The pro-ethic orientation is an unappreciated quality in human resource management in Polish companies. Its reference points include not only systemic solutions, but also the moral conviction of employees, especially of the managerial staff. The purpose of this communication is a qualitative analysis of moral standards guiding managers in taking decisions regarding dismissals. The research material consists of reports on the part of managers on their ethical dilemmas when faced with the undertaking of difficult staff decisions. Distributive and procedural justice models were utilized in classifying standards. Analysis results prove that ethical positions that represent a 'welfare ethic', the basis of which is an orientation for protecting the basic needs of the worker that are threatened by loss of a job, dominate.