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Ethical and Criminal Responsibility

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Ethical and Criminal Responsibility

February 24, 2016

Ethical and Criminal Responsibility


When do employers have an obligation to prevent or take corrective action as the result of bad employee behavior? What type of evidence is needed to initiate an investigation of a potentially dangerous condition for other employees? To what degree are organizational employers expected to provide a safe working environment? These questions, as well as others, can only be answered by collecting and analyzing all the pertinent facts. Once completed, the employer can determine the type(s) of applicable torts associated with the complaint, degree of liability (civil or criminal) involved, and procedures required to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of all interested parties.
Employer Obligations The given scenario provides insignificant details as to the extent of the employer’s knowledge of the employee’s background, work history, criminal record, or evidence of violent behavior. With that said, any employer with information that indicates a dangerous situation may occur within the organization has the ethical and moral obligation to take appropriate actions to prevent or remedy the situation.

State and federal laws place certain requirements on employers, such as Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Child Labor Laws, Fair Labor Standards, National Labor Relations Act, and Occupational Safety and Health Safety Act ("Employment Law Handbook", 2015). Organizational policy and procedures further define the code of conduct expected of all employees. These laws, regulations and policies are in place to protect the rights of both the employer and the employee. Also, judicial litigation established precedence for the employer’s consideration. For example, “respondeat superior” (Latin for “Let…...

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