Colleague X broke a rule. Colleague X told me via chat that he broke the rule after I directly instructed him not to do so. I report Colleague X to the manager. I saved proof of the messages just in case. This rule Colleague X broke is relatively serious in our organization.
I feel like I did the right thing, but now I fear retaliation. Since I'm the only person that knows Colleague X broke the rule, if he's confronted, he's going to know I was the one that squealed. I fear that he'll simply make up stories and lies as a form of retaliation.
Can I do anything to protect myself or am I basically screwed if this person decides to make wild accusations? What should I have done differently?
( 6 months ago )
Short Answer: Make sure you haven't done anything that could be used against you, and you have nothing to worry about. But inform your manager of your concerns and why.
With your colleague, you had proof via their message to you that they had broken a rule. This is what you kept for your manager (did you show this to them?) as the evidence. If there is no reliableevidence of any wrongdoing by you, then management will likely see your colleagues accusations as blowing smoke.
To answer the question "was it the right thing", clearly that is irrelevant at this point, however if there is something that may cause damage to the company either financially or by reputation, then you did indeed have an obligation to report it. The fact that you were the only one who knew about it really doesn't come into as you have already believed it was serious enough to warrant reporting.
The only thing I would suggest is to talk directly to your manager about your fear of retribution from your colleague given that you were the only one who knew about your colleague's actions.