Ethics In Work place
Description of the problem
The situation that Joelle is facing is a challenge faced by many employees who many a times have to compromise with misconducts of their bosses just because they are given all manner of threats should they report the matter. They also risk loosing their jobs which to many, it is their only source of income. They may also use persuasive means that include bribing them, promotions and salary increase to convince them not to do so. Some companies may also have secret ways of minimizing their production cost which involves risks; they convince their employees that if they don’t do that, they will incur high costs subsequently reducing their salaries.
The reason they do this is because they are in position to influence and manipulate their juniors using whichever means. It is however important to note that, something that has been established through crooked means, even if it saves some resources, will never prosper up to the end. A time will come when the whole truth will be known and the loss in such a case is greater than what was meant to be saved.
The stake holders in this case include;
The community which draws water from the lake for their household consumption. One discouraging fact is that they are completely ignorant of the fact that the water they use is harmful to their health. Many could therefore be facing some health problems yet they don’t know the exact cause. Continuous intake of this water may make them develop serious health problems like cancer which are incurable hence causing deaths.
The employees of this company may also face charges by the court of law, especially if they are aware of the practice. Employees who compromise the malpractices of the company are considered guilty of not reporting the matter to the concerned authority (Spross, 2003). In this case, if Joelle does not report the matter sooner than it is discovered is at risk of facing the law. The one’s transporting the barrels to the dump site is at higher risk. Them being ignorant of the contents in the barrels which are hazardous and more so leaking, risk their health and life. The chemicals some which may be acidic, may burn their skins.
The children who play around the site may try to open through the mess with the hope of finding toys to play with. They may get hold of these poisonous chemicals which may result in skin complications. They may also curiously consume them, leading to diarrhea and death.
The environment, when this chemicals decompose, they will not be manure to the soil but poison. These chemicals will be washed by running water to the farms which will consequently in a low crop yield. This will also make the society to face food shortage in the near future due to unproductive land.
Ethical principles applicable in Joelle’s case
In Jollies case, there are a number of principles that she needs to apply;
The egoism principle
First and foremost is that her conscience is disturbed when she realizes what the company is doing. It will not be easy for her to continue working under this management considering how much harm they are causing to the society. The best thing that is required of her is to report the matter. She would rather loose her position in the company rather than keeping quiet with the matter that is going to cost the wellbeing of the society.
The principle of rights
The society has a right to stay in a clean and conducive environment (Keith, 2006). They are being denied this right by a company that only cares a bout saving on their expenditure. This is a selfish act than Joelle cannot afford to conform to; she is holding the health of the community in her hands. She therefore needs to arise and act.
The principle of virtues
As a responsible citizen, Joelle should act above her boss’s threats and report the matter. It’s better for her to disappoint a single company rather than watch the whole community suffer. More ever she has no reason to fear the boss; she is acting out of good faith to do what is required of her.
Joelle in her capacity as an employee, who is currently aware of what is happening, may choose to be loyal to his boss by not reporting. This may earn her a promotion and also considering the fact that the company is offering her a scholarship, she may not want to loose it. She may also decide to inform the workers who transport the barrels to the damp site on how harmful he contents may be to their skin, this will however be meant for them to take necessary precautions so that they don’t spill on them, and forget about the rest of the society.
She may personally talk to the boss with the aim of making him aware of the risks that his company is likely to face if the secret reported by somebody else. Joelle can also talk to her mother who is an editor at the city newspaper so that through the paper the public will be made aware of the damp in the river. She may also decide to remain silent on the matter and quit the job, so as not to be part of the mess. Finally she can report the matter to the area city council clearly mentioning that it is a secret the company has always kept. In this way the matter will be handled with care and Joelle will be protected from any consequences that may a rise due to her being disloyal to the company.
The best solution.
The best solution for Joelle is to report the matter to the area city council. In as much as other solutions seem good, there are penalties she may face. If she decides to talk to the boss, the probability is that he will not listen to her. He may not be ignorant of what he is causing to the society, he simply does not care and convincing him otherwise may prove unproductive. Telling the workers carrying the barrels to take precaution and ignoring the plight of the innocent community, will show lack of responsibility on her part. If she quits the job without revealing a thing, will also make her compromise in future if she incurs a similar situation. I will advise her to report the matter, and be free from any regret that may come by her desire to please the company and maintain the temporal benefits.
Keith, G, (2006), Ethics In Work place, US, Cengage learning.
Spross, D, B, (2003), Instant Attorney’s Employees Code of Conduct,
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