A small boutique insurance company has been hammered by a slowing economy. Sales are off dramatically, cash flow is dwindling and lines of credit are nearly exhausted. The company is bleeding money. The founder and CEO is trying to ride out the storm, but the situation has deteriorated enough that he must do something to stop the financial haemorrhaging.
The option that would reap the greatest savings for his struggling company is to lay off some of his longest-tenured employees (each of whom contributed to the company’s prosperity in better times) because they cost the most in salary and benefits. But given his company’s precarious finances, he would be in no position to offer these workers any meaningful severance beyond two weeks salary.
What would you do? What ethical considerations would you give to your decision-making? Why? Why not?
We encourage you to post your answers in the comments so we can create a healthy discussion, with the aim of learning from our peers, becoming aware of differing perspectives and challenging our own biases.
If you would like to submit an ethical dilemma to feature in an upcoming weekly challenge please email: email@example.com.
Photo by Joshua Davis on Unsplash