Benefit Plan Implementation: An IT Ethical Dilemma

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Journal of Critical Incidents

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IT systems analyst Jim Davis had just been told by the Director of IT that Jim must change the employee benefits software despite Jim's objections that the change was unethical. The company had allocated an amount of money for each employee to purchase benefits, and Jim's team wrote the software according to the requirements provided by the firm's benefits consultants. In opposition to the benefits consultants' interpretation of the regulations governing the plan, the CEO believed that to protect employees from electing cheaper benefits, no rebates for reduced coverage should be paid to them. The CEO ordered that the software be changed to ensure this outcome. Based on the consultant's opinion, Jim found this decision unethical. He wondered whether he should risk his job by refusing to implement the change ordered by the CEO.