Ethics IN The Workplace

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Information about Ethics IN The Workplace

Published on May 8, 2014

Author: edujobscanada



Ethical behaviour is the cornerstone of professional service. It truly starts where specific conduct can’t be fully articulated and where your main guiding light should be your sense of serving the common good


Ethical behaviour is the cornerstone of professional service. It truly starts where specific conduct can’t be fully articulated and where your main guiding light should be your sense of serving the common good Most Canadian universities and colleges have ethics policies and guidelines. There are variations between institutions, but the ultimate goal remains the same As a Canadian University employee, there may be times when you will have to make hard ethical decisions In the following five situations, you will help William Brown, make virtuous and ethical decisions

• Accepting gifts from people • Confidentiality • Using State property • Separate employment • Drug-free workplace

William is a Manager of Research Facilities at one of the leading universities of Canada. He often orders a lot of expensive equipment. Mary, a Account Manager at a major technology company is trying to sell her research systems to the university. One day, Mary meets William through a common friend and invites him to lunch. She brings him unique gifts and generously offers to pay William’s lunch with her personal credit card. Q. Is it acceptable for William to accept the gifts and let Mary pay, since the lunch was not during work hours or on her company credit card? Try to find the answer based on your university or company ethics policies.

While policies and practices vary, most Canadian university employees may not accept a gift, perk, or entertainment from a person having an concern in a matter, or responsible for payments that are pending before the University. However, ethics is more than a set of guidelines, and you should investigate to find your own answer.

William’s uncle manages a studio apartment complex in Quebec. His uncle is happy that Pamela, one of William’s co-worker, is signing a new lease agreement to move into his apartment. However, Williams knows through confidential university information that Pamela’s employment contract will be terminated very soon and she may not be able to pay the rent. Q. Can William give Pamela’s information to his uncle, to protect his business?

No. William should not give his uncle confidential university information about Pamela. You should never disclose confidential information gathered through employment with the University to an unofficial party.

Handling of confidential information that you have access to because of your job at the University, or using the information to fulfill your personal interests, would be unethical and could also be unlawful.

William’s Aunt lives in a city a few hours away that is not in the same local calling zone; so when he calls his Aunt, it is a long distance call. William knows that he should keep his personal calls to a minimum, so he doesn’t call her very often from work. But when he does, Joe thinks that it would be wrong to use the agency long distance for these calls. Q. Is Joe correct that he would be misusing state property if he used the university’s long distance for personal calls?

Try to find your own answer. Remember: ethics is about sharpening your sense service to common good. Hint: typically, university employees may make personal long distance calls on the condition that these calls are made at no cost to the university, and do not interrupt business operations.

So, what should William do if he needs to talk to his Aunt? We believe that in such cases, it is more ethical to use a personal calling card or his personal cell phone and should make those calls preferably during lunch or on break.

William was hoping to make a little extra money for the holidays. He wants a part-time job at the mall for the month of December. (Note: He did have the job approved through Human Resources). Q. Can William use his accrued annual leave or compensatory (comp) time to take off on Fridays and work at the mall, since it will only last a month and he has plenty of vacation on the books?

Try to find your own answer… We believe this is a tricky situation! An employee may or may not be able to use annual or compensatory leave time to work a part-time job. It depends on the rules and regulation of the University, and also the culture.

One afternoon, William’s boss asked him for a report his department had been working on. The report was needed immediately for a meeting going on upstairs. He knew his co-worker, Peter, had a copy. William went to Peter’s office to get it, but Peter wasn’t there. He saw the report he was looking for on Peter’s desk, but when he went to grab it, he accidentally spilled a glass of drink on his desk. William then realized that the glass was full of alcohol. Q. Should William tell someone, even though he was in Peter’s office without his permission?

Yes, he should definitely tell his supervisor or a Human Resources representative. It is against most university policy to drink or be under the influence of alcohol at work. Since it appears that Peter had been drinking at work, it would be fitting for William to notify someone at a higher level to look further into this situation.

ABOUT EDUJOBSCANADA.COM is a niche Canadian job board specialized in academic and research job posting for colleges, universities, research centers, and institutions looking to hire candidates with advanced education and qualifications. Since 2006, we have been helping employers make targeted job postings that lead to smart hiring connections.

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