This case is both very unethical and disturbing to evaluate. The R&S Electronics Service Company hired a new head of the Payroll Department named Jane; she was very excited for this opportunity. Eddie, the General Manager communicated to Jane the expectations of her new position and the importance of not discussing employees pay rate or commission earned with other employees, this action would cause immediate termination. The previous head of payroll was presumably fired for not follow that directive. Jane understands what is expected of her and takes the offered employment.
After working a few months with the company, Jane begins to observe that Greg makes much more In commission than the other employees and wondered why. However; she did recall that there were several occasions where she has overheard Brad, the business owner, complimenting him on his performance. Even though she the thought favoritism crossed her mind at times, she Just assumed he must be an excellent worker. Jane's immediate supervisor Eddie brought the service tickets to her to assign to the technicians, which is a normal protocol. Jane knows they are put in a stack and as a technician finishes a job, they take the next available ticket.
Jane completed that task of putting the service tickets in the appropriate places and then remembered she needed to inform Eddie that she would late the next morning due to an appointment. She returns to Eddie's office to let him know and it was then that she witnesses the nagging fear she had, there was Eddie giving Greg a second stack of work tickets which are all quick, highly compensated Jobs. Favoritism clearly being shown, Greg Is Eddie's brother and Eddie Is making It possible for him to make more than his fellow workers by glvlng him the easiest, highest paid Jobs.
Now to add Insult to Injury Eddie tells Jane If she tells anyone what she has seen, she will be fired. So what is she supposed to do? There are various stakeholders in this case. First there is Jane who is employed by the company in a nice job and it is her first Job out of college. She has on been employed for a couple of months and to be fired would have such a negative impact to her resume. Next there is the General Manager, Eddie her immediate boss and esponsible for making sure the company runs smoothly, safely, and fairly. If the truth is revealed he would definitely lose his Job and his means of taking care of his family.
Greg, Eddie's brother, is also a stakeholder. His interests include employment and an added bonus by his brother's unethical practices. Then there is Brad who owns the business. If Jane Is fired he will need to replace her; however, If the brothers are discovered, he will need to replace both of them. He also has the business to think of Including their reputation. If the word gets out concerning his nethical practice, the company's reputation could be damaged, people may even business. The other technicians and the customers are also stakeholders who need to be examined in this case.
The other technicians are being by not being given the same opportunity to get the easier, higher paid tickets and the customers must be considered because they may be missing out on the other technicians' abilities and skills. There are many preventive measures and laws put in place to govern business ethics. It includes the ones such as: the EEOC, Employment At-will Doctrine, he Civil Rights Act, affirmative action policies, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The ones that do not fit the case are the Civil Rights Act because no discrimination due to race, color, national origin, religious preference or sex has taken place; affirmative action policies because no information is given to lead to the belief that anyone was discriminated against or that anyone was promoted or hired to keep discrimination from happening; the Americans with Disabilities Act because no information is given to lead to the belief that there is a disabled party involved; the Age Discrimination Act because no one is said to be over 40; the Occupational Safety and Health Act because there were no stated safety or health concerns in the scenario's workplace; and the Family and Medical Leave Act because there were no stated medical or family concerns that would result in absences. The only law that may come close to this case is the EEOC and the Employment At-will Act. Jane may very well be retaliated against because of her nowledge.
Her knowledge of the unethical behavior may lose her Job, simply because she knows of the unethical behavior of the brothers. Even though the practice was unethical, the fact that the brothers have not violated any written company policy it could use as a defense Jane could reveal her finding and turn them in and to save her or resign if she is worried or fearful of the outcome.
If the company has a no retaliation policy, Jane Job could be secure after turning the brothers in; however, if there is not a written policy Eddie could simply let her go. If the decision maker applied the categorical imperative to this case, the result would be a fairer outcome for the technicians. In the categorical imperative, an act is ethical only if it remains ethical if it were to become a universal norm. In this case, the separation of technical tickets for Greg is the issue that may be deemed unethical.
If every technician were allowed to stack their own tickets, it may make the system more equitable for each technician. If the decision maker were to use the utilitarian theory in this case, the result would vary depending on who the decision aker is. If it is Eddie, it would be considered an appropriate act and the only change would be that Jane would lose her Job. If the decision maker were Brad, it could mean the brothers' Jobs but not necessarily. There is the potential that the other technicians could learn of the tickets being stacked and become angry, therefore causing trouble, but without the knowledge, the system has been working fine. The act would be considered ethical as long as there was no knowledge of it.
If the decision maker were to use the rights theory, it would depend again on what ecision is being made and by whom. If it Jane making a decision on whether or not to tell Brad what is happening, it would be considered unethical as telling would more than likely impede upon the brothers' rights to pursue happiness and allowing others right to prosper to be impaired. If Jane were to tell, Brad would not be considered either ethical or unethical as he is the source of the prosperity. He does not need to do anything. The others are free to come or go as they please due to the employment at will doctrine. He does need to address the issue and not allow t to continue to happen without the knowledge becoming global.
Under the rights philosophy, all he has to ethically give his employees is the right to choose whether or not to remain employed. It must be an informed consent. If the decision maker applied the Justice theory in this case, the result would be that Jane would keep her job but the brothers would be released from employment. Under the Justice theory, "the end does not Justify the means if someone has been treated unfairly or if an injustice has occurred," (Kaplan E-Guide, 2013, pg 7). Greg would be considered nethical in taking the work tickets because it would mean the other technicians would be unfairly given Jobs with less pay and more work time. Eddie would be considered unethical because he would be causing this injustice for the other technicians.
Brad, if he were to allow the deception to continue, would be unethical in his behavior because it would be unfair to the other technicians. A final recommendation to this corporation regarding this case would be to terminate the employment of both Eddie and Greg. Eddie is being incredibly unethical in how he is handling being his brother's boss. He is playing favorites in allowing the issue to continue. He could have stopped it and made his brother act in accordance with the rest of the team at any time, but he continued with his unjust behavior and should be punished for it. Greg should be terminated because he is allowing the unethical situation to continue.
He could have chosen to do the right thing and act in accordance with company policy, but instead he basically chose to steal from his coworkers by choosing to continue with his and his brother's actions. When looking at the Justice theory it is clear that something should be done. The employment at-will doctrine makes it so that Jane will be insecure in her employment whether or not she decides to go to upper management with her knowledge. This creates an unsafe working condition for her. She may be overly anxious, worried, or even afraid. A final recommendation would be to discontinue the employment of both brothers and to begin to look more closely at what is happening with the tickets on a random basis to keep this issue from happening again.