Ethics and Corporate Responsibility in the Workplace and the World
Ethics and Corporate Responsibility in the Work Place and the World discusses one of the world’s most successful pharmaceutical companies that enjoys a reputation as a caring, ethical and well-run company which produces high-quality products that saves millions of lives and enhances the quality of life for millions of others. In this hypothetical scenario the following will be discussed. The stakeholders will be indentified. Analyze the ethics of PharmaCARE’s treatment of Colberia’s indigenous population and PharmaCARE’s rank-and-file workers versus that of its executives. Determine whether Allen could legally fire each of the three workers; Donna, Tom, and Ayesha. Suggest steps he should take to minimize the risks to his department and the company. Determine the whistle blowing opportunities, obligations, and protections that could benefit Allen.
Assess PharmaCARE’s environmental initiative against the backdrop of its anti-environmental lobbying efforts and Colberian activities. Examine if this renders the company’s purported environmental stewardship better or worse and if the company’s public stance should carry an obligation to be a leader in environmental matters. Analyze the original purposes of and the changes to Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Determine which provision(s) of CERCLA apply to PharmaCARE in the scenario provided Stakeholders are those individuals and groups that have an investment, share, or interest in an organization. In this scenario that includes PharmaCARE, CompCARE a subsidiary of PharmaCARE, Wellco a large drugstore chain which purchased CompCARE, PharmaCARE’s management and investors, and the African nation of Colberia. Analyze the ethics of PharmaCARE’s treatment of the Colberia’s indigenous population and its rank-and-file workers versus that of its executives.
PharmaCARE recently launched a new initiative, We CARE about YOUR world®, pledging its commitment to the environment through recycling, packaging changes and other green initiatives. This is in complete contrast to the treatment of the Colberians and the rank-and-file workers of PharmaCARE. Publicly PharmaCARE displays an ethical persona of a green corporation that CAREs about YOUR world. The first contradictory example is the extremely low wages provided to the population of the underdeveloped nation of Colberia of 1.00 a day, harvesting plants by walking five miles into and out of the jungle carrying baskets that, when full, weigh up to fifty pounds.
The second contradictory example is the nonchalant deterioration of the Colberian environment. The third contradictory example is management’s choice to ignore the plight of the production technician’s unhealthy work environment with mold around the air vents. Only compounded by the fact that PharmaCARE’s executives live in a luxury compound, complete with a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a golf course. The internal situation is immoral, unethical and socially irresponsible in the treatment of the Colberian’s and rank-and-file worker’s of PharmaCARE in stark contrast to PharmaCAREs executives.
Determine whether Allen could legally fire Donna, Tom, and Ayesha and suggest steps he should take to minimize the risks to his department and the company. Donna, who had a perfect attendance record, got so sick she could no longer come to work due to chronic bronchial problems and eventually filed for worker’s compensation. Most employment relationships are at-will meaning an employer may terminate an employee at any time with or without cause. One exception to this rule is that an employer may not terminate an employee for filing a worker’s compensation claim. This type of retaliation is unlawful because injured workers are entitled by statute to compensation (LaMance, 2012).
Allen’s best supervisor, Tom, threatened to complain to OSHA about the air quality in the lab. This situation falls into the same category as Donnas’, where this type of retaliation is also unlawful. Employees have the right to report an employer without the fear of losing their jobs (LaMance, 2013). One of the techs, Ayesha, filed an EEOC complaint alleging she had not been promoted to supervisor because she was a Muslim. In fact, although Ayesha was a very good worker, Allen did not believe she had the management or people skills necessary to be a good supervisor. As with Donna and Tom, Ayesha cannot be fired due to the fact she has filed a complaint with the EEOC and this would be classified as a retaliatory discharge when an employer fires an employee because they filed a complaint against the company (Rivera, 2013).
The steps Allen should take to minimize the risks to his department and the company would be to engage Human Resources in each of the situations and make sure all incidents are documented. The documentation needs to show all efforts that have been made to correct all safety violations. Allen also needs to document all interviews and reviews of Ayesha’s work and make specific notes regarding work habits and skills or lack of certain skills to support why she was not promoted.
Lastly, Allen should also correct the mold problem in the facility. By engaging Human Resources to aid in conflict resolution Allen is fulfilling the company’s obligations to the employee as well maintaining the necessary requirements to protect the organization. Determine the whistle blowing opportunities, obligations, and protections and how Allen would benefit. Since compounding pharmacies are not supposed to sell drugs in bulk for general use Allen has two opportunities to report CompCARE.
