Applied Sciences

Running head: ELECTROPIC LLC REPORT 1

Electropic LLC Report 1

Electropic LLC Legal & Ethical Analysis Report

Debra D. Fitten

MBA630 Leading in a Multicultural Global Environment

University of Maryland University College, College Park

August 13, 2019

INTRODUCTION

After reviewing the case related to the dispute with June Pyle (Ms. Pyle), the following ethical and legal analysis have been assessed and will conclude with recommendations for a course or action.

BACKGROUND FACTS

Ms. Pyle was hired and has held the position of senior leader for Electropic LLC for approximately ten years. Recently, Ms. Pyle was promoted to senior project manager. Ms. Pyle was awarded the promotion over another long-term project manager employee, Melissa Aldredge (Ms. Aldredge), who was also known to be an internal rivalry. Unfortunately, and because of the history of the internal rivalry relationship among the two employees, Ms. Aldredge discovered that Ms. Pyle falsified her resume credentials and should not be eligible to receive the promotion. Ms. Aldredge reported the discovery to management, who later addressed the issue to the human resource director.

Following the director of human resources review of the report, an email was generated to all employees addressing a new hire policy requirement. The new policy requested a copy of transcript validations of credentials for all employees who were hired prior to new the hire policy provisions. Ms. Pyle chose not to respond to the request and was later questioned in a meeting by the director of human resources.

As director of human resources, it is essential to analyze the concerns of both Ms. Pyle and Ms. Aldredge and explore how both employees have a right to be considered a valuable asset to Electropic LLC despite the difference of opinion regarding the recent promotion. Consequently, these concerns can be best measured by the ethics and laws that revolve around each individual situation and the company for which they are employed. There are many methods of ethical approaches to analyze these disputes and given the nature of the ethical and legal rights and the duties of the individuals, this analysis would best be conducted by using the right-versus-right framework of Bardaracco, a professor of ethics at Harvard University.

Bardaracco’s studies described right-versus-right disputes as “dirty-hands problems,” where personnel in managerial roles often have to “get their hands dirty” by making tough decisions between opposing virtues such as respect, honesty, objectivity, responsibility, and fairness. “Quite often a manager has to face right-versus-right issues and disputes where the professional responsibilities of the individual conflict with their own values.” (Christensen & Boneck, 2010, p. 55). Below are Badaracco’s right vs. right framework which identifies the best ethical solutions of employers and their employees.

ETHICAL ANALYSIS

A. Right-Versus-Right Framework

In any business or organization where there are disagreements in professional duties or responsibilities where the individual’s professional morals and values are a concern, there is an option to implement the right-versus-right framework. This framework, when properly conveyed, demonstrates the difficulties individuals experience in an organization. Leaders frequently face these difficulties in their everyday life, including the responsibilities of subordinates, team members and their job responsibilities. The pressures of these responsibilities are usually at a level where management has to make tough decisions and may not be able to reach mutual agreements. Furthermore, leaders not only have to deal with single isolated incidents associated with subordinates, but incidents that may affect an entire organization. Ethical disputes in the workplace can be essential moments in every manager’s life. As a result, Badaracco referenced this dispute to his framework and declared it as the right versus right moral dilemma.

In this situation, the manager was faced with a dilemma to either defend his employee’s position with the company or refuse the demands of some employees and customers. This course of action conflicted with the decision that would represent the best interest of the entire staff and the requirements of maintaining a profitable organization with qualified leaders who may be in jeopardy of an ethical violation. These are situations that frequently arise and are not simply determined with a single, correct response. Additionally, managers are often faced with a decision whether to release an employee who has provided years of dedicated extraordinary work performance because of an ethical violation. Furthermore, this same manager has to take into consideration the individual rights and concerns of the other employees and the stakeholders.

