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Neil Tocher, Tyler Burch, Dennis Krumwiede

Personal Loyalty versus Business Operations: What to do about an Aging Employee who is also a Long-time Family Friend?

This decision-based critical incident describes Josh’s worry about how to deal with Ben, a long-time family friend and employee of Mountain Top Construction (MTC) whose severe arthritis has left him unable to perform most work functions. As co-owner of MTC, Josh realizes that he must balance family friendship with effective business operations. The situation is complicated by the fact that Ben wants to return to work and Josh would look heartless if he forces Ben out of the company. Ben’s situation also made Josh wonder whether MTC (a tight-knit small family firm) should start to purchase disability coverage for employees, develop formal policy about disabled employees, and/or offer employees the option to purchase supplemental insurance.