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Ethics and Corporate Responsibility in the Workplace and the World

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PharmaCARE: Ethics and Corporate Responsibility in the Workplace and the World

PharmaCARE: Ethics and Corporate Responsibility in the Workplace and the World
In any type of business or organization there are ethical issues, conflicts, and successes revolving around relationships. It is those relationships considered one of the key areas of making the business function. The relationships between customers, the employees, managers, supervisors, shareholders, investors and suppliers all shape the course of the business in order for it to be successful. In addition, an organization usually has a governing authority; called a board of directors, which provides oversight and guidance to make sure that the organization keeps focused on objectives in a legal, ethical and socially acceptable manner. Often unethical acts are discovered in organizations; therefore, relationships are not only associated with organizational success but also with organizational misconduct. ("An overview of," 2006) As in the case with PharmaCARE, there were multiple unethical issues due to bad decision making within the company; decisions that affected employees, business partners, and customers. As a result, its stock price plummeted.
Stakeholders are those who may be affected by or have an effect on an effort. Most ethical issues exist because of conflicts in values and belief patterns about right and wrong between and within stakeholder groups. There are three types of stakeholders: * Primary stakeholders are the people or groups that stand to be directly affected, either positively or negatively, by an effort or the actions of an agency, institution, or organization. In some cases, there are primary stakeholders on both sides of the equation: a regulation that benefits one group may have a negative effect on another. * Secondary stakeholders are people or groups that are indirectly affected, either positively or negatively, by an effort or the actions of an agency, institution, or organization. * Key stakeholders are those who can have a positive or negative effect on an effort or who are important within or to an organization, agency, or institution engaged in an effort. Key stakeholders might belong to either or neither of the first two groups. The director of an organization might be an obvious key stakeholder, but so might the line staff; those who work directly with participants, who carry out the work of the effort. (Rabinowitz, 2013)
In this particular scenario with PharmaCARE, one can determine multiple stakeholders. One key stakeholder who would be considered a primary stakeholder too is the CEO of PharmaCare; who is also on the board. The board of directors is also stakeholders since they oversee the choices the company makes and are heavily involved in guiding the company. Shareholders are secondary stakeholders who are indirectly being affected, in this case negatively, by the choices the company has made. Lobbyist are also stakeholders in this case, their negative efforts have successfully defeated environmental laws and regulations. Rather ironic, considering the company launched a new initiative pledging its commitment to the environment. The local healers being use off the manufacturing facility in Africa are also stakeholders. The PharmaCare executives are also stakeholders negatively affecting the effort and giving a bad example as they stay in a luxurious hotel, using countless amenities, while in the mean time the people around them are living in horrible conditions without electricity and running water. Pharmacists are secondary stakeholders who are indirectly affecting the effort by reformulating one of PharmaCARE drugs in order to maximize its effects. Indirectly, the FDA is also considered a stakeholder in this case. PharmaCARE has found a way to go around FDA regulations by establishing a wholly-owned subsidiary to operate the drugs and sell it to individuals on a prescription basis. Allen Jones and his techs are also stakeholders in this scenario. Allen Jones is in charge of the operation in one of its facility. Every employee, lab tech, supervisor and manager in PharmaCARE is considered stakeholders whose direct services help carry the actions of the company. Every customer or Medicaid, Medicare, and VA patient whose demand for the drug helped PhamaCare and CompCARE soar with business is considered stakeholders. They are considered beneficiaries, who stand to get something, in this case the new drug, as a direct result of an effort. Physicians as well as the doctors that were encouraged by CompaCARE to fax lists of fake patient names are also stakeholders. And lastly, the Director of Operations, who blatantly shoved everything under the rug in order to keep the company running, is also a stakeholder. His actions directly affect the efforts in a very negatively way. There are several issues regarding PharmaCARE’s treatment of the Colberia’s indigenous population and its rank-and-file workers versus that of its executives. Because of the fact that its location is Africa and not in the United States, PharmaCARE’s Colberia’s facility is getting away with unethical actions. One being the unfair pay of “the healers” the company has brought in with knowledge and information about indigenous cures, etc. The Colberians are working $1.00 a day, harvesting plants that in tales those workers to walk five miles in and out of the jungle while carrying baskets that can weigh up to fifty pounds. All of that, while knowing that these people face low standard living and that much of the population are living primitive huts with no running water and no electricity. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, such treatment wouldn’t have been allowed in the United States. (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012)
The company it’s taking advantage of the location and its lack of regulations and paying Colberia’s workers barely anything for their services. The company it’s also being unethical in the fact that they are letting these workers work in the conditions that they do. They’re not thinking of the perspectives on work-related risks, or maybe they are but they just don’t care. They don’t have to think about OSHA or the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 because, once again, they’re in another country getting away with a lot that otherwise they wouldn’t if it was in the United States. (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012) In the mean time, the top executives of PharmaCARE live in a luxurious compound with top amenities that include a swimming pool and a golf course to name as few at the expense of human rights. To top it all off, PharmaCARE’s extensive activities in Colberia have destroyed habitat and endangered native species. For a number of ethical and practical reasons, PharmaCARE’s actions on Colberia’s environment and natural habitat it’s simply unjust. These unethical actions from the company can have catastrophic results on the land and face even more risks of losing other native species in the near future.