First when CompCARE began advertising its services and the availability of AD23 to consumers and marketing the drug directly to hospitals, clinics, and physician offices. Second when CompCARE encouraged doctors to fax in lists of bogus patient names to get around this technicality. The manufacturing of drugs without the approval of the Federal Department of Agriculture is not only a violation but also a criminal act. Allen is obligated to provide assistance in the compilation of supporting evidence and must maintain the confidentiality of the case at all times.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act provides protection for whistleblowers who are employed in a publicly traded company such as a corporation like PharmaCARE from employer retaliation. There is no benefit for Allen to report CompCARE as his bonus would be in jeopardy as well as his position could very well be lost due to the company losing revenue from the illegal sales. Assess PharmaCARE’s environmental initiative against the backdrop of its anti-environmental lobbying efforts and Colberian activities.
Examine if this renders the company’s purported environmental stewardship better or worse and if the company’s public stance should carry an obligation to be a leader in environmental matters. Even though PharmaCARE has some positive contributions with their charitable discounted and free drugs to low-income consumers and a foundation that sponsors healthcare educational programs and scholarships it has only been for show. They have proven to be hypocritical by literally stealing Colebria’s indigenous cures without even compensating the people for their own natural discovery. PharmaCARE has created a reputation for having a positive impact on society and the environment. They have pledged to protect the environment through recycling, packaging changes and other green initiatives. However on the other hand, their lobbying efforts are actually trying to defeat environmental laws and regulations.
PharmaCARE is engaging in a form of green marketing which is used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly, also known as greenwashing. Greenwashing efforts can range from changing the name or label of a product to evoke the natural environment on a product that contains harmful chemicals to multimillion dollar advertising campaigns portraying highly polluting energy companies as eco-friendly. They want to appear to be doing everything environmentally friendly and socially responsible.
However, it’s all a parse in so much that they are exploiting the people of Colberia due to the low standard of living in Colberia. PharmaCARE’s activities in Colberia shine light on the fact that they only care as long as it doesn’t affect their profit margin. As the book states, “The real corporate responsibility of companies which claim to be responsible to not only focus on their own internal policies, but to also think about changing the rules of the game and creating a more level playing field which makes it possible for all firms to behave more responsibly.” (Halbert, T., & Ingulli, E.) p. 221.
PharmaCARE’s purported environmental stewardship has been rendered moot by their lack of care for the Colberian environment to their negligence of maintaining a healthy work environment in their production facilities. PharmaCARE does have an obligation to be a leader in environmental matters in so much that the company’s public stance has been that they are a leader in environmental matters. Analyze the original purpose of and the changes to Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Determine which provision(s) of CERCLA apply to PharmaCARE in the scenario provided. The original purpose of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) was to provide broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger the public health and the environment.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liabilities Act, commonly known as the Superfund the fun, was enacted by Congress to collect a tax for cleaning up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) on October 17, 1986. SARA reflected EPA’s experience in administering the complex Superfund program during its first six years and made several important changes and additions to the program.
SARA stressed the importance of permanent remedies and innovative treatment technologies in cleaning up hazardous waste sites. Required Superfund actions to consider the standards and requirements found in other State and Federal environmental laws and regulations. Provided new enforcement authorities and settlement tools and increased State involvement in every phase of the Superfund program. Increased the focus on human health problems posed by hazardous waste sites, encouraged greater citizen participation in making decisions on how sites should be cleaned up and increased the size of the trust fund to $8.5 billion. Since the origination of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act its authority has extended to include violations that would affect or that may eventually affect the public’s health and welfare of humans.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act also enabled the revision the National Contingency Plan. The National Contingency Plan provides the guidelines and procedures needed on how to respond to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. The National Contingency Plan also created the National Priorities List. The National Priorities List is a guide for the Environmental Protections Agency on how to establish whether or not a release or intended release of chemicals needs further investigation. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act it could be stretched to say that PharmaCARE has violated the provision of endangering the public.
The public health was violated when manufactured drugs were offered to the public which had not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration. This is made clear by the individuals who have taken the drugs, have become ill and have had heart attacks. Secondly, CompCARE was selling to individuals on a prescription basis which clearly violates the nature of a compounding pharmacy where products are made specifically for that individual utilizing the medication. PharmaCARE has made false claims and marketed drugs illegally to individuals, hospitals, clinics and doctors’ which can also be inferred to have caused a public hazard.