In yesterday’s The Ethicist, Randy Cohen tackled this “stumper” of a question:
I hire freelance artists for a national magazine facing tough financial times. Must I tell them that they might be paid late or perhaps not at all? If I do, they might decline the job, and we cannot produce the magazine. If I don’t, I burn a lot of bridges. My superiors assured me that they will start paying contributors, but they said that for months with no results.
Click the jump to see what Cohen said.
“You may not tell a lie to your freelancers, even a lie of omission, even for the good of the magazine.”
The rest of the answer, which is pretty strongly worded, is here.