The Secret Service prostitution scandal in Columbia is interesting. My understanding is that prostitution is legal in the particular area where this occurred. So in effect we have a scandal here about engaging in a legal activity. Things that would convert this to an actual scandal in my mind:
- The officers were on duty, or were on call in some way that there are rules about what they can be doing which they violated (in which case I would be more worried about the drinking)
- The call girls were hired with taxpayer money (it is only legal to give taxpayer money to corporate whores like Solyndra, not Columbian whores). Bobby Patrino might have survived the adultery scandal if he hadn't paid her with his employer's money.
The most likely issue is one of representation. "You can do whatever you want on your own time, but not when you are representing us." As in most scandals, the biggest crime will turn out to be bringing negative attention to one's employer. With which I can sympathize. If these bozos brought negative attention to me when they were travelling on business representing me, I'd fire them in a second.
Which gets me thinking that I could easily get sued for doing so. I am pretty sure I don't have a rule in the employee manual that says you can be fired after getting in the papers for haggling with prostitutes. Even though common sense says that by embarrassing the company they are putting their jobs at risk, common sense does not rule the legal world of employer law. In my experience, the whole legal process is tilted against the employer, with the presumption being that the employer is a rapacious asshole firing people for no reason unless proven otherwise (you are saying your employees are "at will?" I laugh at your naivete). The employee would just say that there was no rule against getting negative publicity for hiring prostitutes on a business trip and that their activity was entirely legal where it occurred.
Since it is entirely unlikely I will add a morality clause to our employee manual, I think I will add something about actions that bring harm or disrepute to the company.