Ethic Class: read 4 cases and answer questions for each case

Here are four cases need to read and answer every questions for each case. Answer of each case has to be at least two pages. Thank you!
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Characters: Susan, Human Resources Manager in a large retail store, one year of
service
Mike, Loss Prevention/Security Manager in the same store, ten years of service
Todd, a salesman in the jewelry department, three years of service
One month has now passed since a diamond-studded watch was noticed missing from the
cases in the jewelry department of this retail store. External theft has already been ruled
out, and Mike has been studying the videotapes made by closed-circuit TV that day.
Mike comes into Susan’s office to report his findings from the investigation of the
missing watch. He tells her his department has studied the tapes and cannot determine
who stole the watch but that only one employee, Todd, handled the watch that day.
Although Mike knows that failing a lie-detector test cannot be used to dismiss Todd, he
points out that Todd was the only one to fail the test when asked if he stole the watch.
Since Mike cannot close this investigation without a suspect, he proposes that Susan look
through Todd’s employment file to determine if there are any alternative reasons for
firing this employee.
After diligent examination of Todd’s file, Susan notices that his application and sworn
bonding form do not exactly reflect the same prior information such as previous
employment. Under the company’s rules, this may be grounds for termination; however,
Susan never would have noticed it had it not been for Mike’s zeal to pin the theft on
Todd.
Susan also recognizes that Mike’s performance is based on his ability to catch internal
thieves. Susan does not think it is fair to let Todd continue working if he did steal the
watch; however, she feels that he is also innocent until proven guilty despite the
circumstantial evidence.
1.
If an employer has very strong circumstantial evidence that an employee is guilty
of theft but the evidence is not conclusive, is it ethical to terminate the employee
on the basis of factors that were not themselves the real reason for the
termination?
Whistleblowing & the Environment:
The Case of Avco Environmental
Chantale Leroux works as a clerk for Avco Environmental Services, a small toxicwaste disposal company.
The company has a contract to dispose of medical waste from a local hospital.
During the course of her work, Chantale comes across documents that suggest
that Avco has actually been disposing of some of this medical waste in a local
municipal landfill. Chantale is shocked. She knows this practice is illegal. And
even though only a small portion of the medical waste that Avco handles is being
disposed of this way, any amount at all seems a worrisome threat to public
health.
Chantale gathers together the appropriate documents and takes them to her
immediate superior, Dave Lamb. Dave says, “Look, I don’t think that sort of thing
is your concern, or mine. We’re in charge of record-keeping, not making
decisions about where this stuff gets dumped. I suggest you drop it.”
The next day, Chantale decides to go one step further, and talk to Angela van
Wilgenburg, the company’s Operations Manager. Angela is clearly irritated.
Angela says, “This isn’t your concern. Look, these are the sorts of cost-cutting
moves that let a little company like ours compete with our giant competitors.
Besides, everyone knows that the regulations in this area are overly cautious.
There’s no real danger to anyone from the tiny amount of medical waste that
‘slips’ into the municipal dump. I consider this matter closed.”
Chantale considers her situation. The message from her superiors was loud and
clear. She strongly suspects that making further noises about this issue could
jeopardize her job. Further, she generally has faith in the company’s
management. They’ve always seemed like honest, trustworthy people. But she
was troubled by this apparent disregard for public safety. On the other hand, she
asks herself whether maybe Angela was right in arguing that the danger was
minimal. Chantale looks up the phone number of an old friend who worked for
the local newspaper.
Questions for Discussion:
What should Chantale do?
What are the reasonable limits on loyalty to one’s employer?
Would it make a difference if Chantale had a position of greater authority?
Would it make a difference if Chantale had scientific expertise?
Question 1
Joe Employee was a twenty-year employee. Frank Employee was an eighteen-year
employee. Both have no prior discipline. One day, Joe went into Frank’s office and
began to tease Frank about his “stock markets” trades. It seems that Frank would
frequently brag to his fellow employees about how well he was doing investing in the
stock market and was getting under Joe’s skin. Joe began sarcastically asking Frank
“how much money he made this week” and “I’ll bet you’ll be retiring on your yacht
soon” and “what about lending me some money since you make so much”. While Joe
was teasing Frank, other co-workers who were in Frank’s office began to laugh. Then
Joe left and walked into the coffee room.
A couple of minutes later, after co-workers had left Frank’s office, Frank walked into the
coffee room. Soon shouting and banging could be heard coming from the coffee room.
Two co-workers rushed to the door and found both Joe and Frank on the floor fighting.
Each was directed to report to the Manager and inform him about what took place.
According to Joe:
After Joe left Frank’s office, he went into the coffee room to take a break. Frank came in
and approached him in an angry manner. He was angry because Joe was ridiculing him
in front of the other employees. He approached Joe and put up his hands as if to strike
Joe. It was because of Frank’s angry approach that they began to fight. Joe was only
acting in self-defense.
According to Frank:
After the co-workers left, he went into the coffee room to check on Joe because he was
concerned about the way he was acting. He considered Joe a friend and couldn’t
understand why he would tease him in the way he did. When he went into the coffee
room, Joe was still agitated and continued to taunt Frank. Joe approached Frank first and
raised his hands as if to strike Frank. Frank says that he was acting in self-defense.
The Manager then asked the two co-workers what they saw and they only saw both of
them on the floor. They did not see what caused the confrontation.
How would you approach this situation as a manager? Should the employees be
disciplined?
The Whistleblower
This case involves whistleblowing on a company’s unethical
overseas employment practices.
You are a strategic planner for a multinational
organization, which owns and manages tea plantations in a
developing country. The organization’s advertising
emphasizes the organization’s partnership with the
developing world. In recent weeks, the organization has
been the subject of a series of critical articles in a
national paper. The articles have contained detailed data
about the pay and conditions on the plantations and have
described those pay and conditions as exploitative. The
newspaper has also commented unfavorably on the
arrangements which the organization has made with the
country’s government for the repatriation of profits.
The information in the articles has been accurate, and it
is evident that a member of the organization has been
supplying the information, although the organization has a
rule that a member of staff ‘must not disclose commercial
information to unauthorized persons’ and another one which
says that ‘all contacts with the press must be handed by
the properly authorized officers.’
At a social function, a member of your department
inadvertently
makes it plain that it is she who has been supplying the
information to the newspaper. She immediately recognizes
what she has done and says that you ‘must ignore what I’ve
said or I’ll be sacked’.
Discussion points
• What should you do?
• What view do you take of people who behave as the
colleague
has done, that is, who ‘blew the whistle’ on the
organization?
What general principles support your view?

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