What Are Some Ethical Issues in the Workplace?

Common workplace ethical issues include harassment and stealing credit for the work of others. While the two issues are very different, both threaten to harm the employer.

Workplace harassment includes mental, physical and sexual harassment. This ethical issue often causes the harassed employee additional stress because they worry how reporting the incident will reflect on them. Thankfully, this stress is often unnecessary as long as the company’s policy states that an employee will not be punished for reporting incidents of harassment.

Taking credit for the work of others is a difficult ethical issue due to the number of collaborations and group projects that are commonplace in the modern workplace. For example, in a five-person project, if three of the participants put in additional effort but all five were equally praised, pointing out the two individuals who did less work may cause workplace resentment. On the other hand, allowing all five participants to receive equal credit may cause resentment on the part of the three employees who contributed more. This issue can be mitigated by ensuring equal participation in projects before the project is completed, which is most easily achieved by ensuring that each member of the team has a specific responsibility.