is doing the unethical and or fraudulent activity and the person who is a witness to it will know exactly how that behavior will be dealt with. This way, there will never be a time when the person witnessing the activity will not report the unethical or fraudulent behavior because they are afraid that they will be penalized instead of the person committing the unwanted behavior.

Written By
Sydney White is a Texas-born stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her family, bargain hunting and, of course, writing. She is currently the editor-in-chief of

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