The Interplay of Ethics and Equal Employment If one accepts the proposition that equal employment is at least partly an ethical matter, then we should expect that real employers recognize and emphasize that fact, for instance, on their websites. Some do. For example, the Duke Energy Company (which, when known as Duke Power many years ago, lost one of the first and most famous equal employment cases) posts the following on its website: Equal Employment Opportunity: Duke Energy’s Code of Business Ethics Duke Energy seeks and values diversity. The dignity of each person is respected, and everyone’s contributions are recognized. We expect Duke Energy employees to act with mutual respect and cooperation toward one another. We do not tolerate discrimination in the workplace. We comply with laws concerning discrimination and equal opportunity that specifically prohibit discrimination on the basis of certain differences. We will recruit, select, train and compensate based on merit, experience and other work-related criteria. Our Responsibilities Duke Energy employees are expected to treat others with respect on the job and comply with equal employment opportunity laws, including those related to discrimination and harassment. Duke Energy employees must not: ● Use any differences protected by law as a factor in hiring, firing, or promotion decisions. ● Use any differences protected by law when determining terms or conditions of employment, such as work assignments, employee development opportunities, vacation, or overtime. ● Retaliate against a person who makes a complaint of discrimination in good faith, reports suspected unethical conduct, violations of laws, regulations, or company policies, or participates in an investigation. Source: www.duke-energy.com/corporate-governance/code-ofbusiness-ethics/equal-employment-opportunity.asp, accessed May 28, 2010. © Duke Energy Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Purpose: Ethical decision making is an important HRrelated personal competency. The purpose of this exercise is to increase your understanding of how ethics and equal employment are interrelated. Required Understanding: Be thoroughly familiar with the material presented in this chapter. How to Set Up the Exercise/Instructions: 1. Divide the class into groups of three to five students. 2. Each group should use the Internet to identify and access at least five companies that emphasize how ethics and equal employment are interrelated. 3. Next, each group should develop answers to the following questions: a. Based on your Internet research, how much importance do employers seem to place on emphasizing the ethical aspects of equal employment? b. What seem to be the main themes these employers emphasize with respect to ethics and equal employment? c. Given what you’ve learned, explain how you would emphasize the ethical aspects of equal employment if you were creating an equal employment training program for new supervisors
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