Can you dissociate by quitting if your employment contract isn't over?

This is just a hypothetical situation…

Suppose you got hired by a firm and have to sign an employment contract with a company where you cannot quit or be laid off during the time of the contract. Then after being there for a while you notice the firm doing some unethical but 100% legal activities andd you’re asked to partake in them. You remind the firm you’re bound by CFAI’s code and standards and cannot partake in such activities but it falls on deaf ears countless times.

So at this point, your only option to dissociate would be to quit which would be an unlawful breach of your employment contract.

What would be your options at this point?

Btw, if the firm is engaging in illegal activities, you might have a legitimate reason to breach the contract by quitting but what would be the most prudent course of action at this point?

The code and ethics would take precedence.

And if breaking the contract is against the law but staying means you failed to dissociate from legal but unethical activities?

Tough to say. If this were actually happening, I would be tempted to write CFAI for guidance on their policies, while keeping the details as anonymous as possible.

In theory, the code takes precedence (stricter rule of legal and the code) but if quitting is required and could result in a civil lawsuit, it’s a harder case.

Barring that, I would write a note to your supervisors explaining why these practices are unethical and that you need to do what you can to dissociate yourself from them. The point of the note is not to effect change (because your previous attempts have shown that that’s not likely), but to have documented proof that you were trying to dissociate yourself, if this ever becomes a public issue.

He’s stuck between a rock and a hard place and I don’t have the solution other than leaving. He will commit career suicide at his firm if he writes such a note. He can kiss away any promotions in the future.

Or he can quit and commit suicide that way.

Or he can just participate in unethical behavior and take his chances at being caught. Which is presumably what the structure is designed to do.

Good thing that this is a “purely hypothetical” case.

Ask to be transferred to another dept and/or location, assigned a different role maybe at the same location,if possible, where you will not be required to partake in unethical but completely legal activities.

Violation of CFAI ethics, i believe, is more common than violation of the law.

^ It takes gutz to do that if that results in a job with lower pay and responsibilities. Easier said than done.