by Virtual Assistant
(July 13, 2012)
Today I am going to share one of my experiences that is closely connected to the ethics of outsourcing. This is a very interesting experience and I am still not sure about my decision, which I took at that time.
Once, I applied for a job on oDesk in which the employer asked me to post some answers on Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo Answers! is a unique and modern way of sharing your information and experiences where you can ask and answer any question and know the perspective of others from all over the world. In recent times this service is very useful for link-building and for promotion of your web-business.
Coming back to the oDesk job. That employer just wrote in his job description that he just needed someone to research and post material against questions related to his niche. It was a straightforward job for me and as I did this kind of job on a regular basis, therefore I applied for it without any hesitation.
The person interviewed me for a long period and then he hired me for this job on oDesk. After awarding me the contract, he simply mailed me an instruction manual in which he provided step-by-step instructions for this work.
Now its time to discuss the serious part of that job.
The employer was running a website which provides alternate medicines. This is a very profitable online business where you can research alternative medicines against your expensive prescribed medicine at a very low price.
My job was to research some of the keywords (these keywords were mostly related to different diseases and some medical terms) and then I had to suggest cheap alternative medicines in my answers.
Here I had a conflict with my conscience, I researched a further and found out that some of the medicines were lifesaving drugs. How can I suggest someone a lifesaving drug, especially when I know nothing about the prescribed medicine…?
So, keeping in view the whole scenario, I simply denied performing his job without logging any hours. The employer tried to retain me, but I apologized him that I am not an expert to suggest this type of advice to others, therefore I cannot continue this job.
Now here I have two questions:
- From an employer’s point of view: Is it ethical that you hire someone for such sensitive jobs which can take someone’s life?
- From a provider’s point of view: Is it ethical that you deny to work after getting selected and hired for a specific job?
I am not sure which argument is true and which false, but perhaps your comment can help me decide the final verdict.
So dive into the discussion and leave me a comment.
Comments for An Unethical Job Can Easily Turn Into a Criminal Act. Be Careful!
|Jul 13, 2012||interesting – and frightening
I would be surprised if posting such a job to an outsourcing company would even be legal.
An employer has to take a decision what sort of work he outsources.
Any medical job does not fall into this category, in my book.
If you as a provider decided to not take the job or this money, your decision was highly ethical.
Unfortunately, there probably quickly was someone to replace you for this task.
Perhaps it would have been possible to report this job.
But I doubt that odesk would have taken any action.
|Jul 22, 2012||A friendly reminder to new contractors
As a contractor, part of our responsibility is to know the detailed description of the job that we are applying for. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or clarifications and don’t ever hesitate to share your thoughts about something that is bothering you.
I agree that scenarios like this are inevitable, most especially in the world of freelancing/outsourcing.
I actually had the same experience when I applied for a job posting as a chat support (that’s what the job description says), only to find out in the interview that it was for an adult site and I needed to be naked! It was hilarious yet very disappointing.
So always be proactive, ask questions and never be afraid to say NO.
|Jul 27, 2012||Ethics at Odesk – explained based on your experience.
Ethics, in my point of view, is a grey area. It differs from person to person in general. What is ethical to someone may not be ethical to others and vise versa.
However, in common, there are “unethical activities”, which means anything that causes damage to the public, the environment or other external factors.
Coming to the point, your client might have started running the business for various reasons. He might have a motive of promoting alternatives for the less-affordables, might have facilitated a cheap source of research to a target group and so many other good causes.
In this ground, he may have had an option of going for a freelancing to cover the cost as a cost effective mechanism. Besides these factors, he should lay an important role in choosing the appropriate candidate for a job of such a risky nature. Hence, should have laid some restrictions in his Job Description on the target group that he would consider hiring. This can be termed as a Careless Act if it had stopped from this point.
However, after so many questions with you, his decision to hire you was totally unethical from an employer’s point of view. Because it is inevitable to him that a wrong hire may lead to a risk of unethical behaviour, endangering a person’s life.
From a provider’s point of view, there is a distinction drawn to conclude with the decision of denying work after a selection process. It is the sole responsibility of the provider to understand the nature of the job by posing various questions to clients during the selection process. This maybe a troublesome activity under the hood of “Disturbance to opportunity for Earnings”. However, this is very important under ethics. Failing to do so, will result in giving inconvenience to the employer to perform an ineffective selection process.
When the provider strived his best to examine whether the job was ethical and fails to realize due to misinterpretation or lack of serious information from employer, it is evident that the denial is said to be purely ethical. This was the experience you had with your job.
In my opinion, I would say that it is not ethical to hire someone for a sensitive job of such nature with a mere intention of profit motive.
And also would say that it is ethical to deny working once it was realized at any point of time that it would lead to a Criminal Act.
|Dec 13, 2013||Should you do a job whe you know nothing about it?
First, the employer should got someone that knows that field. When you are dealing with people’s lifes, you should tell them about the job, always be upfront when you hire someone and don’t leave them in the cold.
|Jun 22, 2014||Right decision
Ethically, only doctors are allowed to recommend/refer drugs or medicines. And in your case, the employer asked you to post life-saving drugs which is not in your line of duty. You just did a great decision on putting it to a stop.
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