The issue of ethics at work
Ethics is a part of everyday life and interaction. It is also a complicated part of human nature. Every day, we see issues about appropriate and inappropriate behaviors at home, in the workplace or in any other venues. Business ethics, professional ethics or work ethics have always been a complicated topic . These seemingly simple interactions can be transformed into a moral issue or dilemma when misinterpreted or carefully examined. The issue of ethics in the workplace comprises a large problem that needs a great deal of considerations. Solving the dilemma in such issues is an important aspect especially for Christian leaders.
A Unique Environment Created by the Workplace
The very nature of a workplace creates a unique environment that gives rise to complicated ethical considerations. Unlike people who stay at home or school, people in the workplace have more superficial relationships driven by work goals and profit. The impersonal act of hiring employees for what they can bring into a workplace or organization places the relationship of these personnel into an entirely different level of social interaction that greatly differ from simple and casual ones. This orientation often brings a new angle into workplace relationships and interactions.
In any workplace, there is an employer – employee relationship, or a so called boss and subordinate type of interaction. This alone creates a rift that is usually evident in mot workplaces. Workplace politics and other ethical issues, particularly, the rightness or wrongness of a behavior also contributes to such rift. It is a sensitive issue to analyze especially when a conflict between an employer and an employee is the main problem. Workplace ethical issues is always a hot topic in modern researches and studies . In order to understand the concept of workplace ethical issues better, we will have to examine some of the most recent and most popular ethical questions raised in the workplace.
Paid sick leaves
One of the most common dilemma of employers in the workplace is the about paid sick leaves issue. Many employees report to work for money despite feeling unwell. There are also employees who file paid sick leaves whenever they have the slightest feeling of discomfort. These employees reason that they need the money despite their inability to contribute to the company. This becomes more than just a monetary concern. It is usually translated into a public health concern especially if communicable diseases become part of the equation . Employees and employee unions should strive and push harder towards the passing of legislations that enable financial coverage during sick leaves or simply paid sick leaves. This way, people would be more concerned of their and the public’s health than their work or the money that they can get from working because they would not have to worry about the financial consequences of absences anymore.
Apple’s child labor issues have resurrected the long history of child labor controversies in workplace ethics . Apart from the superficial mistake of making under aged individuals work, this ethical dilemma could definitely go deeper. There have been many reported cases of kids being forced into child labor because they are the breadwinners in their family. Religious groups could reach out to these populations and help them connect with more decent forms of making a living.
Dealing with deviant behavior
With the rigid rules that managers impose on people, it usually becomes easier to slip out of approved and professional behaviors. When people do not adhere to the prescribed rules in the workplace, they automatically manifest signs of a deviant behavior. Deviant workplace behaviors place a strain on the entire team and heighten the possibility of conflicts . Personal characteristics and other interpersonal factors can come into play in the development of deviant behavior. It may not be an easy task to deal with unruly employees and other deviant behavior but it should be done nonetheless. However, a sensitive management that listens to the feelings and side of every employee could really help. A management that has policies in place to handle deviant behaviors and other complaints regarding unethical issues is better able to handle these problems . Foresight is needed in order to avert the potential problems and handle them efficiently if they do arise.
Weight issue discrimination
Despite an active campaign against discrimination based on race and religion, it seems that there are still groups of people who are discriminated based on their biological profiles. Obesity is a rising problem and this has permeated in the workplace too. Many applicants report being denied for a job position despite having all the qualifications just because they are obese or overweight . This has become a sensitive topic especially when some employers argue that their weight considerations for job applicants have a firm basis. Many of them get away with the reasoning that the work gets affected because of the limitations brought about by an individual’s weight issues.
Hence, resolving this problem can become tricky because working for a company, regardless of its trade or industry, would certainly involve some level of physical health requirements set by employers. A way to resolve this problem in the most considerate and respectful manner is through establishment of real and logical requirements on weight. Hiring decisions should be made by a panel and not just a single person in order to reach impartial hiring judgments and a consensus rather than a mere personal decision. If done by a group, weight issues could be discussed and the applicant would be given higher chances of being able to experience a fair interview, as long as he truly matches the job description, regardless of the weight issue.
Mandatory workplace screening
Another ethical issue that is common in the workplace is the one when medical surveillance and other screening procedures. Many employees feel that they are not morally obligated to submit themselves to a medical test or something similar, even if it is for the sake of the workplace health and safety . A suggested solution to resolve this problem is clearly saying these terms in the contract before the employee agrees to sign in to the company in order to avoid conflicts that are related to mandatory workplace screening.
Ethical issues that permeate in the workplace may seem overwhelming. However, there is hope as seen in news stories where a total of 42 CEOs were taken out of their position because of ethical problems . This sheds light on the theory that the public is now more aware of the problem and that visible responses can now be seen.
Despite these developments, there is still a need to update our management policies and other regulations in order to make the modern workplace more responsive to the ethical issues of today .
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