How to Handle an Unethical Boss With Bogus Expenses

power poseWith the spirit of last week’s post about horrible bosses pegged to the sequel, let’s continue the conversation, okay?

According to a piece in today’s New York Post, a reader’s concerned about her boss’s excessive usage with a company-issued credit card. In essence, she takes her husband out to dinner and expenses the meals as if he’s a client. And you guessed it — she takes taxis to get her hair done and expenses cab fares as well. Apparently she convinced herself the hair appointment is a work-related “meeting.”

So, what should the reader do since she or he has to file the expense report? Here’s the kicker: there’s a fine line since the reader doesn’t want to necessarily expose the boss but the reader certainly doesn’t want to participate in the fraudulent behavior either.

Gregory Giangrande, HR executive in the media industry, writes in his column:

“Say to your boss that what she chooses to claim on her expense reports is her business — but that asking you to lie for her is not only unethical, it puts your job at risk. Also tell her that you won’t do it, and as a good assistant you are looking out for her and recommend that she stop doing it, too.”

If she objects, it’s going to be unlikely that she’ll fire the assistant. Can she claim to HR the firing is necessary because her assistant doesn’t file bogus expense reports? Ultimately this reader should start looking for a new job internally and externally. In the interim, the best solution is to refuse to file false expenses on her behalf.