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A Guide to Formal Ethics: Developing Ethics Programs for Today's Workforce

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A Guide to Formal Ethics

Developing Ethics Programs for Today’s Workforce

Jessica L. Krauter

Western Governor’s University



This paper is an ethics program that was developed as a part of a new employee handbook. This was written under the scenario that a new ethics officer for Company X has been charged with the task of creating said program. The program is expected to include standards and procedures section, an ethics training section, a section regarding employee misconduct and a plan for evaluating and improving the ethics program after implementation. Due to the increased scrutiny on the actions of corporations and those who act on behalf of organizations, there has been increased attention placed on the ethical actions within organizations. Many organizations have responded to this increased scrutiny by establishing formal ethics programs to address what are appropriate actions for those working for the company. Increasingly, more corporations are viewed not merely as profit-making entities but also as moral agents that are accountable for their conduct (Ferrell, Fraedrich, and Ferrell, 2009, p. 204).



You have joined a company that has set a name for itself in the towing and recovery industry. Our commercial contracts have shown steady growth through the years. We are proud of our company and the work we do. We are confident you will come to share that pride in a job well done.

Employment Overview

Our goal is to be professional and do the best we can for our customers and the company. The purpose of this handbook is to provide guidelines so that you may become familiar with our policies. You should feel free to discuss the contents of this handbook with your supervisor.

The contents of this handbook are not all inclusive. From time to time we may change our policies and you will be notified of those changes as they are made.

Due to the fact that many policies, safety and workplace requirements are legally mandated, we have presented much of this handbook in mandatory statements. Violation of company policies may be noted in your personnel file and may be the cause for corrective action or termination of employment. The fact that we do not instigate corrective action or termination in new or more situations should not be construed as a waiver of any policy. You will be notifies in writing on any official policy changes.

Of particular importance is our policy that there shall be no discrimination against an employee or applicant for employment due to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability. Please observe all Equal Employment postings at this company.

New Employee Introductory Period

The introductory period continues for ninety (90) days from the date of hire. You do not qualify for company benefits during this period. The introductory period will also apply when you resume employment with our company after a period of non-employment. Time off is not


paid during the introductory period other than absence covered by Workman’s Compensation benefits.

Employee Policies

You will be expected to dress appropriately and practice good personal hygiene. A clean, neat appearance is important. Company uniforms are provided for wrecker drivers and shop mechanics. Jewelry and body ornaments may pose a safety hazard and should not be worn.

Professional Behavior

We strive for professionalism. No matter what your position with the company may be, conduct that brings discredit to this company, or that is offensive to customers or co-workers will not be tolerated. Such behavior may result in disciplinary action including suspension without pay or termination of employment. Unprofessional conduct includes:

➢ Harassment of discrimination against another employee or customer ➢ Unlawful conduct that occurs on the premises during non-working hours, or off-remises during working hours. ➢ Interfering with the performance of your co-workers. ➢ Horseplay. ➢ Treating a supervisor in a disrespectful manner. ➢ Failing to follow a direct instruction of a supervisor. ➢ Neglecting your duties and refusing to perform assigned work. ➢ Absence from work without appropriate notice. ➢ Carrying firearms or weapons while working. ➢ Possessing, selling, or using any illegal drug or controlled substance. ➢ Arrest for alcohol related offenses at any time. ➢ Theft or fraudulent activities. ➢ Removing any property, records or other materials belonging to the company, without proper authorization. ➢ Falsifying reports or records, including application for employment. ➢ Use of profanity or abusive language. ➢ Assaulting fellow employees, supervisor or customer. This includes verbal or physical threats. ➢ Theft of cash from customers paying cash for services. ➢ Violation of computer guidelines.


If you become aware or are the victim of improper conduct, contact management as soon as possible. Avoid trying to solve the problem yourself. If you believe your supervisor is acting improperly, take the matter to the President.
Personnel Files Your personnel file will be maintained throughout your employment. It is necessary to keep these records up to date. For you own benefit be certain to notify the bookkeeper immediately if any of these situation occur: Change of Address/ Telephone Number Change of Marital Status Name and Number of Emergency Contact

Your personnel file is thr property of the company. You may request to see your personnel file in the presence of an officer of the company.

Wages Each employee’s wages will be discussed at the time of hire. Pay adjustments are determined by Owner.

Garnishments The court determines garnishments. The bookkeeper does not make the decision and follows the paperwork of the court. If an employee had any concerns they must be take up with the court not the bookkeeper.

Holidays On the following holidays, the office will be closed, not the tow service. It is a 24/7 business. Drivers’ time off according to schedule, may rotate Holidays. ➢ New Year’s Day ➢ Memorial Day ➢ Independence Day ➢ Labor Day ➢ Thanksgiving ➢ Christmas

Bereavement A full time employee who has satisfactorily completed the 90 day introductory A GUIDE TO FORMAL ETHICS Period will be granted time as follows: ➢ Up to three (3) days off with pay, eight (8) hours straight time per day, in the event of death of an immediate family member. Immediate family members consist of

Mother, Stepmother Father, Stepfather Spouse Child, stepchild Sister, Stepsister Brother, Stepbrother

➢ One (1) day leave will be granted upon the death of the following non-immediate family members:

Father-in-Law Mother-in-Law Brother-in-Law Sister-in-Law Grandchild Grandparent or Great-Grandparent

Terminating Employment You are requested to give a two week notice if you decide to leave the company. Upon termination either by the employee or employer, you are required to return any uniforms or other items that belong to the company. You are responsible for any items on loan to you.

