Business Ethics

You are the new general accounts manager for Truck It, a fast-growing and successful furniture moving company based out of Bothell. Your boss, Amy, hired you to manage their Facebook messaging and general inquiries over social media, because she is not very tech savvy and doesn’t have or want a personal Facebook account.

While you handle the day to day client inquiries from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., Amy’s nephew (and one of the main employee movers/truck drivers), Andrew, handles all of the after hours Facebook messages and other social media inquiries.

When you came in for work this morning, you found a very angry set of Facebook messages in your inbox. It turned out that last night while Andrew was moving a client’s furniture, he parked the moving van in a marked handicapped parking spot for the client’s neighbor, Marcus, who has muscular dystrophy. When Marcus came out of his garage to ask Andrew to move the moving van so it wasn’t blocking his driveway, Andrew panicked and drove over and broke Marcus’s custom wheelchair loading ramp on the curb attached to his driveway.

Marcus then found your company’s social media account and asked for Andrew to reimburse the damages, which total around $1500. Marcus included in his message a security video of Andrew illegally parking in his marked handicap spot, running over and breaking the wheelchair ramp, and speeding away far above the speed limit. Andrew wrote back to Marcus, “You’re not my customer, so that’s not my concern, and you should have built your wheelchair ramp stronger so it wouldn’t be broken. You shouldn’t be so confrontational. Maybe if you were more polite, we’d be better at responding.” When you confronted Andrew about the incident, he responded, “Well, there was nowhere else to park, what was I supposed to do?”

Immediately following Andrew’s online messages to Marcus, your company’s Facebook inbox got flooded with angry messages from Marcus’s friends, demanding that you pay for the damages, including Marcus’s neighbor who initially hired your company. An hour ago, Marcus posted the security video on his Facebook page, and it has already been shared a dozen times. An hour ago, Marcus posted that he plans to write to the local news station by this evening to cover the story.

You know that your company’s insurance will probably cover the damages, but it will likely take a few weeks for the claim to process and get a payout. However, you worry about the long term consequences of allowing Andrew to continue to handle the social media accounts and drive on behalf of the company.

Write an email to Amy on how you think you should resolve the situation.

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