Unethical behavior is an action that falls outside of what is considered morally right or proper for a person, a profession or an industry. Individuals can behave unethically, as can businesses, professionals and politicians.
Unethical Behavior Among Individuals
- Lying to your spouse about how much money you spent.
- Lying to your parents about where you were for the evening.
- Stealing money from the petty cash drawer at work.
- Lying on your resume in order to get a job.
- Talking about a friend behind his back.
- Taking credit for work you did not do.
- Cheating on a school paper by copying it off the Internet.
- Taking $20.00 out of your friend's wallet when he is sleeping.
- Using your position of power at work to sexually harass someone.
- Selling a house and not disclosing known defects to the buyers.
- Selling a car and lying about the vehicle's accident history.
Unethical Behavior Among Businesses
- Dumping pollutants into the water supply rather than cleaning up the pollution properly.
- Releasing toxins into the air in levels above what is permitted by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Coercing an injured worker not to report a work injury to workers' compensation by threatening him with the loss of a job or benefits.
- Refusing to give an employee a final paycheck for hours worked after the employee leaves the company.
- Not paying an employee for all of the hours worked.
- Incorrectly classifying an employee as an independent contractor and not as an employee in order to reduce payroll taxes and avoid purchasing unemployment and workers' compensation insurance.
- Engaging in price fixing to force smaller competitors out of business.
- Using bait and switch or false advertising tactics to lure customers in or convince them to buy a product.
- Rolling back the odometer on a vehicle that is for sale.
- Refusing to honor a warranty claim on a defective product.
Unethical Behavior by Professionals
- Doctors, dentists and lawyers dating their clients.
- Not telling a patient his true diagnosis because the physician didn't know the details of the diagnosis.
- A dentist preforms unnecessary procedures on a patient in order to receive the insurance payment.
- Using a patient as a teaching tool for students for long periods of time without the permission of the patient or patient's family.
- A lawyer will not return money or provide a which was being held for a client.
- A lawyer represents parties on both sides of a legal transaction.
Unethical Behavior Among Politicians and the Government
- Using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to target groups that you do not like by auditing those groups or refusing to give them tax exempt status.
- Obtaining private tax information about your political opponents from the Internal Revenue Service and using that information in a campaign.
- Knowingly telling lies about your own political position or about the political position of your opponent just to get elected.
- Accepting excess campaign contributions that violate campaign finance laws.
- Using money that was donated to your campaign for personal, non-approved expenses.
- Using your position of power to coerce lobbyists into buying expensive gifts for you and for your wife.
- Secretly spying on U.S. citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment and lying about the spying that is going on.
- Using your position of power to close traffic lanes in order to intentionally create a traffic jam that affects residents of a city because residents in that city are not likely to vote for you in an election.
These are just some of the many different examples of unethical behavior that could occur.