Free Essay on Ethical Issue

I interviewed an employee of a meat processing company. The aim was to determine the ethical issues she encounters on the job or see others facing. Below is a report of how the interview went.

The employee asserted that as one of the few females that work in the production department at a small meat processing company which has a labor force comprising seventy percent male workers, the ethical issues that she has faced and those that she has seen her colleagues encounter are many. One of them is discrimination based on pregnancy. The employee asserts that she knows of two qualified job applicants who were denied job opportunities because their pregnancy was showing. She said,” I have worked at this company for five years and never once have I seen a pregnant woman who is showing get hired in the production department no matter how experienced they are.” She explains that with reasonable accommodation, the kind of job she does can be easily undertaken by a pregnant woman.

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She also admitted that she was once a victim of sexual harassment. Luckily, in her case, the perpetrator who was a subordinate member of staff was found culpable and fired. However, she asserts that a colleague who refused to accept the sexual advances of a person in senior management had their employment terminated because her job performance was dismal.

The employee also pointed out that the company was sued for gender-based discrimination in their hiring process. The plaintiff, a female job applicant who was disqualified for failing a strength test filed disparate impact claims against the employer. The strength test required applicants to do some heavy lifting over a significant distance. As a result, a substantial portion of male applicants qualified whereas only 25 percent of women passed the test. The interviewee attested that the test was significantly more difficult than the actual job. Therefore, it was purposefully meant to take out female applicants.

The interviewee believes that her company lacks internal mechanisms to resolve ethical issues correctly. This is because there are no clear company policies that prohibit such practices and outline disciplinary measures against them. Moreover, the office of the human resource has not been vocal about zero tolerance for unethical behavior at the company. Furthermore, the department has lagged behind in implementing the existing policies and offering redress to employees who have fallen victim to unethical practices at the workplace.

From the interview, I have identified several instances of unethical practices at the place of work. Firstly, there is gender-based prejudice in the meat processing company during the hiring process. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978, prohibits employers from denying a qualified candidate an employment opportunity because they are pregnant. So long as the candidate has demonstrated that they are capable of performing the essential functions of the job with reasonable accommodation, denying them employment purely on the basis of their condition is unlawful. Under the law, employers are required to treat pregnancy in the same manner as they treat other temporary medical conditions and provide the individual with the necessary accommodation.

The test strength administered by the company fosters gender-based discrimination. The test does not demonstrate fairness because it has an unjustified adverse impact on female employees. Moreover, it is irrelevant to the skills needed for the job. The Civil rights of 1964 outlaws gender-based discrimination.

Sexual harassment is another ethical issue that has been highlighted in the interview. Abuse of official power has been displayed in the case where a person in senior management used their influence to terminate the employment of a worker who refused to condone their sexual advances. Notably, there was no just cause for the employee’s termination because the reasons for the termination were not job-related. In this case, due process was not followed.

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