Ethical Issue at Work

As a professional employer or an employee, it is difficult to deal with the issue of discrimination in the workplace. Precisely, the ethical and legal issues are the most complicated. Therefore, all parties need to take the area of employment law seriously. In my few years as a certified accountant in one of the leading institutions in the country, I encountered serious ethical and legal issue of discrimination. It is to my surprise that one of the most powerful organizations in the country practices such an activity. Moreover, since I began my accounting job in the institution, I came to notice that there was some inconsistent treatment of the workers. The institution treats the male accountants differently from the female accountants. Although I was not affected since I am a male employee, it is against the law to discriminate the workers.

The situation in the organization subjected me to several ethical dilemmas. I had to consider various situations before making the decision to seek action against the manager. Similarly, I came to understand that it is very difficult to come up with a solution to an ethical dilemma. However, the following are the issues I considered before making the decision. First, I had to think of my experience in the institution and the fact that I was a new accountant. Therefore, I started to think that I was paranoid or overreacting. The second ethical issue I considered was that what if I made a mistake by concluding that the organization was discriminating its workers. Similarly, what if the instances I considered discriminatory were not what I believed and as a result, I tainted the reputation of the organization and that of the manager. Ultimately, my final concern was that even if I were correct on what I believed about the organization, my career would have been in a total mess. I would be considered as a person who caused problems in the organization.

An individual is required to examine the facts rather than his/her feelings carefully when dealing with employment law (Cross, Miller, Cross, & Cross, 2012). Some of the discriminatory practices in the organization include the following. First, male workers were treated differently from the female workers in terms of the parking area. The male employees were given the parking lot adjacent to the main administration, and it included round the clock security. On the other hand, the female workers were requested to park off the institution and the area has no security. Therefore, it was an unsafe area for their cars. The second discrimination occurred during the month of winter when we had severe weather conditions. In such weather conditions, the organization permitted the male accountants to leave at the normal time to avoid the bad weather and road conditions. On the other hand, the female accountants were to stay for an additional two and a half hour. The information from the manager regarding the situation was that the additional time for female workers would compensate the time allowance they are given on arrival. The institution always gave the female employees an allowance of thirty minutes on their arrival time in case they were late.

The final instance of discrimination came in the form of contracts. The organization discriminated against women when it comes to the employment contract. The employment contract reads that every female accountant will be evaluated regarding the issue of salary increment. In my investigation, I found that the male accountants were not evaluated. I thoroughly analyzed each of the situations and focused on the facts. However, I realized that there was no concrete reason for the occurrence of such practices. Similarly, the situation did not only discriminate against female workers, but their careers were also in danger.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts, it is against the federal and state laws to practice discrimination in the workplace (Miller, & Hollowell, 2011). Similarly, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has the function to oversee and govern this act. Therefore, according to the law, employers or organizations should provide equal opportunities for each and every worker regardless of their gender, race, nationality, religion or marital status (Lau, & Johnson, 2011). Additionally, the Civil Service Reform Act plays a significant role in supporting the Civil Rights Act. The act has a provision that outlaws punishment of a person who reports ethnic discrimination (Halbert, & Ingulli, 2011).

After analyzing the three instances of unfair treatment of female workers, I had to make a difficult decision. I had a strong believe that what was happening in that organization was unethical and illegal. The Discriminatory Practices Act states that it is unlawful to discriminate employees in regards to compensation, classification or assignments (Lau, & Johnson, 2011). Similarly, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 has a provision that protects men and women from sex-based discrimination (Halbert, & Ingulli, 2011). The organization contradicts the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by increasing the salary of male workers while evaluating the employment contracts for female workers.

From the facts I gathered and the information about employment law, a decision needed to be made of whether or not to take action against the organization. Discrimination in the workplace is an issue that needed to be addressed since the female workers were treated unfairly. Since the law was on my side, and I was sure the decision was right, I filed a claim with the local Equal Opportunity Commission. The claim was successful, and the organization had to rewrite their employment contract to provide equal opportunity to everyone.



Cross, F. B., Miller, R. L. R., Cross, F. B., & Cross, F. B. (2012). The legal environment of business: Text and cases : ethical, regulatory, global, and corporate issues. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Halbert, T., & Ingulli, E. (2011). Law and ethics in the business environment. Cengage Learning.

Lau, T., & Johnson, L. (2011). The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business. Irvington, NY: Flat World Knowledge

Miller, R. L. R., & Hollowell, W. E. (2011). Business law: Text & exercises. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.