I think that doing the right thing regardless of how you feel about the situation is important. Would you have done the same even if you were already considering leaving the company?
I have been looking for a different job because I really can't seem to come to an agreement with my boss. I am very equal with everyone while she can sometimes be all about her status in the company. My coworkers recently came to me when they noticed their checks were missing unpaid time. So I called HR once I gathered all the information. I know it wasn't really my battle but I just felt it was the right thin to do.
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For one thing, you are not in agreement with your boss, so between you and the company, your best option is to leave. Not worth working for some tyrant or pseudo-leader.
But helping your co-worker with their checks is something you should not have gotten into. Reason being, it was not something that happened to you. All you should have done was advise them on what the protocols are in getting their checks corrected, but leave it up to them. They are adults and having you "fight" for them is wrong. Teach them how to be leaders. If not, it's their loss and that is how THEY want their life to be. Don't blame yourself or feel guilty not helping because you need to fix things that are in your court, not someone else's like in this case.
I agree that my motives may be at question, but I pondered the situation for 3 days and almost didn't make the call until my coworker told me she was afraid and because of it she was going to ignore it. Eventually in time I would have been asked if I knew about the situation and why I did nothing knowing the policies we have to up hold. I reached out to other Store managers to see how to handle it and they advise me to make the call because of its severity. We are not allowed to edit times to unpaid unless the person forgot to clock out and wasn't working. In both their cases, they worked through their times. Knowing that she could retaliate I made the call, either way I would rather be thrown under the bus than my coworkers who are the bread winners of their families.
It can be tempting to take up the cause of people who you see as having been "wronged" in your workplace, however, I'd urge some caution in the decision to get involved. It does seem like the right thing to have those checks corrected, but it is also not clear that it was the fault of your boss, or that you should have been the one to fight for them. Why could the employees not go to HR themselves for what seems like a simple paycheck error? It's important to use the appropriate channels for paycheck issues, etc -- they're set up for a reason.
You should also examine your motivation for feeling something is "the right thing", and make sure you're not exposing yourself to needless risk of retribution from your boss, HR, etc. Were you fighting the battle because you wanted to get back at your company, or your boss? Yes, you want to do the "right thing", but you also want to make sure that the right thing is truly right, and not just something you are trying to justify by saying it's right.