Advice: "I Googled my coworker and found something really bad. Should I tell HR?"

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Dear Quota Team,

I am in sales ops for a large manufacturing company. I’ve been at this company for close to five years and was a sales rep before making the switch into the operations side. 

We have hundreds of sales reps, but only about forty of them work in our main company office, where I work. A few months ago, we had a new rep start, and I’ve interacted with him a few times. 

One day, after he and I talked about something work related, I looked up his name online. I was shocked when I came across an article about him from 2014 that showed he was arrested for aggravated driving while intoxicated and sentenced to prison. Apparently, he got drunk and crashed into somebody and injured two people very seriously. 

Now I feel guilty knowing this information and keeping it to myself. Should I tell management about what I found so they know who they’re employing, or should I stay out of it. I am not looking to make any trouble, but my opinion of him completely changed after finding out what he did. Thanks in advance. 


Shocked in the United States 


Dear Shocked,

There’s really no reason for you to get involved. You’re not the company’s human resources director, and you haven’t been tasked with running background checks. You learned this information because you decided to snoop, but it really doesn’t concern you.

Most likely, the company already knows about what happened, unless they don’t do any sort of background checks at all. But, more importantly, this person has (presumably) served his time, and as far as you know, is trying to get his life back on track. 

Your best bet is to stop looking for trouble and focus on what you were hired to do. Good luck.

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