Questions tagged [ethics]

Ethics are the 'unspoken rules' of society. They are what govern how people behave when not bound by law. Questions with this tag should deal with how to handle situations where it is unclear how acceptable a given course of action might be within society (either the society of the workplace, or the world at large).

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117
votes
16answers
69k views

Should I go to an interview I don't intend to accept the job (if offered)?

In a conversation with a friend, he slipped that he intended to go to an interview for a senior position in software development. I was surprised, since I was under the impression he liked his current ...
21
votes
4answers
25k views

How to renege implicit verbal acceptance of a job offer

One company, let's call them Initech, made me a job offer. I didn't say anything like "I accept the offer" on the phone, instead saying "Great" (which one could potentially read as an implicit ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Underpaid and overworked, how should I approach my boss? [duplicate]

About a two months ago a co-worker and I caught our superior embezzling money from the company. After consideration, we approached our boss and told him the whole story. Our superior quit ...
49
votes
10answers
12k views

Attending interviews “to stay sharp”, if you reject an offer, and then apply again later - wouldn't this harm your chances of being hired?

Background: I am a software engineer. As a part of my responsibilities I am doing technical interviewing in the company I currently work in. I am happy with my job and am not looking for a change of ...
62
votes
13answers
31k views

Do I have to relinquish my PC password to my former boss?

I worked in a tech company and recently put in notice. I was told to leave and to not come back. I did not get an opportunity to clean personal files off of my work computer. My former boss has now ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I know when to contest a bad idea and when to let it go

I work as a designer for a software company, and work directly with developers on their newest and most important product. I am gaining a very good understanding of the software and how it works. ...
144
votes
9answers
23k views

How can I respond to an employee who objects to working on certain projects on ethical grounds?

My company does services for various clients. We recently were offered a contract to perform these services for a guy in the city who does predictions, tarot, numerology and the like for people. He ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it acceptable to apply for a position with the intention of leaving within a few months? [closed]

Do employers expect or require candidates to stay long term if a job is not listed as seasonal or temporary? Is it acceptable for one to apply with the intention of leaving within a few months?
11
votes
5answers
11k views

How long after a recruiter's introduction is it considered ethical to re-approach a company?

Here's a situation: a recruiter introduces a candidate to a company, and the company is very interested in hiring the candidate. However, if the process at some point breaks down, how long after this ...
4
votes
3answers
63k views

Is it OK to cancel a signed employment contract before starting? [closed]

I am a software developer. A couple of years back I lived in country X and had applied for a position in a company that I was interested of working for. The company was in another country Y and they ...
892
votes
30answers
487k views

Is it unethical for me to not tell my employer I’ve automated my job?

I currently work on a legacy system for a company. The system is really old - and although I was hired as a programmer, my job is pretty much glorified data entry. To summarise, I get a bunch of ...
109
votes
16answers
29k views

What are the possible downsides of answering an “anonymous” employee survey truthfully?

We recently got an invite to do a short (handful questions) anonymous survey on employee satisfaction. My first impulse would be to answer with my honest, negative impression of the employer: 'bad ...
65
votes
3answers
11k views

How do I resign when I know my employer will lose a big client when I leave?

I'm in a tricky position. I don't enjoy where I'm working and I've been offered another opportunity. Unfortunately, I know the current client that I'm consulting for isn't on good terms with my ...
60
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I approach management when asked to work without a software license?

I need to use Windows at work and I do not have a valid license. When I talked to my boss about this he said I don't need it and to use it the way it is. I would rather not keep ignoring the warnings ...
10
votes
3answers
63k views

Can I omit previous work experience from future job applications and my resume?

I managed to get myself fired from my last full-time job, and finding other work since then has been difficult. I used to put that job down for previous work experience, along with my termination from ...
7
votes
4answers
32k views

Signing contract on the starting day? Not before?

