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ARTICLE SUMMARY: Oregon car salesman Kevin Lamson was fired by Crater Lake Motors. Company owner Jim Coleman claims Lamson was released for reasons related to performance. Lamson counters that his firing was because he refused to participate in a sales program he considered to be unethical. Lamson sued, claiming wrongful discharge, and won in trial court. The Oregon Supreme Court reversed the decision stating “there was no evidence Lamson had been ordered to violate any ethical standard or law.”

QUESTIONS:

  1. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that no ethical standard or law had been violated. Does this mean the practices questioned by Kevin Lamson are ethical? What alternative view(s) of ethics may have influenced Lamson?
  2. Is Kevin Lamson a whistleblower? What are the arguments for and against calling him a whistleblower?
  3. Looking at the stages of moral development, where would you place Kevin Lamson, Crater Lake Motors, and the Oregon Supreme Court (based on the ruling in this case)?

SOURCE: W. McCall, “Oregon Court Rejects Car Salesman in Ethics Appeal,” The Washington Post (Retrievable online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/20/AR2009082002228.html)

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