Instructional Objectives

IT Conduct Ethics: Employee Conduct and Responsibility

The following unit is a learning module that can be introduced into various IT courses exposing students to selected ethical issues.  These modules have been developed to target specific issues for IT courses as they relate to the course material.  Each learning module will include a video scenario incorporated into a lesson for distribution in a face-to-face, as well as an online, class format. Presenting scenarios via video would allow the instructor to engage students in class discussions in a face-to-face or online format.  The wiki discussion board feature can be employed to host a class debate on any courseware module.

Unit 1:
Internet Social Networking
Employee Conduct and Responsibility

Gaining Attention:
Think your boss has no idea what you are doing online? Think again. Randall Stross has an interesting piece in the New York Times titled “How To Lose Your Job on Your Own Time,” where he points out the growing trend of employees losing their jobs based on inappropriate or unprofessional online content. Stross notes that the nature of the internet grants increased visibility to off-the-clock activities and employers are taking an interest in what workers post online. “Many companies are using the Internet to snoop on their employees. If you fail to maintain amorphous ‘professional’ standards of conduct in your free time, you could lose your job.”
View full article http://www.reputationdefenderblog.com/2008/01/21/teacher-fired-over-myspace-photo/

Objectives:

  1. Given the video Internet Social Networking scenario:
    1. Form an opinion on what degree you believe an employer has to search and make judgments on the content that an employee may put online?
    2. Argue what type of content you would deem acceptable or unacceptable to put online.
  2. Given three scenarios where an employee posts questionable content:
    1.  Identify three consequences of employee actions and discuss if the accused person is being met with the appropriate situation such as reprimand, termination etc. Support your position by citing legal and ethical opinions.
  3.  Given a specific video Teacher Gets Fired scenario:
    1. Take a position in support of the employee or business/institution based on the specific outcome of a situation. Support your position with legal and/or ethical opinions.
    2. Determine if any rights of the individual or business/institution have been violated based on the specific actions against the individual or business.

Recall:

Employment law in most states provides little protection to workers who are punished for their online postings, said George Lenard, an employment lawyer at Harris Dowell Fisher & Harris in St. Louis. The main exceptions are workers who are covered by collective bargaining agreements or by special protections for public-sector employees; members of these groups can be dismissed only “for cause.” The rest of us are “at will” employees, holding on to our jobs only at the whim of our employers, and thus vulnerable.
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/30/business/30digi.html?
ex=1356670800&en=55ef6410d3cac28e&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss


See Teacher Materials for Presentation information for Unit 1.

 

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