Morals = Values = Integrity


When we talk about Morals i.e. Right from Wrong or Thinking and Knowing. We all know that whether it be business or personal relationships, deceiving people is morally wrong.

When we talk about Values and where they originate we can look at: genes, family, environment and our religious beliefs.

When we talk about Integrity…

The reason I chose to write about this particular subject is to open up discussion of Unethical behaviors in the workplace as seen through the eyes of an employee. What is Unethical?

  • Violating the Employment and Workplace Standards
  • Basic Human Rights of others.

It has been my personal experience as an Employer that when employees were appreciated and treated ethically, they were 100% motivated and committed.

The Lucifer Effect

On 17 Jan, 2014 By David Newman

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Zimbardo

Random House Publishing Group, 1st Ed. Reprint (2008) (public library)

Summarized by Joshua Elle

“We are training ordinary people on how to become everyday heroes by learning how to stand up, speak out and take wise and effective action in the challenging situations they face daily at home, school, business, community and nation.”

–Dr. Philip Zimbardo

When it comes to moral development in human beings, the Harvard psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg has conducted research showing that a person can still grow from a moral and ethical standpoint later in life.

Kohlberg’s research found that a human’s ability to understand complex moral issues is formed over time and develops much like the stages of growth in physical development. While moral development starts in childhood, it does not cease there. An example of this can be seen when asking young children why stealing is wrong. They often say that “mommy or daddy said it was wrong” or “if you steal, you will get spanked.” It is later on that these same children will begin to see why stealing is wrong by looking at how it affects the people around them instead of just the ways in which it can harm themselves. Researchers have also found that people’s behavior is influenced by their moral judgement and perception of the world as well as their moral education.

Facts – Employment Standards: “Ministry of Labour”

  • Basic Standards of Compensation & Conditions
  • e. Formal Written Offer by Manager/Owner – Title, Salary, Benefits, Commission, Vacation
  • e. Layoff/Termination

Facts – Human Rights: “Human Rights Tribunal”

Facts – Workplace Standards: “Work Safe BC”

  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Health and Safety
  • Policies and Procedures

Scene One: (Names are changed to protect the identity of the Worker’s and Company throughout the scenes)

Jim was a Senior Manager. During the course of his employment Jim did not fulfill the responsibilities of his title according to the Owner. At the time, Jim was laying in a hospital bed when he received notification from the owner that his employment was terminated.   The Owner and Jim met in person and Jim was hired as a Contractor to train another Manager. During the course of this Contract he was verbally attacked by the Owner and suffered a mental breakdown. “Morals”

Question: Morally right or Morally Wrong?

Scene Two:

Dave was in a position of Management, his responsibilities included teaching workers about a new product. During the course of employment, he fulfilled his responsibilities. He requested time off without pay to look after some personal matters related to the care of his parents. His request was denied by the Owner. The personal matter was urgent in nature so the worker requested a day off in order to fulfill his obligation. “Values” The day taken happened to fall on a Friday. The following work day, a manager above him in authority asked to speak with him (we will call him Pete). Pete proceeded to tell Dave “the Owner wants you gone and I would have given you notice on Friday, but you weren’t here. So I am giving you notice that your last day will be this Friday.”

Question: Morally right or Morally Wrong?

Scene Three:

New employees were hired, John was the manager, while Debbie was the employee. After the interview process and reference checks, an offer was presented outlining the Job Title, the Compensation Plan, Responsibilities and the Benefits. The Owner was cc’d on the correspondence in Debbie’s case. During the course of employment both John and Debbie’s remuneration package was changed without their consent. In fact, Debbie was told by the Owner that John should never have offered a Commission Plan when the Company was in no position to offer one. Both John and Debbie were informed that they would be laid off, and had to train their replacement. “Morals”

Question: Morally right or Morally Wrong?

Employers can terminate for whatever reason, but should still behave Ethically. There are many other scene’s that could be highlighted to demonstrate the toxic environment.


An email was sent to Human Resources informing them of a resignation. In addition to indicating that the behavior of the Owner needs to stop, in order to ensure the physical and mental well-being of all workers.

A letter was sent to the Owner advising him that the appropriate authorities have been informed of his Willful Negligence to provide written Policies and Procedures as they relate to workplace issues, including Bullying and Harassment and the Health and Safety Standards of all workers.

Question: Morally right or Morally Wrong?

Each province in Canada has their own governing body of the Workers Compensation Board. A complaint was filed, the complainant was informed that additional communication was received and an Investigation took place. The outcome protects the rights of all workers better than before because of Policies and Procedures that are now in place. Is this enough?

“A recent study applauds the work of the International Labour Organisation (sic) in setting benchmarks for defining, preventing and responding to violence in the workplace. The study focuses on research about the effects on victims and shows that the health related consequences of psychological violence in the workplace can be as severe as those from physical violence. Violence in the workplace is seen as a major occupational health and safety hazard across the globe. (Mayhew and Chappell 2007, 327-339)”

  • Information taken from the Public Health Agency of Canada

“Work Safe BC – Bullying & Harassment – Section 173 of the Workers Compensation Act (“Act”) – 2017 Investigations of bullying and harassment are in some cases subject to other requirements from the Act or Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. The PRRD will be scheduling a pre-consultation session in 2017 to discuss bullying and harassment issues, to determine if policy development is required.

Integrity is “Think & Say, Feel and Believe, Do”

Whether we are employees, managers or owners, WE ALL have a responsibility to promote healthy relationships and workplaces. By discussing behaviors, in an open, honest and respectful discussion, it is my belief that we can learn how to promote healthy relationships and workplaces. It is morally wrong to walk away and do nothing.

Let the discussion begin!


Suzana Matkovic
Suzana Matkovic
SUZANA has a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks. With the guidance of a loving family, she aspired to the best job of Life: Motherhood. People that know her journey will understand how this beautiful and tragic chapter forged her resilience and tenacity to bring her passions to life by being part of the change. Upon graduation in 84, she moved into an extremely successful 30-year career. Nonetheless, she walked away from it in 2014, in order to pursue something more personally meaningful. A School of Life that enabled her to meet people of different nationalities, cultures, races, languages and outlooks, is what she sought. She is an avid advocate and volunteer motivated to help others reach their full potential by raising awareness of numerous social issues affecting many and establishing a legacy for change. Suzana’s training and experience have provided her with a unique foundation from which to produce communication that is Significant, Relevant and Actionable. Her knowledge in sales/business development and marketing started in the early 90’s where she received numerous awards for innovation, customer satisfaction and quality management. She has worked in all business categories: Local Government, Manufacturing and Distribution, Logistics and Lumber Export. Some of the more notable products and services were sold into the Environmental Energy Sector and building products that represented Structural, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Architectural Engineering. In addition to Marketing initiatives for various NGOs and causes near and dear to her heart. All this was accomplished by a high school graduate with determination, vision and passion. She attributes her success to many wonderful mentors throughout her personal and professional life and the inner strength God blessed her with.

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