Dear Mr. Ethics,
We are involved in one of those government projects that provide us with a monetary reimbursement for every disadvantaged business we hire. We are now being threatened with project termination because we did something good. The owner of one of disadvantaged businesses died suddenly. The heirs were going to shut down the company so we stepped in to keep the employees working by paying them directly. We thought that was the ethical thing to do. The government says we assumed control of the company to keep that reimbursement going. I thought there were supposed to get good karma for acting ethically.
Regards, Ethically Punished
There is no guarantee you will be rewarded for acting ethically. That also should not be the reason you act ethically. Also, acting ethically is perceived differently by different parties. The employees see your actions as ethical but the government wanted to see you advise it of what was occurring. By not disclosing your actions the government views your action as unethical. Think in the broadest terms possible when faced with an ethical situation. I think I am a broken record because of my advocacy of advising a project owner of everything.