Attendance Attendance and punctuality are given serious consideration. Absenteeism can cause a burden on other employees who will need to perform your duties. Termination of employment is possible for excessive repeated absence and tardiness. You may be asked to provide verification of illness or emergency situations. If you do not report to work and do not call in for a scheduled workday you may be subject to possible termination. Anyone on call and not answering the phone or is a “no show” will be written up as an unexcused absence with possible termination.

Payroll The payroll period is Monday through Sunday. Paychecks are distributed on a bi-weekly basis. When the normal payday falls on a holiday, paychecks will be distributed on the business day prior to the holiday.


Vacation One (1) full year 1 Week Two years and over 2 weeks

You must use your vacation time by December 31st. Unused time will be forfeited without pay at the end of the year. You are not eligible for pay in lieu of time off. Vacation time is awarded at your regular rate of pay, maximum of forty (40) hours. If you are terminated or voluntarily terminate your employment, unused vacation time if forfeited. All vacation requests must be approved two (2) weeks in advance of your requested time off.

Jury Duty This company recognizes that serving on a jury is a responsibility and a pribilege. Your notice should be given as soon as you receive it. We offer no payroll benefits, however it will be considered an excused absence.

Military Leave Members of US Armed Forces of National Guard will be granted the amount of leave required by federal and state law. You must give written notice of the leave dates to your supervisor as soon as the dates are available. We will promptly reinstate you upon your completion of your service. You must report back to work as soon as practicable.

Worker’s Compensation Employees are covered by Worker’s Compensation Insurance, paid by the company. This insurance coverage provides benefits to an employee who may have been injured on the job. To assure you receive proper coverage, if an injury occurs on company property, you must immediately inform your supervisor. We are required by law to report all workplace injuries to our insurance carrier. If medical attention is needed, the company designated physician will treat you unless otherwise approved by the company’s insurance carrier.

Violence in the Workplace

A GUIDE TO FORMAL ETHICS Any threats of acts of violence occurring on the company’s premises, regardless of the relationship between the company and the parties involved, will not be tolerated. Harassing or threatening communication of any kind, including stalking will not be tolerated. No weapons of any kind are permitted at the work place. You are expected to remove yourself immediately from a confrontation, even if you did not initiate it. If verbal or physical fights break out at the workplace all employees involved will be disciplined. Random searches for weapons or dangerous items may be conducted on the company’s premises when management determines such a search necessary. Corrective action will be taken by the company.

Sexual/ Discrimination Harassment It is our policy to provide an environment free from sexual harassment. It is against our policy for any employee, whether a manager, supervisor, or co-worker to sexually harass any employee of the company on company property. Sexual harassment includes the following: ➢ Request for sexual favors. ➢ Unwanted physical contact, including touching, pinching, brushing against someone. ➢ Verbal harassment, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual proposition, threats and lies. ➢ Non-verbal conduct such as displaying sexually suggestive objects and pictures. ➢ Leering, whistling or obscene gestures. ➢ Acts of physical aggression, intimidation, and hostility. ➢ Unequal treatment based on Sex (Male/Female) ➢ Any harassment based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age or, disability.

Please remember that your conduct can be perceived as sexual harassment even if no harm was intended. If you believe that you are being sexually harassed, report the incident immediately to an officer of the company. A thorough and impartial investigation of all complaints will be conducted in a timely and confident manner. If you make a complaint or if you give information about another employee’s complaint you will be protected from any retaliation or adverse consequences. We will also protect the confidentiality of your complaint. Upon determination that sexual harassment has occurred, immediate and corrective action will be taken.

Corrective/ Disciplinary Action The purpose of corrective action is to help you identify and correct problems that are noticed in performance, attitude, or behavior. Corrective and disciplinary action will occur in the following manner. 1. Corrective counseling with verbal warning is an indication that serious offense has occurred and needs to be corrected. 2. A written warning will be used to indicate that you have failed to correct a patter of offenses. 3. Suspension without pay. 4. Discharge.

Immediate disciplinary action will occur in very serious cases without prior corrective action efforts.

General Policies
Contracts You should not sign any order, agreement or contact on behalf of the company. This is only done by an officer of the company.
Inventory Inventory parts and supplies orders must be approved by your supervisor.
Smoking Smoking is prohibited throughout the facility. There are designated areas outside the building.

Safety and Security Your safety and overall well being as an employee of this company is important. It is company policy that you always use the prescribed safety precautions, and safety devices furnished, on any machinery you might operate. If you are unsure of safety devices or procedures, ask for complete instruction. If you notice an unsafe condition, notify an officer of the company. We always need to be mindful of workplace safety: we need to prevent workplace accidents and injuries.

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