I only have to do section A (total of 2-3 pages)
A. Human Resources
3. Employment law
B. Ethical Obligations
1. Ethics in Human Resource
2. Ethical Standards and Policies
3. Ethical dilemma
Jane is a field engineer (engineer) for Able-Bodied Company (ABC), a pharmaceutical company that sells and maintains blood chemistry analyzers (standard lab equipment found in hospitals and doctor’s offices). She has a large geographic territory to cover and can drive as many as 125 miles portal-to-portal to reach a client. Engineers work long hours and determine their own schedules based on the analyzers’ routine preventive maintenance schedules and client calls reporting that a machine is down or malfunctioning. The engineers typically work in hospitals or labs at night when the demand for the analyzer is at its lowest and the analyzer can be taken offline. Jane’s job requires a highly specialized set of skills that are necessary to troubleshoot blood analyzers and their computers: chemistry and hematology backgrounds as well as computer skills to deal with hardware and occasional software problems. The position also requires good eyesight because the engineer must be able to clearly see (and read) tiny electrical and mechanical components in the analyzers and computers and perform an “eyeball” test on several of the chemicals used in the analyzers. Jane is considered one of the best in her field and loves her job.
Jane has been with the company for 25 years and in this job for 15 years. ABC has asked Jane several times in the last 12 years to accept a promotion to area consultant, but she has declined. An area consultant is a troubleshooter who travels over one of four regions of the United States, e.g., the southeast, and deals with analyzer problems that engineers haven’t been able to resolve. The job would pay significantly more but require that she fly at least twice a month and be away from home for several days at a time. Jane doesn’t like to fly because of allergies; she’s not interested in being away from home for more than a day because she recently became engaged, is owned by three dogs and a cat, and has three grown children and one grandchild who live near her. One of her children, George, is mentally ill, has a substance abuse problem, and is constantly in and out of jail.
The last four years have been more tumultuous than most for Jane:
o Four years ago when she was 56, Jane’s thyroid was removed because of benign masses that were growing on it. She takes synthroid, which is a synthetic thyroid hormone used in replacement therapy.
o About two ago, she was diagnosed with Type II diabetes (non-insulin diabetes); she had had gestational diabetes with her first child, so the diagnosis was not a shock. Her doctors are having difficulty finding the right medication and dosage to stabilize her blood sugar.
o Fourteen months ago, George stabbed someone and almost killed him. Jane employed a lawyer to get George out of jail while he awaits trial. Jane understandably has experienced a lot of emotional upheaval and second-guessing trying to do what’s best for George, but the stabbing brought on feelings of stress and depression that caused her to start regular psychological counseling that continued for about a year.
Jane follows her doctor- and nutritionist-prescribed diabetes regimen religiously. However, over the last year, she has experienced continual problems with her blood glucose levels, and the most aggravating side effect of diabetes at this time is blurred vision. She has had several occasions in which her “distance” vision was slightly blurry and she drove her company van to the work sites; she has had several near misses in the last six months while driving but no citations or accidents. Her “close” vision seems unaffected. Six months ago she averaged one blurred vision issue every three weeks; two months ago the frequency of blurred vision increased to once every two weeks. Her blurred vision usually lasts one day. Thus far, Jane has been able to keep up with her clients’ needs by juggling her schedule, but the increased frequency of blurred vision is making it difficult. Although her doctors have not restricted Jane’s driving, they have suggested that she have someone drive her at night as the glare of headlights magnifies the blurriness of her vision.
Jane informs ABC of the nature of her problem and assures the company that she is not taking unnecessary risks when driving with slightly blurred vision and that her “near” vision is excellent. ABC is concerned that Jane is reaching the point that she can no longer realistically perform her job because of the required driving, but it knows that she really doesn’t want a different job. Jane believes she can perform the engineer’s job for the moment but would like an accommodation of an “as-needed” driver until the doctors are able to find the right drug(s) and dosage(s) to stabilize her diabetes and its side effects. ABC doesn’t believe the “as-needed” driver is a viable option because of the cost of paying someone to essentially be “on call” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ABC is willing to create a special area consultant position that pays less but would allow Jane to do 85% of her work from home. Alternatively, a documenter vacancy has not been filled—It’s a work-from-home position that reports to the area consultant and essentially writes up the consultant’s summary report from each consulting visit. Although ABC values Jane’s contributions, it is concerned with the liability and ethics of having Jane continue to drive and is willing to terminate her if her blurred vision is not resolved within the next three months.
ABC has asked your consulting firm to explain ABC’s HR/legal options and possible ethical obligations and to make your recommendations. You are free to organize your report in a way that you think will work best for your client. The report should follow APA format, and the body of your report should be no longer than 10 double-spaced pages (make sure there is no additional spacing before or after paragraphs). The title page and references do not count toward the 10-page maximum.
NOTE: As consultants you know that your report will be read by some people who have little or no knowledge of HR and employment law, so you’ll need to decide which concepts need to be explained and which terms need to be defined.
Go for it!