Undercover in the Workplace

Before I became a private investigator, I worked for a government agency in Washington DC. I was a clerk at the time and just beginning my career out of college. I never knew that I wanted to be a private investigator, but my career path took a turn in an interesting way.

I had always been the quiet and observant type. People trusted me with their secrets—I’m not sure why. Because I was a clerk, I heard almost everything that went on in the office. My boss was powerful and he knew it. It wasn’t until I had been working at the agency for about two years that I started witnessing my boss taking advantage of his power.

Witnessing Discrimination

My boss would have me sit in on interviews for job applicants, and afterward, he would eliminate anyone from the pile with a disability or who was a minority. He blatantly discriminated against women in the workplace, as well; it was awful. I witnessed him promote white men and give them annual bonuses while he held women back from advancement. The few minorities who worked at our agency didn’t even stand a chance.

For a long time, I valued my job too much to say anything about my boss’ behavior. I also didn’t know how I would go about reporting my boss or if he could be held accountable for his actions. Eventually, after three years of working as a clerk, I got the nerve to contact an attorney for employment disputes.

Getting the Evidence

The attorney told me to get evidence of the discrimination so I could file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If I wanted to stay anonymous, I could file a whistleblower complaint. I felt like I was undercover in the workplace and working hard to obtain justice for all the men and women who had been wronged by my boss. It felt good!

Moving Forward with a Claim

It wasn’t hard to get the evidence I needed, because after years of mistreating workers, my boss felt that he could do no wrong. No one would stand up to him, so I recorded him and got witnesses to testify anonymously. Because I had so much evidence against him, the EEOC removed my boss from the agency for his behavior. Everyone was ecstatic!

After this experience, I felt liberated. I wanted to continue helping others by going undercover and getting behind the scenes whenever possible. My training as a private investigator began soon after I left my job as a clerk, and I’ve never looked back.