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Firing Employee for Data Stealing: Ethical Dilemma Challenges

Ilustrasi pekerja mencuri data perusahaan

Ilustrasi pekerja mencuri data perusahaan

Anekainfounik.net. The employees are bound company’s code to conduct activities based on employer interest. Conflict of interest may be occurred in situation while employee’s activities make bad influence to the company. It is like PUBG developed Bluehole problem. According wccftech.com, this company had been fired an employee due to rumor for colluding with external parties selling illegal programs.

The employer name, Suhwan Kim, the head of PUBG’s China region, was alleged for improver behavior because of selling classified information to hack-developer. But PUBG Corp denied this rumor. In official statement on PUBG forum, Andro Dars, community manager of Bluehole, stated that the employee had not already been fired. This case is still in investigation and he claimed it doesn’t deliver bad influence to service to players over the world.

Why does this case become ethical dilemma?

Moral and ethical behaviors have moved to important aspects in information technology business, including for online game, particularly if this issue related to individual privacy and use of customer data. When company collected data from the gaming players, company were bound legal and ethical implications for handling such data and protecting customer privacy.

Ethical dilemma can be defined as decision is difficult choice to make decision due to complexity of situational conflict between two possible moral imperatives. Bluehole realized that the employee took wrongful behavior by selling confidential corporate data for personal benefits. It is against the confidentiality rules in their codes of conduct. So the employee must be punished or even fired.

But the complexity arises when it is related to customer data. Choosing firing employee can make the employee do legal strike against company. The employee can open his mouth that the players’ private data is not fully protected by company. Names, phone numbers, addresses, e-mail and other customer information are regarded as subject to data protection law. So if Bluehole failed to obey the data regulation, the company will be fined for huge sum of money or even prisoned.

This thing can explain why Bluehole issued statement of rumor denial. Of course, this PUBG developer must maintain the trust of gaming players. For customers, data is matter of trust. So the issue related to data can be viral on social media and make players afraid to use this developer’s service.

Firing without reason

So what should company do? Bluehole must fire this alleged employee because of his harmful action. Therefore, human resource department and manager must collaborate to treat it extremely carefully. To allege employee for crime can bring new problem for risk of defamation lawsuit. Consulting to employment law attorney is suggested to prevent the situation if it will be not laid proper groundwork.

The best path to do is to fire the employee with no explanation or without any of accusation of data theft. The law does not obligate for company to tell the reason of termination for the worker. But this way can make the employee claim unemployment benefits which can cost too much for company if unemployment tax rate is high. But it may cost cheaper if it’s compared to expensive litigation.

Before firing the employee, Bluehole must do investigation based on written company procedures in order to discover what really happened. Alleged employee must be allowed to tell the story from his perspective. After employee is fired, all evidences must be kept so it can be produced later in court.

Conclusion

In fact, company has wide authority to fire worker who violated employment code of conduct particularly if the worker is alleged for stealing confidential information of company. To prevent ethical dilemma, it is suggested for company do wise step for preventing losses due to employment benefits and legal resistance of alleged employee.

The simply to do is fire the employee without any accusation of theft. But the company must conduct a proper investigation and catalogue the evidence for anticipating the court. It is also suggested for company to implement the best way to keep confidential data of company safe such as conducting excellent background checks before hiring employees and establishing good system of checks and balances.

References

Aernout. (2018, March 5). PUBG Dev Bluehole Comments on Colluding With External Parties Selling Illegal Programs; Employee In Question Hasn’t been Fired. Retrieved from https://wccftech.com/pubg-bluehole-comments-colluding-illegal/
Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business. (2018, April 11). Retrieved from https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/protecting-personal-information-guide-business
Cam Merrit. (2017, September 26). How Should a Company Terminate Employees Caught Stealing? Retrieved from https://bizfluent.com/info-12092425-should-company-terminate-employees-caught-stealing.html
Mary Paulsell. (2014, February 17). The problem of employee theft. Retrieved from https://missouribusiness.net/article/problem-employee-theft/

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