I manage a retail location of a highly reputable, early childhood education franchise. I'm responsible for overseeing the quality of the program itself (ie, hiring, training and managing teachers and maintaining the quality standards dictated by corporation) as well as customer service, financial transactions and front-end accounting. It's a small business--3 full time employees, including myself--and a handful of part-time employees. My direct boss is the franchise owner, and is a bad manager to begin with. However, lately he has been displaying an increasing number of very unethical behaviors that are adversely impacting the staff and the business. Any number of these behaviors could be legally reportable-- he's neglected to comply with many common human resource standards and practices that I've brought to his attention, even when supplied with legal documentation from of our state's department of labor. But what's putting me over the edge is that he is not blatantly under-reporting his finances to the franchisor. I know this because, among other things, he pockets almost all cash transactions right in front of staff on a daily basis. On several occasions, he's asked me and at least 2 other employees not to enter cash payments into our financial processing system. This is a franchise-wide software system, and reports all revenue to the company. Now, I don't know if he thinks we're stupid or what, but at least one employee has seemed to take at face value my boss's argument that it somehow benefits "us"--ie, the staff--if he pays less in royalties to the company. Of course this is a complete load--it's not like that money goes for salary or bonuses or anything--but even if it did, I am NOT comfortable being a party to his actions. And it's getting worse--today a customer paid for a class with a combination of cash and an American Express gift check. As I was taking her payment, he came up to her and said that the next time she has an Amex gift check, she should make it out to him directly (as opposed to our franchise name) because it's "easier to deposit." The business has it's own checking account in the incorporated name of the business--NOT in the owner's name only. After she left, he asked me to process the gift check and delete the remainder of the account balance (the difference she paid in cash) out of the system. When I looked at him like he was crazy, he just did it himself.
I love my job and the kids and families who are our customers, and I feel a huge commitment to them, and I cannot my boss's actions any longer. Moreover, I'm afraid I'm now an accessory to his theft and somehow responsible or liable myself. I also love the company I work for, and I work hard to represent it properly. What should I do in a situation like this? I'm aware of whistleblowing protection laws, but they're not all that comforting when you're actually the one blowing the whistle....