Mary’s Ethical Options

Mary’s Ethical Options



Mary’s Ethical Options

Employers and employees have to exist in harmony in order to achieve the intended goals. A peaceful coexistence is maintained by rules and regulations between both parties that are recognized by the law. As workers are bound by a variety of responsibilities and rights from their company, so are employers responsible for ensuring that employees’ rights are upheld. Despite many employment principles being similar between the United States and Europe, some fundamental differences about how the two regions undertake their labor issues are evident (Wugmeister, & Bevitt, 2008). Considering Mary is employed in a department operating in the two jurisdictions, she is bound to encounter problems while solving the problem that arises from the different labor laws within the two areas.

             In both areas, employees are served with the responsibility of acting with regard to their employers. The relationship between employers and employees is one of mutual trust. This is to suggest that employees are required to use the resources to the best of their knowledge and skill to benefit both themselves and their employer. Additionally, employees need to meet the standards set by the employer, as well as remain loyal. Actions that can compromise the interests of the employers are illegal. On the other hand, the employers have authority over their employees in a relationship that resembles master and slave. However, the employees are entitled to several rights under the law. Some of these rights include right to fair treatment, work in safe environments, privacy and rights to raise any grievances. The employer is responsible of ensuring the employees enjoy these rights in both areas, the same way they should pay wages (Block, 2003).

Within both United States and Europe, there are strict laws that protect employees. In the United States, the employers have a duty to uphold the rights of their employees and responsibilities that are stated in the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act. This act covers all possible hazards in the workplace, discrimination, as well as unfair practices. In Europe, employees are protected by laws under the European Union. This poses one of the main differences when it comes to laws. The other difference comes from market regulations. Europeans focus on market regulations as a way of maintaining balanced labor relations. The government and lobbyist groups play an extremely crucial role here (Siebert, 2006). In contrast, the United States holds the notion that market forces are able to maintain equality without regulations. It argues that open and fair competition, where talented employees compete for best employers while companies seek best workers, ensures a balance of power between both parties, which serves to establish a fair relationship.

If Mary chooses to file a complaint with a government agency, she is going to face a big challenge posed by the different rules between the two jurisdictions. With different rules and regulations between United States and Europe, it may be impossible to apply a similar action within the entire department. In addition, what might be considered an offence in one of the jurisdictions may not be an offence in the other, which means one action cannot apply to the whole department. Additionally, she is likely to suffer victimization from the other workers who might consider her actions as alienation. Bypassing the supervisors will place Mary on the wrong, which can be considered a disregard for their authority. Going ahead with this decision might create a negative attitude of her from the other workers, making her environment even worse.

I would advise Mary to go over to the supervisors above her managers, considering she has already talked with her immediate heads who are not ready to resolve the situation. Although this will undermine their power and send a wrong message to the other workers, it is the most right thing to do. According to responsibilities and rights of employers over their employees, these workers are in violation. Ethically, Mary should go ahead and file a report with the higher management in order to have this corrected. This is the only way she can act in the best interest of the employer, which is the main responsibility of an employee.


Block, R. N. & Roberts, K. (2003). Comparing and Quantifying Labor Standards in the United States and the European Union. Michigan State University. Retrieved from

Siebert, W. S. (2006). Labor Market Regulation in the EU-15: Causes and Consequences- A Survey. Retrieved from

Wugmeister, M. & Bevitt, A. (2008). Comparing the U.S. and EU Approach to Employee Privacy. Retrieved from

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