An ethical decision I had to make in my professional life was when I was working at a convenience store. I had a co-worker that always stole from the store. She stole anything that she needed, whether it was candy or a quart of oil. This was not a once in a while thing. She did it whenever she needed anything.
There were many factors to consider. One of them being was she ever going to get caught? Or should I tell someone before she gets caught? Another one being should I just let her continue to do it and hope that she did get caught? There were so many different factors to consider, it was hard to make a decision.
I had many values to consider as well. I enjoyed my job and what I did. If things were coming up missing on my shift they might suspect me of doing the stealing. Then, I could get fired, and I had a family to provide for. I also valued what they thought of me and my part in the community. If I had gotten blamed for stealing then those values would mean nothing.
So, my decision was to turn her in. There were many people impacted by my decision. The owner was impacted because it was his merchandise that was being stolen and that is a lost profit for him. I was impacted because it was also my job on the line if someone wasn’t caught and numbers were not adding up right at the end of the night or during an inventory. She was impacted by my decision because she lost her job and a good reference for future employment.
The outcome of my decision was that I was stilled employed and she wasn’t. I hated to see her lose her job because she had been there for many years. But, it was the right decision, and I was glad I did it.