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Organizational Ethics Issue Resolution

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Organizational Ethics Issue Resolution

Organizational Ethics Issue Resolution
Introduction
Every business and organization has a responsibility to its employees and stakeholders, just as the employees and stakeholders have to the organization. The issue of discrimination has existed in the workplace for centuries and still exists in this century. Discrimination can be exhibited in many areas. Discrimination is practiced and exhibited in various forms. Discrimination of any form is wrong and should not be tolerated in any business or organization. This writing focuses on discrimination that is based on a disability. The following will identify laws that are in place to protect persons with a disability from being discriminated against. Clarification of a disability, the values, the stockholder’s analysis, issue resolution and the implementation of resolution steps that businesses and organization should take to communicate the unacceptable practice of discrimination due to the disability of workers will be outlined.

Issue Clarification

Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local government. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) of 1990 was enacted to eliminate disability discrimination in the workplace. If a person is capable of performing a task, regardless of the disability, employers are required to have appropriate accommodations for these employees. In the business world, many discrimination issues are serious enough for legislation to be constructed around it. One fundamental principle of the ADA is that individuals with disabilities who want to work and are qualified to work must have an equal opportunity to work. Disability discrimination was rampant throughout businesses and Honda was just one of the cases to be large enough for a considerable settlement for the person was discriminated against. Honda Corporation wrongfully dismissed an employee for having chronic fatigue syndrome in 2005 in Canada. Instead of the company accommodating him, because he did not have a visible disability, they dismissed him. Mr. Kevin Keays took Honda to court and won a settlement of 15 months salary, an additional 9 months of salary for the company acting inappropriately and $500,000 in punitive damages (Foot, 2008). The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces all these laws. EEOC also provides oversight and coordination of all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies. “Title I requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others. For example, it prohibits discrimination in recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment. It restricts questions that can be asked about an applicant's disability before a job offer is made, and it requires that employers make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities, unless it results in undue hardship. Religious entities with 15 or more employees are covered under title I” (Donahue, 2008). Dyslexia is another disability that is not visible and the person(s) whom it has afflicted are sometimes considered less able than other workers. The worker can be very successful if he or she is given the opportunity to do the work in the way they know how. Heather Hardie says in her article that, “Colin, who works in the administrative section of a large organisation, is a valuable employee” (Hardie, 2006). Colin becomes frustrated and stressed because of his affliction and does not have a good relationship with his management who is often not sympathetic and tend to criticize because they don’t understand what dyslexia does to a person’s ability to absorb large amounts of information and reading (Hardie, 2006). Very famous people have dyslexia and are very successful, if employers understand what this disability is, they could use this person in the strategic area of his or her business. Some strengths of having dyslexia are creativity (the ability to see the larger picture). Sometimes they can think in 3D, and usually have good verbal and spatial skills (Hardie, 2006).
Stakeholder Analysis Joseph Weiss, author of Business Ethics, outlines the importance and process of a stakeholder analysis, in Chapter 2 of the book. He starts with the definition of a stakeholder as being any individual or group whom can affect or is affected by the actions, decisions, policies, practices, or goals of the organization. The primary stakeholders of a firm include its owners, customers, employees, and suppliers. The primary importance to a firm’s survival is its stockholders and board of directors. The CEO and other top-level executives can be stakeholders, but in the stakeholder analysis, are generally considered representatives of the firm. The stakeholder approach provides a means for assessing the power, legitimacy, and moral responsibility of manager’s strategies in how they meet the needs and obligations of stakeholders. Weiss goes on to state that a stakeholder analysis is a strategic management tool that allows firms to manage relationships with constituents in any situation. An individual or group is said to have a “stake” in a corporation if it possesses an interest in the outcome of that corporation. If a person with a disability is discriminated against, all levels of the organization are affected including the stakeholders. (Weiss, J., 2006)
Values Identification Identifying and understanding values that are important to companies and individuals are paramount in making ethical decisions. The criteria that are employed in making a decision must be defined, and will likely be weighed against the values involved and thus this identification is significant in the process. These values can come from a range of cultural beliefs and standards, economic standing and means, and socio political ideals and benefits that impact those involved in decision making. Values are then broken down further by business and government to draw core competencies and policy that benefits the most people involved and attempts to create a sense of fairness for others in a system that can sometimes overlook a minority or misfortunate. Discrimination against those with disability has long been a problem, which affects many of these values and is a difficult one to weigh against when attempting to allow for those who otherwise would be barred from particular situations and circumstances. “Conceptualizations of social justice are individual, local, and particular--a multiplicity of justices exist as opposed to any single, universal understanding of justice” (Hodge, 2007, para. 7) This disparity of justice draws out the competing values that are at the center of ethical decision regarding those with disabilities. Equality of opportunity is regarded as the highest value of importance with regard to those with disabilities and how to provide for those individuals while not unnecessarily burdening those around them or the companies that are required to comply with codes and law that provide for those with disabilities.

