Contributed  by Dean H..

Dishonest co-workers can affect your job performance and the company as a whole.  Whether it’s chronic lateness, calling in sick to go shopping, stealing office supplies or  embezzlement, fraud and sabotage, these are all forms of dishonesty and can lead to an unhealthy work environment in the long run.

If you are dealing with a dishonest co-worker, the first thing to do is to look at your employee manual.  You want to be sure to protect yourself by following company policy.  If you do not have an employee manual your options include confronting your co-worker, addressing the issue with Human Resources or your boss.

Confronting the Co-Worker.  Confrontation is not easy for either party, but ignoring things and hoping they will go away never works.  If the co-worker is committing a lighter offense and their behavior is affecting your job, confrontation would be in order.  Practice what you are going to say over and over until you are able to say it calmly without being emotional.  Make sure what you say is not personal and is strictly work-related.  For example, “You are so inconsiderate to be late all the time.” is accusatory and might be taken personally by your co-worker.  On the other hand, saying something like, “It is hard for us to open the store with only two people.  When you are late, it puts the strain on both of us. Can you come in on time?” addresses the business issue that arises from the co-worker’s action.

Going to Human Resources.  If your co-worker is doing something more serious such as embezzlement, you are obligated to report it.  If your employer discovers that you knew about it but said nothing, you could face punishment.  Sabotage and other illegal activities hurt the entire company and might even leave you without a job.  Also, and possibly more importantly, condoning such activities compromises your integrity. When reporting a co-worker for a serious crime, confidentiality is key. You want to be sure to schedule a closed-door meeting, be sure to keep things business-like and include concrete examples of what you know.