REVIEW Edgar Rossi has exceptional skills, but because of his behavior and association with alcohol he is affecting those he works with and costing the company money in lost production time. Over the last six months I have witnessed Rossi’s behavior become more erratic and I have smelled liquor on his breath more than once. With my coworkers and I covering for his lack of work, none of the managers have not noticed Rossi’s inconsistent behavior as of yet. After confronting Rossi about his behavior and possible alcoholism he vehemently denied having any alcohol problem and reassured his absences would not happen again. Rossi’s behavior improved for about three weeks, but then Rossi went missing during work hours leaving, once again, myself and another coworker to pick up his slack. With this last incident, my fellow co-worker Nick Battle had witnessed and endured enough, wanting to take the facts we have to management.
ETHICAL PROBLEM OR ISSUE The principle of fidelity and my personal moral philosophy would dictate that I should go with Nick Battle and report Rossi’s behavior to management. Rossi’s absences have cost the company significant money and productivity time, which if continues will further negatively impact the security of everyone’s career in the company. Though I am under no obligation to Rossi, I still worry what harm would come to him. Rossi could possibly lose his job or at the very least Rossi’s credibility would be irreversibly damaged making his reputation and morale further diminished within the corporation.
SOLUTIONS I could (1) do the civil thing by confronting Rossi once again about how him showing up to work inebriated and his failure to complete his job causes his fellow co-workers and the company to be negatively impacted, or (2) follow the utilitarian decision and do the greatest amount of good by agreeing to go with Nick Battle to present the facts of Rossi’s poor work performance to management since my first confrontation with Rossi did not help him sustain better work habits. By choosing the second option I allow my leaders to use their intellectual skills and experience to address the situation and go about the right approach to make the right decision of how to handle Rossi’s job performance.
OUTCOMES 1 Confronting Rossi a second time could back fire on me if he became more defensive and belligerent than he was the first time. Rossi could confront management himself seeking to destroy my reputation with lies before I could report my facts on his behavior to management myself. On the other hand, this could also be the catalyst Rossi needs to begin the process of rehabilitation. The hope would be Rossi wants what is best for himself and the company, motivating him to focus his behavior into achieving better job performance.
LIKELY IMPACT 1 After the confrontation Rossi would dig himself out of the negative circumstances he’s been in and have control of his own future instead of having his prospects be dictated by someone else. He’d hopefully straighten up his life and stop drinking at work, but without proper monitoring Rossi may not recover properly which mean myself and the other coworkers would have to continue to pick up any slack in productivity causing everyone to be over worked and irritable. The company would not be operating at full capacity which means a continued loss of money possibly jeopardizing its future.
VALUES 1 By dealing with Rossi on my own I would uphold the principle of autonomy and do no harm principle toward Rossi, but I would still feel guilty over my lack of honesty with management. Covering for Rossi over these six months means I have deceived my boss and possibly harmed the well-being of the company. Aligning my loyalty to Rossi versus the company would cause me to be held just as responsible for any issues that arise because of Rossi’s bad work performance.
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DARA. (2008). Dealing with an Alcoholic Co-Worker. AlcoholRehab.com. Retrieved from http://alcoholrehab.com/family-friends-employers/alcoholic-co-worker/
Ferrell, O. C., Ferrell, L., & Fraedrich, J. (2011). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases. (8th ed.). Mason: South-Western CENGAGE Learning.
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