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The Ethicist

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One of my favorite features in the NY Times is “The Ethicist” with Randy Cohen.  Here’s your chance to be “the ethicist”:

Is it ever unethical to give an anonymous gift?

I have a friend who is a supervisor at a small non-profit agency.  One of her employees made an unauthorized purchase (less than $25), in what she deemed was an urgent situation (let’s say she took a cab to work in order not to be late for an important meeting), assuming that she would be reimbursed for the purchase.  Company policy does not allow staff to be reimbursed for travel to and from work.  When the employee requested reimbursement, she also explained that she was in very dire financial straits and if she didn’t get the money, it meant that she would not have money for food.  The supervisor explained the policy, discussed some steps she could take in the future in this circumstance, and denied the request.  The supervisor later, anonymously left an envelope with cash on the employee’s desk.  If the company found out, they would not be happy with the supervisor’s actions, so there was some deception involved.

Ethical or not?  Any solutions for this supervisor?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Koche permalink
    2009-07-26 12:03 AM


  2. 2009-07-29 11:00 AM

    why and no one else has an opinion?

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