The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
You have worked at this organization for over 10 years and feel totally unappreciated. You have not received a promotion or pay raise in over 5 years, and you work long days and typically take work home with you to stay caught up. Your supervisor—who you despise because of the way he treats you and because he does not authorize any promotion or raise, whereas other departments do—climbs the staircase in front of your cubicle every day to get to his office. This particular supervisor has been with the organization for over 30 years and can essentially retire at any time, but he chooses to continue to work. You happen to notice that a portion of the staircase is rotting out and you are fearful of stepping on it yourself. You don’t particularly like your supervisor, so you don’t report it to your maintenance manager.
Last Monday, your supervisor fell down the flight of stairs and did substantial damage to his back, necessitating his retirement. You found out that you are being promoted to his position. Your promotion will provide you with a handsome pay increase and allow you to get your family to live in a nicer and safer neighborhood that is closer to work and has better schools. Have you violated any laws by your actions or inactions? Have you made any ethical violations? Explain.
•Do you believe you acted unethically by not reporting the rotting stairs? Why or why not?
•How would you handle the situation if you were the owner of the organization and found out that your employee failed to do anything or report the rotting stairs?
Do you feel your actions or inactions warrant any disciplinary action? Explain. As an individual, do you feel that the scenario described could be or should be defended with something like “I was owed this raise and promotion because of my ability and time with the organization”? Explain.