Dear Mr. Ethics,
I saw one of my project foremen using the company pick-up truck to haul cut fire wood. My foreman said he has a side firewood cutting and deliver business. We are allowed to use company trucks for personal use but not on side businesses. The side businesses contemplated by the company are industry related like home remodeling, painting, and handyman services. He is a great worker and his family sure can use the extra money. Am I under an ethical obligation to report this use to my bosses?
Regards, Conflicted Project Manager
You need to talk to the employee about finding another way to haul the firewood. The use of the truck is a clear violation of company policy and he needs to recognize same. If he should get into an accident while hauling firewood both he and the company can be in real trouble. It is also likely that in such a situation the employee will say, at some point, you knew about his side business. Also, this sounds like a lot of wear and tear on the vehicle that both of you are responsible for maintaining on behalf of the company. You need to speak to the employee and if he refuses to change his ways you need to act ethically and advise the company.
Regards, Mr. Ethics.