“I was under time pressure to make this (bad) decision.”
We often hear this reason from employees during an investigation. They say they had no time to think things through, and they made a mistake.
However, in almost every case, an immediate decision was not necessary. They had an hour, or a day – sometimes several days, during which they could have made a quick call to the ethics office.
Remind your employees that the ethics office is a safe harbor. If we can’t give them the advice they need before their deadline, that missed opportunity will be on us, not on them. And if they follow our advice and it turns out to be wrong, they won’t be punished.
There’s (almost) always time to call the ethics office.