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Ethical Issue of Employees Stealing and Whistleblowing

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Many employees steal from their employers, and they tend to give reasons, but it is still unethical. Stealing from an employer would include taking assets and finances from them or giving false information about how much they have worked to fool an employer. This is unethical and also against the law whereby the offender can be sued. This is unethical and can end up hurting the business. Whether money or time is stolen, it is wrong and will eventually affect an organization’s finances. Most employees who steal from their employers try to justify their actions. First, they argue that their wages are way too low and therefore, they take to compensate for this. Others steal just little and feel as if they have not stolen, especially for those who are not faithful with time. However, to judge whether it is ethical or not, the big question would be whether stealing is right. The answer to that is stealing is stealing, and it is wrong. It doesn’t matter what you stole and how little or big it is; stealing is wrong. An example of a situation where employees take advantage of their employers and steal is those companies that provide sugar and coffee sachets for their employers for 10 o’clock beverage. Some employees take them home; this is very unethical at all angles.

When an employee reports the others who steal from the employer reports them, they are said to be whistleblowers. These are good employees who will not watch their colleagues continue to rob their employees. One of the risks is that they are seen as traitors and thereby make them be alienated. Secondly, the chain of command is broken. There are companies where the chain of power must be strictly followed, and therefore, by informing the manager as an employee, the direct supervisor may not take it kindly causing more problems. Lastly, it may feel back being a whistleblower and causing the thief to be sued or laid off; this may bring guilt feelings. Organizations must know how to deal with such unethical issues from their employees, competitors, or even stakeholders. Organizations must design and have a clear ethical policy describing what employees are expected to do and what they should not do. The plan should have specifics, not just general aspects. The procedures should also include penalties employees should wait for their unethical behavior. For big organizations, the employer should hire a human resource consultant to handle ethic issues concerning employees. However, employers should not be too strict as if they are in prison. Unethical behavior should first be handled through verbal warnings, and after that, if it continues, then a penalty, suspension or firing may be dispensed.


  1. Hair, Jr, J. F., Bush, R. F., & Busch, P. (1976). Employee theft: Views from two sides. Business Horizons, 19(6), 25-29.
  2. Lussier, R. N., & Hendon, J. R. (2019). Fundamentals of Human Resource Management: Functions, Applications, and Skill Development. SAGE Publications, Incorporated.
  3. Peltier-Rivest, D. (2018). The battle against fraud: do reporting mechanisms work?. Journal of Financial Crime, 25(3), 784-794.

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