According to this case, Stacy is a new employee of a local CPA firm, who is on probation and asked to perform an advanced level jobs, because this firm has a heavy turnover. There are some morale and organizational problems with this CPA firm, so that a psychologist is brought into assess these problems. Both Stacy and other employees in this firm point out the same management problems, and some employees even have resigned from this firm. Stacy is helping interview candidates for the open accounting positions. What are the ethical issues?
Generally, Stacy has a duty of loyalty to the firm when interviewing prospective job candidates. There are laws require that an employee refrain from behaving in a manner that would be contrary to his employer’s interests. But this duty of loyalty is not absolute; it is influenced by the responsibility and trust between employees and employers. Therefore, even Stacy has a duty of loyalty to the firm, he also can judge if employers’ decisions and arrangements are right. He has no duty to provide truthful information to candidates. What are the primary stakeholders?
The partners of the CPA firm, Stacy, all other employees of the CPA firm, and prospective employees of the CPA firm, and clients are primary stakeholders. What are the possible alternatives? First, Stacy can resign from this CPA firm, if he thinks he can not do for the firm any more. Second, Stacy can be loyal to the firm and do what he is told to do. Third, he can tell the truth to the candidates about the information of this firm. What are the ethics of the alternatives?
First, based on utilitarianism, Stacy should keep loyal to the firm and do not make frank communication with the candidates. Because this is related to his own job, he has to keep him away from being fired. Second, based on rights, candidates have rights to know the true information about the firm, so Stacy should tell them the truth. Third, based on fairness, tell the truth seems to be fair for candidates and him. But he may loss his job because of frank communication. This is an unfair burden for Stacy. What are the practical constraints?
If Stacy tells the true information to the candidates and new employees about the problems at the firm, he might be reprimanded again or even be fired. It may also influence him when seeking a future job. What actions should be taken?
Stacy may try to adapt the advanced level job by learning more skills, so that he can avoid making the same mistakes again. He can keep loyal to the firm when he is interviewing the candidates, and remind the new hires some problems privately. He can also make suggestions to the CPA firm.