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Ethical Issues in Mgt

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Ethical Issues in Management This paper analyzes the ethical and legal issues encountered by management in organizations daily. The relationship between social issues and the ethical requirements of management as it relates to family and personal issues is also discussed. Family and personal issues affect lives of working adults each day. Ethical dilemmas occur in the workplace when dealing with family and personal issues. One of these examples is discussed during the progression of this paper. Management faces legal aspects during the decision-making process of these dilemmas as to how they should be governed. Personal issues include personal time off work, employee illness, family illness, unexpected events, and childcare, just to name a few. A legal, fair, and ethical approach to these matters is how these issues are handled. If these matters are not handled with caution and within the legal limitations, law suits are filed and companies face serious legal challenges. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the legal voice for those individuals whom believe they have been discriminated. Laws were designed to protect employees from discrimination and to protect the jobs of employees who need to take time off work to take care of ill family members. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is designed to grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of time off work during any 12-month period. As with anything, there are individuals who try to take advantage of this policy; therefore, employers have developed an internal “personal time off work” policy for protection. Most companies have personal leave to include limited vacation and sick days (accrued and earned), limitation on sick days taken per year and during probationary period, attendance policy, tardy policy, and separate accrual for personal days. These policies were designed to allow employees personal time off work to deal with personal issues and family emergencies. This policy is an ethically and morally-sound way to do business. Managers are responsible for making ethical decisions in the best interest of the company, stakeholders, stockholders, and employees. Sometimes it may not seem fair, depending on which side of the equation you are on, but from a business perspective, viewing is different. Depending on the business need, policies and procedures, and advance notice given, taking off work may not be an option. Employees find themselves in situations that are perceived to take precedence over business. Unfortunately, their employer has a different perspective on what should take precedence, but their action cannot demonstrate unethical behavior because it places the organization in a compromising situation. Management practices when faced with family and personal issues impact the operation of a company in a major way. Outside social pressures also dictate how companies deal with the issues of an employee’s personal and family life. Many companies provide compensation for personal leave, sick leave, and maternity leave, death in the family, injuries and vacation. This is not a legal requirement, but an enhanced benefit provided for employees. Other incentives, such as Compensatory time (comp time) provide additional leave for time previously worked by an employee. Society places a demand on society to offer benefits to deal with personal and family issues because these events are not representative of a bad employee. Benefits and incentive programs are a part of the recruitment process used by many employers. Pay is important to average job seekers, but company perks and benefits sometimes outweigh the total monetary compensation and is the most attractive. Benefits also make it easier for businesses to find more qualified help and they help make the company’s goals more achievable. The market competition also dictates the benefits offered by a company and its competitors. This is another way that social issues impact today’s business operations. For example, an employee whose employment is less than 12 months with the company has to have emergency gall bladder surgery. The employee will be off work for 4 weeks and has only accrued 40 hours of paid sick leave and is not eligible for paid vacation until the next calendar year. The employee completes FMLA paperwork and turns it in to the Human Resources Compliance Department. The request for FMLA is denied; therefore, the employee’s job is in jeopardy. The company has a legal right to leave the request denied or they can make an ethical decision to offer an unpaid leave of absence for the additional 120 hours. Depending on the work ethics established by the employee and the current value to the company, the decision can go either way. The immediate supervisor of this employee has the right to go to the Department Head and request an unpaid leave of absence on this employee’s behalf due to the circumstances surrounding the request. Because of the nature of the illness, a 30-day leave of absence is granted to the employee, regardless of the impact the employee’s absence is having on the other employees. The employee has complications following the surgery and needs additional time off work that cannot be granted. Although, this may seem unfair, it is ethical and legal. According to the company’s policy and procedures, a leave of absence is granted up to 30 days and up to the discretion of the department head. Employees are normally terminated for attendance and technically not eligible for rehire. Instead, as an empathetic manager who has experienced a similar situation, the employee is asked to give a written letter of resignation so that the employee is eligible for rehire. Termination of the employee is no longer an option and the employee’s healing time was probably reduced. A known fact is that the body is unable to properly heal itself when outside social pressures are present. In conclusion, companies can legally ignore employees’ personal and family issues, but unfortunately, the company is unable to ignore its needs and the needs of the other employees. The overall well-being of an employee is impacted by family and personal issues. Sometimes they can become overwhelming. From an ethical perspective, companies try to convince employees that the things that are of importance to them is equally important to the employer. When empathy is shown in this manner, employees are more productive and value their job as rewarding; therefore, less time from work is missed. Being faced with the challenges of moral and ethical issues, businesses can suffer. Ultimately, the employees suffer as well. Sound judgment is used by management when facing these ethical and legal issues of family and personal situations. The right decision has to be made because the stakeholders, shareholders, employees and the success of the company depend on it.

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