I've been through a really long hiring process, almost 2 months. After 5 interviews with managers and directors, a psychotechnic evaluation and finally a health analysis, they called me, and told me ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

How much work would be a suspicious amount to request for an interview process? How can I politely decline the offer?

I was going through the interview process for a Developer role in a startup. The salary the consultant that redirected to them told me they would be willing to offer was quite high (according to ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I tell my boss I have a full time job offer? [closed]

I am currently graduating college and finishing up an internship at company x. I interviewed with a company, Y, got an offer and I accepted. The full-time position at Y is supposed to start in ...
40
votes
6answers
26k views

How can we prevent theft of food from shared fridges by coworkers?

A company with several hundred employees has several office rooms used as kitchens - they are equipped with tables, microwaves, sinks and fridges. Employees leave their food in the fridges and ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Is a complex test which benefits the company an ethical practice? [closed]

Here is the situation. One of the companies I applied for as a software developer asked for a complex and "thorough" test. I agreed to it, but I noticed that I was supposed to add a module to their in-...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Ethical to accept job offer I may not start

Is it ethical to accept a job offer if I may accept another position before starting? A company extended to me a job offer; they offered median compensation for my field and area. I am also a ...
81
votes
14answers
30k views

Is there a dress code for women in software industry?

I worked in a technology company as a software development intern. At the end of the internship, my manager praised me for my technical and communication skills, however, he said I should pay more ...
29
votes
3answers
8k views

My boss's behaviour seems unethical and possibly illegal. What should I do? [closed]

I'm a web designer and I've been working at my current company now for about 6/7 months and I've witnessed many questionable things. Some of which I know are against the law but some of which I really ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it worth to tell a “Samaritan” (company mentor) about my story of particular failure?

Our organization conducts a program called "Your Samaritan", where somebody will support the employee to cope with the situation, listen to the issues and guide. Many of those Samaritans are senior ...
16
votes
3answers
14k views

What is my obligation to my current employer when changing jobs is imminent but (at this point) not guaranteed?

I am scheduled for a second interview for a job with a company that I would like to have. Changing jobs would require changing cities, which would also mean more opportunity for my spouse. If the ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Managing a team that openly discusses compensations , performance ratings and pay (rise)

I recently started to manage an already existing small team of 20 members. After the performance review, I slowly came to realize that the whole team discusses everything about pay and compensations. ...
6
votes
3answers
19k views

Applying to a position I already allowed a recruiter to represent me for

I have been approached by two recruiters (A and B) for a position the same role at the same company. I was asked by Recruiter A first, and told them that I would allow them to represent me for the ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

Should I inform recruiter about the offer I have already accepted

I have already accepted the offer from company A which is a great company but my dream has always been to work with company B. Now I got an interview call from B. I have few questions regarding that. ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

New and superior offer right after signing contract

I have been working for a company for less than a month, and I just receive another offer which I consider really similar, but with a better salary. The issue is that while the workplace of the new ...
15
votes
3answers
40k views

It is OK to leave a new job after 6 months for a new offer?

6 months ago I interviewed at two companies (Company A and Company B), heavily interested in working at both. Ultimately, Company B said I was overqualified, but they'd love to keep me in mind if a ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Should I provide my boss with a list of reasons why I'm quitting? [duplicate]

I submitted my letter of resignation earlier today to my supervisor. He forwarded it to our boss and shortly after the boss wanted to meet with us for a discussion. Basically he wants me to provide a ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the ethical thing to do if I'm introduced to a company through a recruiter, then, company contacts me directly?

Through a recruiter, I interviewed for a company 3 months ago. I followed up, and was told they would know more the following week. I never heard from the recruiter again, regarding this position. ...
177
votes
9answers
14k views

How can I increase focus when doing something boring?

I'm a senior software dev at a contractor company. The issue I'm asking about goes as follows: When I program or debug or do something I like, I'm super-fast. I'm fast enough that I do tasks in 50% ...
146
votes
8answers
28k views

Is it ethical to read programming books on the clock?

