Public Practice - Only A Little Lie

John Spratt is the human resources director of StarCo Ltd., a company with annual revenue of $575 million. After many years of trying, John feels he has gained the trust of the entire Starco workforce because of his absolute impartiality in applying the various rules relating to employee benefits.

Recently, a female employee, Jean Wakabiashi, with whom he has begun to form a romantic relationship, has applied for a benefit under the firm’s additional health coverage, but she does not technically qualify. Nevertheless, a little untruth (less than that even,a simple withholding of a certain fact) would fix everything and provide the benefit.

The benefit is for Jean’s autistic child. While direct treatment costs are claimable under the provincial health care program, Jean cannot afford the additional home help and time off work. This additional home help and earnings support is the extra benefit that has been applied for.

John is torn because, on the one hand, he feels partly responsible for the deficiency in StarCo’s additional health plan that would deny Jean the coverage, and because he believes Jean has a very strong moral case and a genuine need. On the other hand, he has always believed in following the rules and he has always dealt on a completely open and honest basis with the insurer.

What should John do?

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