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In their “Working in America: Absent Workforce” study, Kronos Inc. found that nearly 40 percent of employees have taken sick days when they are not actually sick, and 61 percent of the respondents said their work did not get done when they were absent. In an effort to curb the resultant losses, some businesses are hiring detectives to spy on employees who have called in sick but might be playing hooky. Investigators are looking to determine if the illness or injury actually exists and, if it does, whether it is serious enough to justify the absence. Rick Raymond is a private detective who has taken on a variety of these cases. He tracked one woman to a Theme Park where they take rider pictures as they round a sharp turn. He bought the pictures as proof she was there. He has tracked others to bowling alleys, pro football games, and weddings. He estimates that about 80 to 85 percent of the people he is hired to follow end up being guilty.
1. The courts have ruled that this practice is legal. Is it ethical?
2. Should limits be placed on the use of private detectives in following employees when they are outside of the office? Explain what these might be.
3. How would you react if your boss had you followed?
4. If you were an employer or a manager, would you hire a private detective to follow one of your employees?
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