46. Debbie is a recent graduate of Tappler University with a B.A. in Communications, and was delighted to have found a part-time position as the director of the Wilson-Area VintageThrift Shop, a small store that accepts donations of vintage clothing and sells it to the public. Debbie receives very little in salary and no benefits, and is struggling to pay off her student loans. While she has been hired part-time, she finds that she is devoting much more than the 20 hours per week to her job--more like 40 hours. She cannot afford any health insurance, and is terrified that a major illness will make it impossible for her to pay her rent and food expenses, which her meager salary barely covers. Proceeds from the store support the programs of her employer, the Bratton Mission, that helps those with alcohol and substance abuse addictions reintegrate into the community. Debbie is a one-woman band at the center, being its only paid staff member. She solicits and processes donations, sorts the clothing with a small staff of part-time volunteers, pays the bills, mans the cash register, and deals with the myriad problems that accrue in running what amounts to a small business for a nonprofit organization with only minimal supervision. Debbie loves her dog, and keeping her pet is virtually her only indulgence. She has an outstanding $110 invoice from the vet, and has no funds to pay it until she receives her paycheck in a week. She decides that given the circumstances, she needs to borrow money from the Thrift Store’s cash register to pay this bill, and replace it once she receives her paycheck from the Mission. Since she handles the bookkeeping for the Thrift Shop, she knows she can do this without anyone finding out, and she knows she can pay the money back once she gets her paycheck.
a. Is Debbie’s behavior ethical?
b. Is Debbie’s behavior unethical even if she pays the money back the next day?