Review the following scenarios and reach a conclusion about whether the employee or the employer has the stronger ethical position. In reaching your conclusion,
consider the following:
What are the key facts relevant to your response?
What are the ethical issues involved in this particular scenario?
Who are the stakeholders?
What alternatives might exist for the employee or for the employer that might otherwise resolve the conflict presented, if any? Is there any other way, for instance,
to gather information about employees, to protect employees from a particular harm, or to protect employers from a cost that concerns them?
How do the alternatives compare, and how do the alternatives affect the stakeholders?
1. An employee is fired when a mandatory urinalysis test detects nicotine in her urine. Her company prohibits smoking by all employees. The company argues that
increasing health care costs due to smoking justifies the action.
2. An employee is fired when her employer learns that she has had an abortion. The employer is a strong antiabortion, prolife advocate who believes that abortion is
equivalent to murder.
3. An employee is denied health care coverage offered to all other employees when his employer switches health care providers to one that requires a medical
examination before offering coverage. The employee is diagnosed as HIV positive during the examination. Rising health care costs under the previous provider,
attributed to a large extent to costs associated with this employee, were the reason for the switch in providers.