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I Quit My Unethical Job

I Quit My Unethical Job

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Dear Rabbi,

Recently I accepted a job not realizing that part of my duties would be to copy and paste articles from various websites for a weekly bulletin. The CEO wanted me to make it appear that he himself wrote all the articles. I feel that plagiarism is not only unethical but also illegal. I left the position even though I need a job because every time I sent out the mass emailing I felt that I was committing a crime.

Was I right? If yes, why did I get the job in the first place? Was it a test?

I can't get this out of my mind.

Answer:

Nobody should be forced to do something they feel is wrong, and you did the right thing by leaving the job based on your understanding of right and wrong.1

Unfortunately not everyone sees the world as clearly as you, and you should be thankful that you were given the clarity to make the right decision, difficult as it may have been.

G‑d places us in these situations that are less than ideal, so that we can face and overcome the challenge. These challenges make us stronger and better people. You have also taught your CEO that there are those that are ethical in the world and I am sure that, on one level or another, this story will have a great effect on the way he/she acts in the future.

I am sure that you are a better person, and those that know your courage are too.

See Why Do Things Go Wrong? from our selection on the Jewish take on Struggle, Challenge & Adversity.

All the best,

Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov
Ask the Rabbi @ The Judaism WebsiteChabad.org

Footnotes
1.

See the Code of Jewish Law, Choshen Mishpat 228.

Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov is co-director, along with his wife Chanie, of Chabad of Northwest Indiana, and a member of Chabad.org's Ask the Rabbi team.
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Lisa Providence, RI January 24, 2014

Quitting an Unethical Job Congratulations for quitting your unethical job!

What your boss did is against the law and he should be reported for it! Reply

Elizabeth VA November 27, 2012

We must always do the right thing Doing the right thing is never easy..if it was, everyone would be doing it. I quit a job several years ago due to similar circumstances...fraudulent science. The outcome of my choice tortured me for a few years. Not only had I lost my job but because I had reported to the authorities what was happening, those in my profession shunned me and I had to change careers. I was shocked by others' reaction to what I had done. I thought everyone would be glad that I had chosen to do the right thing. In hindsight, I would not change what I did even though I suffered horribly. I gained a lot of wisdom about humanity though and I am wiser about how I handle these types of situations. I believe you did the right thing and I hope that you will always be as courageous and not succumb to fear. I also hope that you too will take the time to examine this experience and reap much wisdom from it. I believe there is a great purpose in enduring all adversity. Reply

Janet Phoenix, Arizona September 29, 2011

I quit my unethical job That is called plagiarism and he could be sued! But I would not have quit...I would have cautioned him about the possible legal action and let him make the decision to fire you. It's not your fault that you are not a creative writer as he expected. I have been out of a job for over a year and I did not quit...and I have children to support... Reply

yminoh August 11, 2011

I think the Rabbi missed one thing...shouldn't this person have approached the CEO about his unethical behavior before quitting? Reply

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