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MGT 216 Week 2 Discussion Question 2

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Give an example of a moral responsibility in your workplace. Is this particular example a
legal responsibility or moral responsibility? Is it an obligation? Explain your answer.
Response:
In the office where I work, I sometimes handle personnel files that include sensitive
information. The files can include information about salaries, disciplinary action, certificates of
completion for alcohol counseling programs, child support withholdings and more. There is a
temptation there to read people's personal information, especially when it involves a certain co-
worker that I have had conflicts with. I make the decision to resist files that come across my desk
to be passed on my to my boss. No one would know if I looked at the files, but I would feel
wrong about it because I would not want someone to view my personnel file.
I think it's actually my boss's responsibility to do a better job of protecting personnel
files from view by unauthorized people, such as those in my position of administrative assistant.
Still, I don't read them. I think I have a moral and ethical responsibility to refrain from violating
people's privacy. Secondly, if any private information should be leaked, I want my conscious to
be clear that I wasn't the one to spread the information. If I don't know something, I can't repeat
it.
Repeating certain information could become a legal problem, too, because it could
violate privacy laws. I don't think it would be a legal violation for me to read something that I
obtained lawfully, but I still wouldn't do it because I wouldn't want it done to me and because I
would not want the legal ramifications of being accused of repeating private information. I view
it as my obligation to protect people's private information, including from my own eyes.

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