What is an employee’s liability regarding wrongful behavior by their employer?

UPDATED: Jun 18, 2014

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What is an employee’s liability regarding wrongful behavior by their employer?

I am a marketing,website, SEO subcontractor/vendor for a very small company to market their services to out of state corporate companies. I have knowledge that on the side, with smaller, local companies the president is involved with forging documents. I have nothing to do with marketing to these companies. This is word of mouth. He owns multiple small companies, so this is with one of his other small companies. I work out of my home. I have access to his “cloud” documents (i.e. DropBox). So I can see what he’s doing. Am I in any way liable for knowing about this and still doing work for him? Someone told me that if I know about it and keep working with him, it is conspiracy.

Asked on June 18, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is not conspiracy (or any other criminal act: such as "aiding and abetting") to work with or for someone who is engaging in crimes. It is potentially a criminal act to, with knowledge of another person's criminal activities, aid or support that person in his/her criminality. You say you have nothing to do with marketing to the companies in question; if you are not involved in his criminal wrongdoing, you should be ok, but if you are doing anything to enable or make it possible (such as maintaining computer systems you *know* he is using to commit crimes), then you may be liable. If you think that what you are doing even tangentially supports his wrongdoing, you may wish to stop working with/for him.

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