Case Study: Ethical Dilemma
You work at a paper supply company that employs 50 people. A coworker, Karen, is not your favorite person to work with. She is often late to work, can be unprofessional with coworkers, and isn’t someone you can routinely count on to go above and beyond her job duties. Last week you even noticed that her breath smelled like alcohol when you spoke to her about some last-minute orders that needed to be filled. But, you don’t like to rock the boat and you don’t like to be disloyal to your coworkers, so you didn’t say anything. However, David Chan just approached you and asked whether you smelled alcohol on Karen’s breath last Thursday. You are surprised and ask him why. David mentions that he heard some gossip and wants to confirm if it is true or not.
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What will you do?
1. Should you admit you smelled alcohol on Karen’s breath last week? Why or why not?
2. What are the implications of each course of action?
3. Would you change your answer if, instead of working at a paper supply company, you worked as a nurse?