Ethics in the Workplace
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What Are Ethics in the Workplace?
The phrase "ethics in the workplace" refers to the standards of conduct that employees and managers should hold themselves to. In order to maintain professional standards, and proper business practice, some industries create formal rules of ethics. Some work positions require the worker to complete an exam on ethics and professional liability. This is especially true of professionals such as medical workers, accountants, lawyers, and other types of jobs.
Overall, every worker is expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is reasonable and fair for other workers and clients. Violations of work ethics can result in different types of conflicts or legal disputes.
What Are Some Examples of Ethical Violations?
Again, ethical violations may vary according to the particular line of work involved. Generally speaking, some examples of ethical violations include:
- Violations of client or employee confidentiality agreements
- Use of fraud or misrepresentation when dealing with a client or co-worker
- Contract fraud, breach of contract, and other contract-related violations
- Breach of fiduciary duties
- Having a financial interest in roles where the person is supposed to be neutral
- Violating industry-specific standards (such as stock trades, insider trading, etc.)
Are There any Legal Consequences of Ethical Violations?
Depending on the type of issue involved, ethical violations can lead to consequences such as:
- Employer discipline or probation
- Loss or suspension of professional license credentials
- Civil liability for damages (especially if the violation caused another party financial losses)
- State or federal criminal charges
You should understand that you cannot get fired for reporting an ethical violation. On the other hand, knowingly filing a false claim is in itself a violation and should be avoided.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Violations in the Workplace?
Workplace violations or even hostile work environments can sometimes involve very serious issues. You may wish to hire an employment lawyer if you need help filing a claim, or if you need help understanding the ethics laws for your business. Your attorney can help review your claim, and can also represent you in court. If you need to file a lawsuit, your attorney can provide you with guidance during the process as well.
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Last Modified: 07-25-2014 02:59 PM PDT
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