Does Blowing the Whistle Violate Company Loyalty?
Employees have moral obligations to respect the property of the corporation, to abide by employment" onmouseover="window.status = 'goto: employment';return 1" onmouseout="window.status=''">employment contracts, and to operate within the bounds of the company's procedural rules. However, the duty of loyalty is not absolute. That an employee should be loyal is a prima facie duty. The object of the employee's duty must be deserving if the duty is genuine and overriding rater that prima facie. Many of the moral grounds for employee loyalty have been destroyed. Yet there are some minimum requirements of loyalty based in law. The whistleblower may feel they face a conflict between loyalty to their organization and loyalty to the public. The fact is that loyalty to an organization stems from an acceptance of its objectives. However if the objectives involve breaking the law it is difficult to see that there's any loyalty obligation.
The public interest comes first. The Insider begins with Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), a producer for "60 Minutes", searching for and obtaining interviews with important people in newsworthy situations. One day, he receives a box full of technical books" onmouseover="window.status = 'goto: books';return 1" onmouseout="window.status=''">books pertaining to the temperature of burning cigarettes and the like. Unable to comprehend anything in the manuals, he asks Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), head of research at Brown & Williamson, to translate everything. However, Bergman begins to believe Wigand has something more to say. Turns out, Wigand was fired from his job for being a little too vocal on certain issues. Unfortunately, Wigand has signed a confidentiality agreement with B&W that prohibits him from revealing secrets about his old employer. Bergman has to find a way around the confidentiality agreement, or jeopardize Wigand's family and future. Ultimately,