Issue Resolution

The issue at hand can be analyzed and the solutions debated once the issue is understood, an analysis of those parties involved, and the values at play have been identified and weighted appropriately. Honda, after identifying the condition of their employee, should have begun discovery to determine the extent of the condition and the possible solutions that were available for the situation. This phase of the decision making process should discover all solutions to the issue at hand and using information from previous phases to determine the best options and alternatives that are available to best meet the needs of the stakeholders involved while providing a just outcome for those who are disabled. In finding resolution to an issue, the decision team must “be careful not to constrain or evaluate the alternatives to any significant degree because in so doing she may prematurely eliminate more creative or novel approaches” (Hitt, Miller, & Collela, 2006, p. 359). In allowing for creative solutions, additional opportunities to find appropriate ethical answers to problems that would avoid future litigation are truly available where conventional thinking may fail. The policy that has been laid out for resolving most issues is a guideline, primarily built on past action, and it will require constant vigilance to not only abide by the policy but address inadequacies that arise going forward.
Addressing Objections Although the American Disabilities Act lays out most of the guidelines of a disability policy, there will be objections that will need to be addressed. Objections can come in all forms and from all directions. Most objections that can be thrown at a decision making process are based on lack of knowledge. Education and communication can play a big role in the development of policy. Some of the objections to a disability policy could come from stakeholders concerned about profits. The cost involved in becoming compliant to ADA standards can be costly, especially when referring to remodeling a building or adding a wheel chair ramp. Some objections will be concerned about time frames and completion dates, and some objections will because people just do not think change is necessary. For these objections, one answer will clear them all up, where stipulated by the law, and compliance is necessary to provide disabled employees equal access to a good working environment. Education of the law and the struggles of the disabled will help rectify any objections to any compliance made.
Resolution Implementation Once the objections concerning the issue are laid to rest, the implementation of the decision will occur. Most organizations want the implementation of a policy to go smoothly and create as little distractions as possible to production, but an organization should pay careful attention to the details of the implementation of a new policy or decision that affects the stakeholders. As in most cases, people are not fond of change and are especially offended by being told what is right and what is wrong from an organization. Education of the issue should be offered and required in the beginning so that all employees are brought up to date on the current policy concerning a disability. Aside from educating people about disabilities and the ethical issues surrounding the topic, a company must inform all its employees of the policy and the new standards the will be in effect. The information concerning this new policy should be published so that everyone will have access to the procedures for filing a complaint, requesting accommodations, and the very definition of disabilities. For example, the University of Phoenix has written a Student Disabilities Handbook and made it available to all students. In this handbook, the University of Phoenix describes the procedures for requesting special accommodations, the time frame required by law, and the American Disabilities Act forms that a disabled student would need to have any particular needs met. When implementing a new policy, wisdom is shown in always following up with monitoring of the procedures and creates a feedback forum for fine-tuning the procedures. Not all transitions go smoothly and having a channel for the employees, the community, the disabled, and management to voice their opinions on the effectiveness of the policy will create an open communication within the workplace culture. The open communication will also help spread the word around to all employees about the expectations of the new standards brought about by the new policy.
Conclusion
In the world of business, at hand are many ways that an employer can be concerned and provide accommodations for the disabled person to complete a job effectively and successfully if they have the proper environment in which to work. When this type of accommodation is not provided and the person has been fired or harassed because of the disability, this violates the ADA (American with Disabilities Act) and can cause law suites. The Honda case is one example of what happens when companies are not sensitive to an employees needs. This employee was wrongfully dismissed because Honda did not investigate and obtain all the facts in discovery. Many stakeholders are affected negatively when the decision to discriminate is prevalent in a business. When a company decides to implement a policy decision regarding discrimination it would do well to implement in such a way that the policy is well understood by all and implemented slowly to make sure all are educated on the policy. Discrimination of any form is wrong and should not be tolerated in any type of business organization.

References
Donahue, K. (2008, January, 2008). Disability Law; Overview of the Americans with disabilities act (ADA). Retrieved March 1, 2008, from http://www.disaboom.com/Living/disabilitylaw/overview-of-the-americans-with-disabilities-act-ada.aspx?utm_source=Yahoo&utm_medium=CPC&utm_content=American_with_Disabilities_Act&utm_campaign=Yahoo_Disaboom_Living_Law
Foot, R. (2008, February, 2008). Honda to ask court to overturn award; Wrongful Dismissal. Retrieved February 29, 2008, from Proquest Database Document ID 1433659791
Hardie, H. (2006). A recognized disability. Occupational Health, 58(10), 26-27. Retrieved March 3, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1147441241).
Hitt, M.A., Chet Miller, and Adrienne Colella. JW Wiley, 2006. Organizational Behavior, a Strategic Approach. Retrieved February 5, 2008 from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary/content/eReader.
Hodge, D R (April 2007). Social justice and people of faith: a transnational perspective. Social Work, 52, 2. p.139(10). Retrieved March 03, 2008, from General OneFile via Gale: http://find.galegroup.com/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retrieved March 1, 2007 from (http://www.eeoc.gov/types/ada.html)
Weiss, J.W. (4th ed.) Thompson, 2006. Business Ethics; A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach. Retrieved March 2, 2008, from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary/content/eReader

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