She has two strong motivating reasons to not report the bribery. She could lose her work status in the United States and she would jeopardize her ability to receive her education. She owes herself and her partner a duty of care as well, to place value on her education and her ability to live in Chicago and therefore maintain the relationship. For Valerie, these considerations are powerful, since Waters' actions do not have the same strong impact on her life as reporting him could.
Valerie must determine which duties are most important -- to herself, to her partner, to the company and to her teammates. The teammates would appear to be the least relevant, the company the most relevant. Valerie is acting as in this capacity as a representative of Wisson and should conduct herself on the basis of that position. She is acting in the best interests of the company, which means she owes herself less duty of care than the company as well.
4. Valerie is in a difficult situation. The ethical code of the company is clear, but Wisson appears to lack the policies and procedures necessary to address this violation of the ethical code. However, she must also consider her personal situation. It is first worth mentioning that she does not owe a duty of care to the remaining employees in the group. The company is responsible for their well-being if Waters is fired. They are subject to employment at will, and furthermore if the product is continued post-Waters they will be under a new leader. Their lot may improve. However, their lot is not Valerie's concern. Her dilemma concerns the activity of Waters.
Valerie is unlikely to be able to continue working for Waters. The environment is already fairly poor, with low morale, so aside from her personal considerations she has no reason to continue at Wisson anyway. If she does not report the bribery, then she would be doing so simply for personal gain -- the education and her work visa. This means that she have an ethical standard equivalent to that of Waters, who also accepts bribery for personal gain. Valerie therefore cannot choose to ignore the bribery evidence for two reasons. The first is that she her behavior would be as unethical as Waters' and the second is that she owes the company a duty of care. Valerie is aware of the ethical policy at Wisson. Even in the absence of procedures, the policy remains the moral imperative by which Valerie should act.
Although it is not necessary, Valerie may choose to protect herself in the event that there is a backlash. The loss of her job would be no loss if the company supported Waters, except for the work permit. Valerie may need to return home and pursue opportunities there and both her and her boyfriend should be prepared for that eventuality. In addition, Valerie can take steps to protect her education, by discussing with the school what options may be available if she loses her education. She may receive funding to help pay for the studies, and the studies could give her a student visa that would allow her to stay in the U.S.
While Valerie prepares for a worst case scenario, she should understand that such a scenario is unlikely to occur. Wisson is unlikely to appreciate the betrayal by Waters as such betrayal could result in reduced revenues for Wisson. Furthermore, Valerie is operating according to the principles that are espoused in the company's ethical policies. Those policies should reflect the ideals of senior management. As such, Valerie should not expect backlash.
Valerie's ethical position is fairly clear. She needs to report the bribery, as she owes the ownership group a duty of care as a member of the organization and her behavior in this situation should be bound by the company's code of ethics. If she ignores the bribe, she is adhering to the same ethical standard as Waters is, putting personal gain above all else. However, even though her actions are guided by a clear moral imperative in the code of ethics, she should take steps to minimize any negative consequences that she may suffer as the result of backlash -- including steps to preserve her education and work status if she needs to leave…