Ethical dilemmas are found in almost all areas of work. The common ethical issues in a particular workplace are listed in this article. Learn on to know more!

Ethical Dilemmas In Workplace

Each person has his/her own unique moral imperatives and personal ethics which compel him/her to act in a particular unique way. A dilemma arises when there is a conflict between these individual opinions. Therefore, an ethical dilemma may occur either within the person or between two or more people. For example, abortion, for some, is ethically wrong as it means depriving an unborn of its life while some consider it socially correct, especially in cases where the embryo is either detected with an incurable illness or the parents are otherwise unable to provide or care for it. A workplace is considered a breeding ground for ethical dilemmas between individuals as they all come from different socio-economic backgrounds and beliefs. There are cases of ethical dilemmas between an employer and an employee. Let us consider an example. During recruitment, it is the duty of an organization to explain its current state to the candidate. Mr. X loses his job after 1 year of employment because the company was acquired by another organization and he was not aware of it. This is an absolute breach of professional ethics. In the same way, this article deals with some common ethical issues at office and some tips to avoid these dilemmas. Scroll down and learn about them!
Ethical Issues In Workplace
Ethical Issues Of Employees
  • Making long phone calls at the company’s cost. Some organizations provide a refund for the phone bills of the employees, especially if the employee is dealing with a job which that involves using the telephone. Taking advantage of the fact and making personal phone calls is unethical.
  • Taking home the company’s assets. Some employees pocket tools and stationery such as staplers, pins, papers etc. to use them at home. This would have probably gone undetected by the cameras, but definitely doesn’t say much about their behaviour.
  • Taking excessive leaves beyond the allowed number is a breach of ethical code. It not only leads to losses for the company but also brings you a bad name. Sounds unethical, doesn’t it?
  • Improper usage of machineries. Some employees make use of office computer and printers for personal uses such as taking lengthy print outs, heavy downloading and even unnecessary net surfing etc. Personal work needs to be kept personal!
  • Taking advantage of the travel benefit. These are applicable to employees who have to constantly be on the move such as the marketing personnel. More than ethical codes, common sense can tell you not to use this for personal benefits!
  • Breach of rules and regulations of the company. Accepting terms and conditions are usually done as a part of joining procedure. Violating any of these rules may leads to undesirable issues between the company and you. Failing to maintain the privacy policy of the company is another sort of breaking of rules. Each company has its own privacy policy. An employee is entitled not to give out the company’s data and other particulars to another company/competitor. 
  • Offensive communications. Employees are not allowed to use offensive language in the office. But anything that goes on beyond company walls cannot be taken into consideration.
  • Working for multiple organizations. An employee cannot work in more than one place simultaneously – literally and ethically! If ever caught doing so, the person can be prosecuted and debarred from being a part of either organization in the future.
Ethical Issue Of Employers
  • Favoritism. This means that the employer may favor a particular person with regard to promotions and bonuses and evidently neglect other eligible employees. This conduct is considered highly unethical on the part of the employer.
  • Sexual harassment is not legal/ethical/moral whether in the workplace or out of it. Harassing an employee sexually, or refraining from taking action against those who are involved in such offences, is strictly forbidden.
  • Terminating an employee without any notice. In some cases, for reasons like budget management, companies opt for mass firing to reduce the number of employees. Such terminations should be done after prior indications and notice of at least a month or two, so that the person can find another job. Notice periods must be served to avoid confusion.
  • Unnecessary delay in paying employee’s provident fund and gratuity after leaving the organization is a breach of professional ethics. 
Ethical issues are a common sight in companies. Studies reveal that the overall commitment level of the employees has declined considerably since 2002. This article deals with the common breach of ethics in the workplaces.

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