Do You Consider Yourself an Ethical Employee?
Blowing the Whistle on Workplace Misconduct

Is it Ethical to Hire Someone Because of a Personal Realtionship?

Dealing with the Hiring of a Politicians’ Son

A reader writes in the following question: “I work for a small non-profit museum; we are just six weeks post start up.  I have been employed from the start through the renovation of the building and am in the number two position under the director and top in seniority.  She hired the son of a local politician (who is largely incompetent).  This person is supposed to be assisting me. He is late constantly, has been found sleeping, and has the personality of a doorknob. Last week he verbally blew up on me, unprovoked, in front of four customers, the director herself, a guest VIP, and the other two staff over a supposed problem that I actually had nothing to do with.  The director let him off scot free. He has now learned that he can get away with about anything. This has caused me considerable distress as I have worked in competitive, results oriented corporate America for 32 years.   HELP !     Is there an article on your blog somewhere that may be of use to me ?     Thanks Dave B

Dave B:

Your employer is setting a tone of irresponsibility by ignoring the failings of the son of a local politician. I can only assume political pressure was brought to bear on her decision to hire him and, perhaps, promises of future preferably treatment for her and the business. This is unethical behavior. It is dishonest, she is no longer trustworthy, and she is treating you and the others affected by the culprits' behavior unfairly. In the short run there is probably little you can do. However, I recommend you keep a carful log or journal of every event that takes place where this troublesome employee acts or says something inappropriate, such as the examples you site. Include the dates, who you spoke to about it, if anyone, and their response to you. GIVE A COPY OF YOUR LOG TO A TRUSTED ADVISOR! This will protect you if, for some reason, you are blamed for any failing cause by the employee. It also memorializes the various actions and events in case you are unfairly treated, discriminated against, demoted or fired.

Good luck!

Ethics Sage

Blog Answer Posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on August 13, 2011