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Professional Dilemma and Values Conflict

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Making consistently ethical decisions is difficult. Most decisions have to be made in the context of economic, professional and social pressures, which can sometimes challenge our ethical goals and conceal or confuse the moral issues.

In addition, making ethical choices is complex because in many situations there are a multitude of competing interests and values. Other times, crucial facts are unknown or ambiguous. Since many actions are likely to benefit some people at the expense of others, the decision maker must prioritize competing moral claims and must be proficient at predicting the likely consequences of various choices. An ethical person often chooses to do more than the law requires and less then the law allows. The ethical person is concerned with what is right to do, not with what she has the right to do.

The ethical issue that I was faced with was a co-worker claiming overtime, when she was not working overtime. Wanda would come to work early and on more than one occasion I would find her surfacing the internet when she was suppose to be working. It was against company policy to work overtime without prior approval. Meryl, our supervisor was aware that Wanda was claiming overtime, but did nothing to stop it. I was face with the decision to ignore it or go to a higher authority.

What Wanda was doing was stealing from the company, because all overtime hours were payable at the end of the year. Wanda was well liked by other co-workers, so I felt that if I turned her in I would cause friction among the other employees. Even though Meryl was aware of what Wanda was doing, I decided to discuss the situation with her anyway. She told me that Wanda had prior of approval to work the overtime. I informed her that she spent most of her time on the Internet and she informed me that she did not believe that.

I decided to seek advice from our human resource office on what action I should take next. I believe that people in business are expected to conduct their activities in an ethical manner. I believe that employers and employees should practice honest, fairness, and adherence to the law. I believe that Wanda was doing was dishonest and would hurt the company in the long run.

I believe that what you may perceive as a simple lie or a simple misstatement that does not hurt anybody and protects the company, sooner or later will come back to bite you. After much deliberation, I decided to copy her time sheets and turn them in to our internal audit division. The internal audit division conducted an audit on all of our timesheets and discovered that Wanda was the only one that was working a lot of overtime. They wanted to know why this was happening and if she had too much work compared to the rest of us.

After their findings, we were all called into a meeting by Meryl supervisor, and were told that no one could work overtime without her approval. After that decision was made, Wanda and Meryl made my life a living hell because they knew that I was the one that turn her in. Shortly after that Meryl retired and Wanda found another job.

After taking many of the courses here at the University of Phoenix, I feel that I handle the situation the only I could have at the time. I believe that our conduct is our responsibility. None of us should ever commit dishonest, destructive, or illegal acts even if directed to do so by s supervisor or coworker, nor should we direct others to act improperly. I feel that people do not willingly do what is bad for them, but may do what is bad for others if it appears that good for them will result.

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