I have an issue that hasn't ever surfaced as a problem, but it's a question that's been bugging me internally a little bit for the last several years. I've worked at a few different places where they ...
101
votes
10answers
18k views

Is it ethical to write answers to work-relevant Stack Exchange questions on the clock? [closed]

First off, this is intended to be an extension to the question "Is it ethical to read programming books on the clock?". I do realize the irony of asking this on Stack Exchange itself, but hey, I'm not ...
228
votes
14answers
33k views

Interviewer privately warned me against taking the job

Two weeks ago I interviewed with a large company. The interview went well and I felt that the company would be a good fit for my needs. Some of the interviewers during the process seemed like they ...
213
votes
10answers
34k views

My employer is forcing its employees to defraud its customers, how should I handle this situation?

Right now I have a really uncomfortable situation and not sure what's the best way to handle it. I am working as a software developer for an outsourcing company based in Eastern Europe. Most of its ...
128
votes
11answers
27k views

Asked to secretly obtain coworker's knowledge before he gets fired

I was recently told by my manager that one of my coworkers (call him Steve) will be fired in a few weeks, as his last reviews were found unsatisfactory. My manager also told me to "inquire and ...
107
votes
17answers
25k views

How should I deal with an employee who is stealing from the cash counter?

I own a pharmacy, and I have an employee who has been working for me for the past 5 years. However, he has recently started stealing money from the cash counter. Maybe he thinks that I will not ...
72
votes
9answers
25k views

How to leave a job for ethical/moral issues without explaining details to a potential employer

I have been working at an Insurance company's IT department for about 3 months now as an IT Project Manager. I really love the company I work for, no matter the "growing pains"; however, I have become ...
84
votes
6answers
17k views

Company policy violation due to browser history syncing

I recently learned (the hard way) that my company is accessing my browser history on my work computer. That's fine and all, and comes as no surprise, really. However, I recently got hit with a warning ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I send a thank-you email for answers received?

This is not always a workplace scenario but if I ask someone a question by mail and they reply with an answer, should I reply with a thanks or not? I am always thinking maybe they will think I am ...
34
votes
4answers
5k views

Does the average candidate have any recourse when they encounter an unethical recruiter?

If you've been in the white-collar job market for very long, you have likely come across recruiters who exhibit questionable ethics. The most common way I've seen this manifested is when the recruiter ...
35
votes
8answers
54k views

Is it OK to leave work early if the workplace culture accepts it?

I work at an office where everyone (I literally mean everyone), from senior management to the new intern, leaves work early on Fridays. I asked a peer about this and was told, "No one cares. You can ...
25
votes
9answers
12k views

Boss is asking employees to continue to work while payroll is dry

I work at a company that has been on its last leg since it was born. But the boss somehow always pulls off a half-court shot at the buzzer and has kept us going for way longer than it seemed possible. ...
24
votes
4answers
1k views

Ethical concerns when discussing technical issues related to my work, on my personal blog

When I fix issues, some of them are company specific so I try to document them internally. Others are broad and can be applicable to any one. I try to document them in my own blog. I am wondering if ...
23
votes
6answers
14k views

Should I report a coworker who is stealing from me?

This may seem pretty trivial, but it really bothers me. In my cubicle I have an area set aside for my personal effects, nothing expensive. Among those items is a carton containing packages of peanut ...
13
votes
3answers
16k views

Approved Vacation Time Rescinded

I'm seeking advice about a matter of vacation time at my workplace. Here's the story. I have been wanting to go to a large music festival for quite some time, years actually. I decided that this was ...
35
votes
2answers
17k views

New employee has offensive Slack handle due to language barrier

A new employee just came on board, and their lack of understanding of the English language has been a bit of a hurdle. This has become apparent in the handle/username they chose for our chat system (...
19
votes
6answers
5k views

Should I clean my PC before leaving?

As a programmer, I have a work PC. For some reason I make a lot of things that require my personal account (eg. Google, etc). On my PC there are also a lot of things that are useful for me, but may be ...