In this scenario, Ms. Aldredge, the equally qualified and opposing project manager at Electropic LLC, has held this position for numerous years and was also a candidate chosen for the promotion to senior project manager. However, the promotion was granted to Ms. Pyle, the other long-time employee. Ms. Aldredge recently reported that Ms. Pyle never completed her MBA degree. Management declared that Ms. Pyle was awarded the promotion because of her consistently, exemplary work performance. As a result of this decision, a dispute occurred in the organization that were applicable measurements of the three tests of Badaracco’s right -vs.-right framework. Accordingly, the three tests are discussed below:

1. The Newspaper Test:

In this test method, management and an entire organization have to consider the best strategies to deal with problems, preferably from within the organization. Additionally, the best strategy would be to carefully think about the net-net consequences of a situation that can be easily resolved internally and consider every logical and practical matter to resolve the issue without having it exposed publicly. Thus, management publicly exposing this promotion dispute could reflect poorly on management and the organization’s competence to make tough decisions, thus creating skepticism with the organization’s investors.

2. The Golden Rule Test:

The golden rule test signifies the experience of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Additionally, it states that we expect to be treated equally with the courtesy, kindness and respect that we show others. Management in this scenario experienced the pressure of making a decision which is applicable to golden rule test by determining which methods were equally fair and proportionally reasonable for all employees. Subsequently, management has to consider, without prejudice, the overall rights of everyone regardless of their status and needs and act on the principles of consistency.

3. The Obituary/Best Friend Test:

The final test of Badaracco’s framework is the best friend test. This test provides an overall outlook of a person’s character from the views of their peers. The best friend test links personality traits with decision making methods and allows successors in an organization the opportunity to follow those same methods. Additionally, this test helps with determining the best plan of action by initiating standards and developing new ideas that are being utilized in today’s world. These new values can be used as a precedent for future employee related disputes. This test also provides a focus of the organizations characteristics and their ability to employ managers who looks at the greater good for the greatest selection of people and best practices for the organization. In this scenario, this test can assess human resources ability to choose an alternative that is ethical and legally enforceable with company policies.

Ethics in the workplace can be a personal choice. Therefore, how workplace ethics are governed depends on the personal ethics of those who have authority over that workplace and those who work in that environment. When faced with an ethical challenge, employees, managers, and stakeholders should always exercise judgment that will help keep them and their organization’s name in good moral standing. Having worked in an environment with a large number of competitors, I believe in performing at the best of my ability and not only achieving the goals that I set for myself, but the goals that my organization has set for me. Being able to accomplish expectations as a high achiever with extraordinary workplace disciplines is the overall brand that I would want the company to share as having an everlasting impact on other successors.

The decision that offers the most realistic and practical solution to the problem is how to approach the facts after addressing the alternatives. The practicality of the solution is ultimately the most fundamentally crucial factor that affects the productivity and the success of management, leadership, team members and individuals with vested interests. The most realistic solution to this issue will usually provide a greater scope of socialethical and legal justices which could be conserved for the individuals and the organization.

1. Which course of action will do the most good and the least harm?

2. Which alternative best serves others’ rights, including shareholders’ rights?

3. What plan can I live with, which is consistent with basic values and commitments?

4. Which course of action is feasible in the world as it is?

LEGAL ANALYSIS

In the case of the legal rights and duties of the employee and the employer, there are laws that govern both, and are readily available, comprehensible and easily interpreted. The director of human resources should be advised that a disciplinary action against a single employee for an ethical violation may not be the best course of action that is beneficial for an entire group of individuals. Accordingly, there are some laws that should always be considered when reprimanding an employee.

The employee should consider the legal steps that must be taken against their employer for firing them from a position for which they meet the requisite academic qualifications. For example, when Ms. Pyle was hired by Electropic LLC ten years prior, the company policy did not require employees to submit original transcriptions of all the degrees listed on their resumes. Therefore, Ms. Pyle is not legally in violation of any policy regulation of the company.

Although it does not appear to be firmly against the law to exaggerate language proficiencies or skill sets on a resume, the company is within their legal rights to terminate employment if information presented on a resume is not true. (Kreps, 2015). Subsequently, the company has the authority to terminate Ms. Pyle for misrepresentation and possibly for dishonesty, which would be good cause and applicable to the terms of the at-will agreement. Furthermore, if Electropic LLC decides to terminate Ms. Pyle for not being forthright regarding the educational credentials on her resume, according to the at-will employment terms, Ms. Pyle may not have a legal recourse and will be unable to seek legal remedies against the company.

