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Cja 324 Personal Dilemma

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Personal Dilemma
May 2, 2011

Personal Dilemma
“What is ethics? In a general sense, ethics is the study of right and wrong, good and evil. Who decides what is right and wrong? What one person may believe is right; another person may feel is wrong.” (Braswell, 2008) This means that any one person can make a good decision based on their upbringing. A well-made decision is a thought out decision that proves the foundation of thinking what is right or wrong.
At my place of employment each employee must have annual ethics training. The Human Resources, Information Technology and Legal departments work together to find trends that the workforce requires reminders to respect not only each other but to respect each other’s knowledge and the company’s overall reputation and ethical use of company assets.
There are trends found with monitoring internet access. The highest internet traffic that is monitored is newspaper websites, personal electronic mail outside of the firewall, social media and dating, gambling and pornographic websites. The main issue that concerns the company is the time spent by the employee using the computer to accessing none job related websites such as a personal “Facebook” page and not paying attention to their job. Gambling and pornographic website access by any employee results in immediate employment dismissal.
Recently, the threat of being monitored has kept many employees from accessing any websites outside of what is job related. It has been suggested that access to the University of Phoenix website may be prohibited in the very near future. Access to the internet will be limited to United States government websites only. The possibility of 12,000+ employees paying attention to this warning is good but not good enough. Some of these employees are hourly employees who do not own a computer at home and pay their bills at work. From a personal standpoint, accessing the computer at home after a long day of watching a monitor is unlikely.
One alternative course and decision I have made is to access the internet on a personal basis at home only after I give my eyes a couple of hours of rest. While at work if possible “Internet Explorer” is not engaged. Management is taking any access outside what is work related as a report to reprimand any employee. Another direction that management is pointing to is the use of internal electronic mail and instant messaging. Management is monitor how much time is being used to send emails and instant messages within the fire wall. This monitoring reflects on the time spent away from the job and focusing on communicating with other co-workers. In my case, electronic mail and instant messaging makes better sense than talking on the telephone. There is a record of conversations that help with decisions or a reminder on how to provide assistance to my immediate customer.
The overall decisions that I make on a daily basis are what websites must be accessed to get my job done and how much time I spend on each website. I have decided to keep a log on what I do on a daily basis. This log will not only monitor my work day hours, but any time I have accessed a website that is not job related. As an example of non-job related websites that I would access are the University of Phoenix, personal email or my checking account websites. Logging my time will be used if a report is completed on my access to the internet for a period of time and how long my access to these websites are confirmed by my recordkeeping and the company’s report.
There are two moral dilemmas that are issues in the company’s view. Time is of the utmost importance. How much time is used by an employee to access the internet while being paid to do their specific job? The second issue is the abuse of using company assets to access the internet to do personal business. In other words, did I, the employee work my entire eight to nine hour day working or was time taken to access the internet to do a little shopping online. I have a computer at home, why use the company asset assigned to me to do my job used for personal use? In the beginning it was natural to send a funny on email or send a link to an interesting website, but not anymore. These questions are the ethical questions asked by management not only to me but every employee who is assigned a computer to do their job.
Is it right or wrong to read an electronic newspaper the first hour of your day before you get busy with the work that is sitting in front of you waiting for your attention? Is it right or wrong to electronically pay personal bills on the company provided computer? How would an employee balance this personal time versus work time? If it were my situation, I would work the extra hour. None if these actions are wrong to do, but not right abusing them on company time or on a company asset. This is an ethical challenge to any employee, because timecard fraud is also on the rise. Any issue with regard to time and money is a huge issue when thousands of dollars are being paid to employees who really work their entire 80 hours and for those who do not.

Braswell, M. C. (2008). Justice, Crime, and Ethics, 6e. Retrieved from http://University of Phoenix eBook Collection

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