Ethical Issues

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Business ethics Pages: 5 (1845 words) Published: October 28, 2010
Ethics can be described as a set of moral principles or the discipline of dealing with what is good and bad. Every individual has their own opinion of what is right and wrong so the subject of ethics is a very controversial one. There are a wide variety of situations in which ethics can be applied. Three of these situations include, human resources dealing discrimination in the workplace, drug testing on animals, and sexual harassment.

“Discrimination is a sociological term referring to the treatment taken toward or against a person of a certain group in consideration based solely on class or category” (Britannica). There are many forms of discrimination in the workplace that human resources have to manage such as issues with men and women in the workplace, and racial discrimination.

Men have become victims of discrimination in the workforce. There are certain careers that are viewed by some people to be “feminine” and men in these professions are generally stereotyped. Nursing and hairstyling are two prime examples of jobs in which males are discriminated against. The number of female nurses compared to male is significantly different. “Only 5.4 percent of the 2.1 million registered nurses in Canada are men” (Chung). Men do not often pursue this career because of the extra barriers and obstacles they have to overcome to succeed. One example of an obstacle faced by a male nurse is “I was not allowed to enter the delivery room because I was a male student, but had to stand at the door of the room to catch a glimpse of the delivery. I was also not allowed to have any female patients. This all had to do with gender” (Chung). Hairdressing is often a career chosen by females due to the fact that most males who choose this line of work are stereotyped as being homosexual. Men in this profession are usually considered this way because they have a good fashion sense and take care of their appearance. This does not necessarily mean these individuals are homosexual but it scares most men away from this career choice because they do not want to be perceived this way. Women have always had to struggle when it comes to being an active part of the workforce. There is a large barrier and stereotype of women that keeps them from advancing in the work place or receiving employment at all. This stereotype also excludes women from many “men’s jobs”, and although it is often not the intention of the employer this is discrimination and a major issue in today’s society. This is true especially in large businesses. For example, “Women CEO’s lead in only 15 of the 500 companies, (or three percent) in the fortune 500. Even worse there was gain in female leadership since last year; for every woman that entered the list, another was lost” (Marty). These poor statistics may be due to the “glass ceiling” situation. This is an invisible barrier that exists in most large businesses which prevents women from excelling and advancing to the top in their careers. Racial discrimination is also common in the workforce. It is said that “It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of his/her race or color in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment ”(equal employment). This may be what is expected of employers but is not always the case. Often issues of racism exist and go unnoticed and unsolved. These issues are still arising to this day. Human resources must understand all these issues so they assess people ethically. This means making sure that people are assessed by their merits rather than gender, race, or any other stereotypical factors. For example if human resources was faced with an issue such as a female employee not getting a promotion simply because of her gender there are many things that may happen. When faced with this ethical issue human resources might investigate the...
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