An accounting firm of about 200 employees in a mid-sized city has a robust business ethics program. The program includes the use of an outside vendor to handle “hotline” calls of alleged ethics violations. The firm received a notification from an anonymous source alleging one of their current employees is engaged in some questionable non-work activity. This employee also happens to be one of twelve partners who run the firm. The caller is vague in their description of any specific behavior, other than alleging the employee is part owner of a bar that promotes gambling and allows underage drinking. The caller notes that the bar has a website which contains “racy” photographs. The caller goes on to complain the employee gives a “company discount” to other employees who frequent his business, and the employee likes to promote the bar while at work.
What are the major elements of this dilemma that must be addressed, and how would you respond to the allegations made by the anonymous caller?