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Ethical Dilemma Argumentative

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Ethics as defined by dictionary.com is the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc… Ethical dilemmas in the workplace are nothing new. Situations arise daily for most of us at not only our places of business, but in our personal lives as well. The choice that is made by a person in that situation can affect others, and have either in a positive or negative outcome. The author of this paper has as we all have, been faced with challenges at work, but this situation that will be discussed was the worst. The decision that the author made was based on her moral and ethical values and to hopefully obtain the best outcome possible for all involved. Following will be a brief synopsis of the situation that the author was faced with and the people that were involved as well as the possible solutions to the address the situation and the outcome.

The job involves testing employees of the San Diego Unified School Districts Transportation Department for their random weekly D.O.T drug tests. I, the collector was provided with a list of random names of employee’s who held safety sensitive positions and on scheduled day’s would show up unannounced to do the testing. Sometimes a situation would arise where there would be a need for a post-accident or reasonable suspicion test and for that I would be on call. The testing of these employees was regulated by the Departments of Transportation and routine audits of the testing were done by the California Highway Patrol. The rules were very strict regarding the testing and collection procedures.

My primary goal, as always, was to provide the highest level of service while maintaining the integrity of all testing and collection performed. There were several people at the Transportation Department that were involved in the process. The most closely worked with was Lowell Jarman, he as in charge of the 500 school bus drivers and it was his job to schedule the dates and times that the dries were to be tested. Working with Lowell to coordinate the schedules was several safety and training supervisors and dispatchers. During the course of time that I had done collections I was faced with challenges, some from the driers and some from management. I would always be able to find a reasonable solution to resolve the issue.

Late spring of 2009 I received a call for one of the safety and training supervisors requesting that I arrive to collect a reasonable suspicion test on one of their drivers. This occurred in the middle of the afternoon so the driver was scheduled to go on another route later that day. Upon arriving I asked the safety and training supervisor were the drier was, he had no idea. I was very concerned; the driver should have remained with his supervisor at all times. At that point it should have been reported that the driver left the building and I was no longer needed to do the test. Unfortunately, the decision was made for me to wait until they could find him so that I could perform the testing. I informed the safety and training supervisor as well as the Director of Transportation that according to D.O.T regulations, once the drier leaves the property the testing must stop and further action is to be taken on their part. Even the company that I worked for insisted that I remain until he was found and complete the test.

“It takes less time to do a thing right, than to explain why you did it wrong (Longfellow). While everyone was busy looking for the driver, whom they later found at a nearby McDonalds, I was trying to explain the rule and regulations regarding this type of situation. The driver returned to the facility and I was instructed to proceed with the test. I had the drier complete the D.O.T Federal Chain of Custody form to which I must also sign my name as the collector. The driver proceeded into the restroom with a safety and training supervisor of the same gender, due to the situation the testing had to be done under direct observation. As the collector I instructed both individuals on the requirements that needed to be followed. After approximately 20 minutes and a 42 ounce soda, which was brought into the bathroom stall and given to the driver against regulations, I stopped the testing. Due to the fact that so many errors had occurred and regulations broken I informed the supervisor that I was not going to sign my name on the Chain of Custody. Naturally, they were not pleased.

The next day I received a phone call from the owner of the drug testing company and he was furious at my decision to end the testing. Even though I explained the regulations in the state of California, he did not care; his only concern was for the bottom line. I was given an ultimatum, either do thing the way we want them done or I would not longer be working for them. I was both shocked and disgusted, this man knew better. We are talking about doing drug testing on individuals who are driving school busses full of children. He didn’t seem to care.

Unfortunately they decided that they could easily find someone who would be willing do as their told and not ask too many questions. As for me, I did report their wrongdoings, although I’m not sure that any follow-up has been done since. At least I have a clear conscience knowing that I stood for what I believed to be right.


Dictionary.com, Retrieved April 12, 2010 from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ethics

Longfellow, Henry W., Quote Garden. Retrieved April 12, 2010 from http://quotegarden.com

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