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Ethical and Criminal Responsibility Paper

Autor:   •  July 9, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  1,546 Words (7 Pages)  •  650 Views

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Ethical and Criminal Responsibility Paper

Patty Ahmedou Balla

LAW/531

July 4, 2016

Norma J. Sutton


Ethical and Criminal Responsibility Paper


        This paper will discuss the ethical and criminal responsibility of the employer to the employees and any other individual who may be at risk and the legalities involved with protecting them or not protecting them. An employee of XYZ Corporation committed a sexual assault or violent crime against another person in public, obviously the employee would be held accountable for the crime. In this paper the question is while the employee works at XYZ Corporation, could or should XYZ Corporation be held accountable?

Ethical Obligation

If the employer knows or has a reason to know that the employee poses a danger to others, then the employer has an ethical obligation to take corrective or preventative action to protect the other employees in the company from harm. The need for the employer to take corrective or preventative action increases as the seriousness of the potential harm increases. “The process in which an employer responds to a report of employee misconduct or other complaint requiring an internal investigation must show that the complaint was taken seriously, with an appropriate response, resulting in a documented good faith basis for any action that is subsequently taken.” (Woska, 2013).  The employers’ ethical obligation not only applies to the employees but to anyone else that comes in contact with the company, this includes; customers, vendors and guests. As an employer or a manager, responsibility must be taken to protect the welfare of employees. If there is a possibility that there is an employee that can pose a potential threat or danger to employees or customers, the employer has an ethical obligation to protect anyone directly involved. The Restatement of Torts(Second) states the following; “the standard of conduct of a reasonable man may be (b) adopted by the court from a legislative enactment or an administrative regulation which does not so provide, it its purpose is found to be in part (a) to protect a class of persons which includes the one whose interest is invaded, and (b) to protect the particular interest which is invaded, and (c) to protect that interest against the kind of hard which has resulted, and (d) to protect that interest against the particular hazard from which the harm results.” (Brilliant, 1995).  

However, there is a vast difference between irrefutable evidence and reasonable suspicion, evidence versus suspicion would determine the type of action that the employer would take. If the employer has irrefutable evidence that the employee poses a threat to others, then the employer should act immediately to protect others. If an employer has a reasonable suspicion, then the employer or manager should speak directly with the employee in question and determine from there if preventative or corrective action is deemed necessary or if future harm to employees is imminent. If the employer is not sure of whether or not the employee is a threat and doesn’t investigate or research the possibility of a dangerous employee and acts anyway this could end up being a problem for the employer. “Should an employer improperly warn its employees about an allegedly dangerous employee by disclosing false, medical, or private information, the employer can be liable for defamation, public disclosure of private facts and invasion of privacy.” (Levin, 1995). It would be unethical for the employer to jump the gun and start taking action against the employee if nothing at all has been done to determine if the employee in question is actually a threat. Until it is proven that the employee in question is a threat then it is the employers’ responsibility to still protect that employee from any harm, even if the harm is just to the employees’ reputation. If this were to happen then the employee in question is justified in filing a defamation lawsuit against the employer. It is the employers’ responsibility to protect everyone involved, even the suspected employee, until proven guilty the customer is just an innocent as everyone else.

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