SUMMARY

Using Badaracco’s framework on determining moral decisions, there were studies describing the aspects of the ethical and legal concerns of every individual involved including management, the team players and the organization collectively. In the studies provided above, the ethical aspects, rights and duties of parties involved, require a more logical approach based on Bardaracco’s standards. Badaracco’s factors were explored and considered prior to addressing and resolving those concerns and making decisions.

Based on the framework, the first factor to be explored are the possible consequences that may arise from the decision of every individual. In the case of Electropic LLC’s issue however, the consequences of the final decision of both Ms. Aldredge and Ms. Pyle, is an immediate priority, since they are the two employees who are specific to this issue and can be impacted the most.

With regard to the legal aspects, it is vital to consider a solution that is fair, unbiased and supports the rules of law that can provide clarity and a conclusive and acceptable arrangement. Only the laws that are applicable can be considered and must be handled consistently according to the actions and the parties involved in the dispute.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

There are many different possibilities regarding the outcomes of the chosen decision for every aspect of Electropic LLC including all personnel. We should also keep in mind that in some instances, there is no best-case solution. “Life never obliges us with the guarantee that determination, skill and knowhow, insightfulness, and positive attitude shall convert every moral conflict into positive results that gratify the moral demands of all involved parties.” (Christensen & Boneck, 2010, p. 55)

It would be advisable to the Director of HR at Electropic LLC to consider all the information possessed by Ms. Pyle including her professional, personal and historical work ethics prior to reaching a decision. However, it is important to remember how much company management value and depend on Ms. Pyle and see her as an asset. As explained previously, certain legal rights and duties of the employer and the employee should always be carefully considered before making a decision to avoid unnecessary legal disputes.

This decision should be fair to Ms. Pyle, management, her co-workers and the company. Promoting Ms. Pyle would not only further complicate the dispute with Ms. Aldredge, but create concerns that will disrupt the overall morality of co-workers and raise doubt in the human resources department’s capabilities to handle tough employer/employee controversies and to make right-versus-right decisions. Therefore, and after careful consideration, it would be wise for the director of human resources to allow Ms. Pyle to keep a position other than senior project manager with the company, thus allowing her the opportunity to complete the twelve remaining credits toward her MBA degree. Upon completion and receiving her MBA, Ms. Pyle’s situation should be reassessed with the option of being considered for future promotions within the company. Applying this solution may provide an understanding of everyone’s interests of fairness and partiality and solve the dilemma without further complications.

Second, the human resources director should revise and address the issue of validating the inclusion of specific requirements and qualifications for every position in the company’s policy manual. The manual should also address the problem of dealing with seniority employees who do not have requisite qualifications, but manage to exhibit exemplary performance, resourcefulness and skills within their job responsibilities and work ethics.

Finally, and in an effort to improve the hiring processes, it is recommended that the human resources department find and implement more innovative techniques that will aid in the search for potential qualified candidates. In today’s hiring practices, many human resources policies with regard to hiring practices are specifically defined. Many departments have the technology that supports a customized hiring practices to conduct personal and professional background checks that can filter through the different candidates and their qualifications, thus allowing the department to select or discard candidates that do not satisfy the hiring credentials for a particular position. These ideologies could have a positive impact on policy efficiency relative to the appointment and retention of employees.

References

Badaracco, Jr. Joseph L., (2002). Harvard FSS: Defining Moments: A Framework for Moral Decisions. Video.: Transcript. Retrieved August 8, 2019, from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umuc.edu

Christensen, D. S., & Boneck, R., (2010). Four Questions For Analyzing The Right-

Versus-Right Dilemmas Of Managers. Journal of Business Case Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3.

https://clutejournals.com/index.php/JBCS/article/view/877

Kreps, L., (2015). The Legal Risks of Lying on Your Resume. You Could be Fired. Retrieved

August 11, 2019, from www.shakelaw.com/blog/lying-on-your-resume

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