Depending if all three workers, Donna, Tom and Ayesha, are under the legal doctrine known as employment-at-will, Allen could legally fire all three. Employment-at-will gives employers broad discretion to fire employees “for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all.” (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012) Ethically speaking, he shouldn’t fire any of them. Donna had a perfect attendance record until she couldn’t no longer go to work from getting seriously sick due to mold being present in the air vents. She rightfully filed for worker’s compensation as a result. Allen’s best supervisor Tom rightfully threatened to complain to OSHA about the air quality in the lab. His health and the health of the rest of the employees are being compromised because of negligence. Ayesha, one of the techs has filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint alleging she had not been promoted to supervisor because she was a Muslim, even knowing she has been a great worker. However, that doesn’t necessarily make her a perfect fit for the job. Maybe she’s not as qualified as she thinks she is. Allen did not believe she had the management or people skills necessary to be a good supervisor. Allen should evaluate each situation more carefully before going along with the Director of Operation’s commands to fire all three employees. Firing all three can result in three separate law suits against the company. Allen should look into the mold problem at the lab immediately as that is causing an effect on everyone inside the lab, weather Donna and Tom stay or not. It will be an easy fix and at the same time two of his best employees can keep their jobs. As for Ayesha, Allen can tell her she’s not right for the job right at the moment but with a little bit of training and more time she will soon be able to get it in the near future.
Whistleblowers are people who decide to report unethical or illegal activities, usually activities under the control of their employers. (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012) Even though whistleblowing can result in damaging the reputations of their employers and risking having their own careers destroyed, Allen would benefit from whistleblowing on his own employer, PharmaCARE. Whistleblowing can contribute to a just workplace by helping to improve the ethical climate and by helping to ensure that employee rights are being respected. Allen knows his boss doesn’t care about wrong doings going on in the company and even wants those employee’s fired, plus Allen to keep his mouth shut on all of the known concern, which includes keeping the bogus patient prescription issue a secret. Knowing this, Allen has an opportunity to blow the whistle. He might find it to be his obligation to put these issues in the light. He knows the potential problems facing the company now could have various effects later on if the issues are not adequately address right now. Most of his staff and even himself are already begun missing work due to getting sick from the mold situation. Allen already expressed concern about possible organizational wrongdoing to members of management, thus providing the company an opportunity to investigate and take corrective action if necessary. Yet, management was apparently unresponsive, even hostile, to the employees' concerns, with unfortunate results. If he decides to blow the whistle, he will be protected under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); which is responsible for enforcing some seventeen whistleblower protection laws, including provisions from the Clean Air Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, and Sarbanes Oxley Act, to name a few. (Barnett, 1992)
PharmaCARE’s new environmental initiative, We CARE about YOUR world®, renders the company’s purported environmental stewardship worse because the company already had a history lobbying efforts that were anti-environmental. The recent Colberian activities are also not helping the cause. For a company whose new environmental initiative is to care about the world, it’s clearly not coming across when they ruining habitats and endangering native species in the mean time. The initiative comes across as desperate and insincere in an effort to get the public and environmental organizations to see them in a different kind of light. In order to start a movement and be a leader in environmental matters one should have great conviction and lead by example. PharmaCARE hasn’t show that they can be leaders in environmental matters. Pledging commitment to the environment doesn’t mean much until one sees actual changes. Knowing the activities occurring in Colberian are due to PharmaCARE’s negligence it’s not helping the cause.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund, was enacted by Congress on December 11, 1980. It was a liability scheme rather than a monitoring program. This law created a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and provided broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. Over five years, $1.6 billion was collected and the tax went to a trust fund for cleaning up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. CERCLA, established prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites; provided for liability of persons responsible for releases of hazardous waste at these sites; and established a trust fund to provide for cleanup when no responsible party could be identified. The law authorizes two kinds of response actions under CERCLA. One being, short-term removals, where actions may be taken to address releases or threatened releases requiring prompt response. And the other being, long-term remedial response actions, that permanently and significantly reduce the dangers associated with releases or threats of releases of hazardous substances that are serious, but not immediately life threatening. CERCLA was amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) on October 17, 1986. ("Cercla overview," 2011) Knowing the facts on PharmaCARE, the obvious actions done by the company, easily fall under certain provisions of CERCLA. The destruction of the surrounding habitat by PharmaCARE could be the cause of releasing hazardous waste substances. It was because of something the company kept releasing out into the environment that created the drastic change to the habitat as well as destroying endangered native species.

References
An overview of business ethics. (2006). Retrieved from http://cengagesites.com/academic/assets/sites/316138_ch02.pdf
Barnett, T. (1992). Why your company should have a whistleblowing policy. Retrieved from http://ethics.csc.ncsu.edu/old/12_00/basics/whistle/rst/wstlblo_policy.html
Cercla overview. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/superfund/policy/cercla.htm
Halbert, T., & Ingulli, E. (2012). Law and ethics in the business environment. (7th ed.). Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning.
Rabinowitz, P. (2013). Section 8. identifying and analyzing stakeholders and their interests. Retrieved from http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/participation/encouraginginvolvement/identify-stakeholders/main

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