This study examines why individuals who are deeply embedded in the organization may engage in unethical pro-organizational behavior (UPB). Drawing from social identity theory and self-affirmation theory, we propose that deeply embedded employees may engage in UPB as a way of promoting or maintaining their status in the organization. We further propose that this positive relationship between organizational embeddedness and UPB, mediated through status perceptions, is stronger for employees working under managers who display low levels of ethical leadership. Using data gathered in a two-wave survey from 224 working adults, the results of the study lend support for the hypothesized relationships and remained significant even after controlling for affective commitment. The study advances our understanding of both contextual and individual factors motivating employees to engage in UPB and the boundary conditions under which UPB can be reduced.