The Ethicist

From last week’s column in the New York Times Magazine:

I was terminated by a major corporation for what they said was misconduct. Subsequently, two separate investigations by an outside agency cleared me, and I was awarded unemployment compensation. Need I disclose any of this to a prospective employer when I seek a new job? N.P., STUART, FLA.

You were not fired for misconduct, as two investigations confirmed, and so there is no ethical obligation to tell a prospective employer that you were (falsely) accused of such a thing. Similarly, you’d have no obligation to tell a prospective employer that you were falsely accused of a crime. What would you say at a job interview? “Incidentally, I never robbed every casino on the Vegas strip on the same night. That wasn’t me. It was George Clooney and Brad Pitt. And it wasn’t actually them. It was just a movie. And I may be muddling the plot.” An employer is entitled to know if you’ve engaged in actual wrongdoing that would disqualify you for a job, not to have an account of every lie told about you.

This sounds like the kind of thing I’d say in a job interview, doesn’t it? Yeah. That’s me: Overexplainers Anonymous.

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Categories: News, Nuisance, Miscellany

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