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The Case of Avco Environmental Services

Participant: Mohanrasu G

Batch : PGXPM 10

Questions:

What should Chantale do?

What are the reasonable limits on loyalty to ones employer?

Would it make difference if Chantale had a position of greater authority?

Would it make a difference if Chantale had scientific expertise?

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Chantale Leroux had reported to her immediate supervisor as soon as she got to
know that the medical wastes are getting disposed of in municipal landfill.
Immediate escalation of this issue to her supervisor is to be appreciated. Over and
above this, when she is not convinced with her boss answer, she took it up with
operations head Angela Van Wilgenburg. At this juncture, calling up the
newspaper friend is not correct as she is already confused and not sure with
Angelas answer. Even though she has highlighted an unethical practice as per the
document but still this needs to be investigated further before letting entire world
know about it.

In my opinion, Chantale should investigate further rather than raising a false alarm.
She is not completely aware of the companys practice as well as the local
permissible limit which can be disposed of in municipal landfill. Blowing whistle for
an incorrect issue could lead to other repercussions and should be avoided.
Immediate escalation to her supervisor / operations head is already done. It should
be backed by a document or investigation to escalate it further. In case of an
unethical practice and could impact public health, then it should be escalated to
CEO and it is also important to bring it to everyones notice.

In order to do this, Chantale should work towards identifying the damage it has
caused to public and the society. In the current scenario, getting information across
world is not an issue. This will bring in more clarity to Chantale so which she can
take an informed decision. In case of non-availability of information on the internet
portal or on other websites she could approach her friend to get sufficient
information from local municipality. Once the required information is available then
she could escalate it to the highest level in the organization and ensure that
necessary solution is identified.

Chantale owes no loyalty that requires breaking the law, or ignoring law breaking
on the part of her organization.

Chantale could encounter private liability for the dumping if she had a position of
larger authority and did not get action to report the infractions. As a clerk, she is
probably not going to encounter such liability, as the authorities will fully grasp her
lack of influence, even if she cannot document her objections.

Chantale loyalty cannot be questioned in that case as she is able to produce


evidence and try to sort out the issue with senior management rather than directly
approaching newspaper without knowing the facts. If there is inaction by senior
management and the necessary actions are not taken then Chantale should not
hesitate to approach her newspaper friend as it affects the innocent public and the

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society in which she lives in. Chantale should discuss this in detail with her friend
and take his advice before it goes into public through newspaper. She can provide
evidence as it could help the newspaper friend in further investigation. Nobody
could quote her as disloyal as she had taken enough steps to fix the highlighted
issue. If the issues are not getting fixed, then it could also be because of her
designation in the organization.

Generally, people listen to someone who is senior in the company and ignore the
suggestion / whistle blowing from junior staff. It could make a difference if Chantale
is senior in the organization as well as have great responsibility with authority. This
will also make her involved to a great extent as she would have to face legal issues
if it is identified by someone else.

In case it is ignored because of her designation, she could approach environment


clearing board to get their advice. This could probably help to highlight the
seriousness of the issue to CEO and make them feel her intention to get this sorted
out without damaging the companys reputation. This could help her career if things
work out as she desires. If not, it could result in damaging her entire career. She
has to balance her professional as well as personal responsibility. Any such issues
should be escalated and highlighted regardless of the persons involved.

Any organization which is involved in this kind of wrong doing, it should be


highlighted and rectified instead of ignoring it. This can help the company she
works for as well as the society she lives in. Unethical practice of any company is
not sustainable. It could damage the reputation as well as the effort put in over the
years. So any employee at any level should take up such kind of issues quite
seriously as after all ones duty to the society and human kind should come ahead
of personal worries like safeguarding ones job. In fact, such a level of personal
integrity can help to lead a good life and also build reputation which would be
considered highly in many organizations which value such ethical behavior.

If Chantale had medical expertise, it could help her to take quick decision rather
than approaching or taking opinion from multiple sources. She could present the
issue in detail with the affect it can produce to human kind. It could have put her in
better place while discussing it with her supervisor or with operations Head Angela.
If she had medical expertise as well as part of senior management, then she could
decide what is best for the company immediately and can convince her CEO. She
could also explain that the reputational damage it could bring in and the health
affect to the society. She could have informed operations head to change the
process and take corrective action.

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Organizations should keep reiterating on best ethical practices and make it more
transparent to every employee. CEO of the companies should talk about ethical
issues in open forums and make every employee to understand the importance
given across organization. This could build a transparent and ethical culture.