Workplace Ethical Dilemma Paper

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We’ve all heard the golden rules: In today’s society it is hard to find a good paying job. When one finds a good paying job, that person needs to do whatever he or she can do to keep that job. Ethics can be a problem in a workplace if someone is asked to do something that they do not feel is right. “Ethics are about making choices that may not always feel good or seem like they benefit you but are the “right” choices to make” (Curry, 2011; para 2).

In the following, I will discuss a workplace ethical dilemma that I have witnessed in my current employment. I will discuss the essential points of the dilemma and how this dilemma intersects with my personal values. Personal Ethics I have very simple personal ethics and values that I live by. “Don’t hurt, don’t steal, don’t lie, or one of the most famous: “Do unto others as you would have done to you” (Curry, 2011; para 2). I have others but these are the main ones I live by.

My parents taught me early in life that if I want to do well in this world and have others respect me than I better remember these ethics and values. Workplace Ethical Dilemma I have been employed for the same medical facility for almost 2 years. I started at the hospital and have worked my way into the clinics. This is a major accomplishment because normally my job does not move their employees around. They like to keep everyone in the same place. When I transferred to my current position I was put in the position to “spy” on the current workers in the office.

I kept the same boss and she knew that there were some issues at my new location. She wanted me to get the scoop on everyone and then report back to her. Now, I love my boss and my job, but she was asking me to do something that I was not ok with. I am not the type of person to gossip about people behind their backs. I like to do my job and go home. I do not want to talk about others because I have been on the receiving end and have been the person that others have talked about. It does not feel good. Points of Dilemma When I was asked to spy on my coworkers, I did not know what to say.

I kept thinking that my boss was joking with me and was waiting for me to respond in the correct way. I felt like she was looking to see what I would do. I did not talk about it for a couple of days after she talked with me about it. I thought long and hard as to what I was going to do. I did not want to lose my job over this but I really did not want to tell on my coworkers. I did not even know them yet. I kept thinking that I could not work with people I did not trust. I knew that if someone was to spy on me, that I would never be able to trust them.

I did not want to break that trust. When my boss approached me a second time, I knew what my answer was going to be. I told my boss that I did not feel comfortable spying on my coworkers. I was waiting for her to tell me that I did have a choice…. it is either your job or spy on your coworkers. She surprised me when she told me that she understood my position and respected my decision. I stood their flabbergasted because I did not know what to say. Personal Values Personally, this decision to not do what my boss told me tore at me. I have always been taught to listen to authority.

My boss would be my authority. However, I was also told to treat others the same way I would like to be treated. I cannot stand it when people talk about me behind my back. I am a person who confronts problems head on. If someone has a problem with the way I do things than I would want that person to confront me and talk with me about it. I would not like them to go running to the boss and “tell” on me. I did not want my boss to be mad at me but I also do not want me coworkers mad at me. There would only be a couple of reason why I would tell on my coworkers.

One would be if I witnessed one of them doing something very wrong to a patient or to another coworker. An example of this would be if one of my coworkers lied to a patient or to another coworker. This would be against my code of ethics. The other reason would be if one of my coworkers would be stealing from the company. Stealing would consist of stealing money, supplies or cheating on one’s paycheck. There are some people who are very dishonest regarding their time card. “Employee fraud is on the rise, soaring from $400 billion in lost revenue for U. S. usinesses in 1996 to over $600 billion in 2003. And while many organizations have implemented background checking as a requirement for employment, the majority of employees who steal-68. 6 percent, according to Association of Certified Fraud Examiners –have no prior criminal record (Wolf; Para 4).


In conclusion, having good work ethics and values are extremely important. People look at those qualities just as much as they would look at qualifications. Employers want employees who are going to not only show up for work but also does quality work as well.

The personal workplace dilemma that I shared is not the only personal workplace dilemma I have had. I am sure in my future I will have more. If I continue to live by my personal ethics and values than I should have no problems with my future dilemmas.


  1. Curry, Myron; 2011; Ethics on the Workplace; retrieved October 23, 2011 from http://EzineArticles. com/12475 Wolf, Ira; 2004;
  2. Cheating, Lies and Other Workplace Ethics; retrieved October 23 2011 from http://www. super-solutions. com/EmployeeFraudandWorkplaceEthics. asp#ixzz1bqShnBN4

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