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Ethical and Legal Issues on Employee Rights

In: Other Topics

Submitted By Lilrogy
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BUSM1162: Case study
The employees at Appleberg Electric Company are protected by a union agreement. You, a shift supervisor, have good relations with your workers and treat them as colleagues. Yet Gatsby, 56, a senior worker who is minimally competent, is an exception. He ignores any attempts you make to relate to him or motivate him. He operates a punch press and produces at barely the standard rate, often with more than twice the average number of defective parts. But since he makes the minimum standard required, he is meeting his obligations.
He reacts badly to your discussions and suggestions, and insists that his work is not below union standards. Gatsby is surly, uncooperative and lacks the motivation to change. Your boss knows and detests Gatsby, as do Gatsby’s co-workers. He often makes offensive jokes about them, abuses them in public and many avoid him altogether. But there is no real negative effect on the other workers and no one has ever filed a formal complaint against Gatsby.

Your boss now suggests that you take steps to encourage Gatsby to seek employment elsewhere, by moving him among the least desirable jobs and assigning him to inconvenient shifts. This is entirely legal, not a violation of the union agreement, although it certainly violates the spirit of the agreement and of the good union management relations at Appleberg. Your actions will surely be noticed and easily documented should Gatsby or the union wish to file a grievance against you. Your actions could cause a rift between the workers and management even though they dislike Gatsby. How should you respond to your boss’s suggestion?

• What are the ethical issues of this case?
• What moral obligations do you have to Gatsby, yourself, your boss, theworkers and the firm?
• Are any of these more important or pertinent than the others?
• Would it be ethical to do as your...

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