WorkerRights/Working Conditions


  1. Federal law requires that employers pay a minimum wage and pay overtime, although some believe that the concept of a&nbspliving wage&nbspis the more ethical standard.&nbsp&nbspExplain and defend your position on whether you agree or disagree.

Althoughemployers are mandated by federal laws to pay a particular minimumwage to their employees, the `living wage` is the most ethicalstandard. According to utilitarian ethics, a moral action maximizeshappiness and minimizes suffering. This means that the consequencesof an action or decision determine whether it is ethical orunethical. The `living wage` brings about more utility to the workers(Shaw &amp Barry, 2013). It ensures that the pay can cater for thenecessities of life. In some situation, the minimum wage may beinsufficient for the employees to live a comfortable life. Forexample, the cost of living in a particular city or state may berelatively high compared to the federal minimum pay. An ethicalbusiness organization will pay its employees a salary thatcorresponds to the cost of living rather that the legal requirements(Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).

  1. Is it ethically permissible to make membership in a particular union a prerequisite for employment?

Membershipin a particular union should not be a prerequisite for employment. Nolaw requires that employees should be members of workers orprofessional organization. Some organizations may enter intoagreements with unions, which require the employees to pay unionfees, although full membership through participation in theiractivities is not obligatory (Fund, 2012). According to thedeontological theories of ethics, all employees have the moralobligations to adopt employment policies that are lawful. Themorality or goodness of an action is determined by whether it adheresto the laws or rules. Consequently, employers are obliged to developlegally acceptable human resources management policies (Shaw &ampBarry, 2013).

  1. Is it ethical for&nbspan employer&nbspto require as a condition of employment or use it as a consideration for advancement promotion that an employee participates in organizations apart from the business (i.e. community non-profit organizations)?&nbsp Does the type or nature of the organization make a difference?

Inthe modern business environment, community work has evolved into animportant aspect of corporate social responsibility. It has a directimpact on the brand name and the reputation of the company (Shaw &ampBarry, 2013). Therefore, it is ethical for a business organization toconsider employee’s participation in these activities duringemployment and promotions. These qualities are essential if theorganization is directly involved in community service. For example,nongovernmental organizations involved in social empowerment maydemand experience in similar activities as a prerequisite foremployment (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).

  1. Finally,&nbspsome opine that employee pay should be tied in part to the compensation of the owner/chief operating or executive officer of the business, with the lowest paid employee being paid no less than a certain percentage of the highest paid employee.&nbsp Is this an ethical way of determining compensation?

Studiesestimate that some executives earn more than 200 times the lowestpaid earner in the same organization (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013). Theratio of the highest pay and the average salary is an ethical way ofdetermining compensation. This is because wage inequality is animportant human resources issue in the modern society. The method cansignificantly impact on wage disparity by ensuring that thedifference between the salaries of the highest and lowest paidemployees is within acceptable limits. It also has a direct impact onemployee morale (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).


  1. Is drug testing an unwarranted invasion of employee privacy? Which is more important–getting drugs out of the workplace or protecting the privacy of the employee?

Drugtesting is an important issue in the modern workplaces, due to thedrug menace facing the society. In my opinion, it is not anunwarranted invasion of employee`s privacy. Substance abuse is aleading cause of poor performance and violence in workplaces, amongother issues. Ensuring that the workplaces are free from drugs is inthe best interests of the organization and the employees. If there isreasonable suspicion or during recruitment, the employer can conductdrug tests. However, it should be combined with other workplaceactivities such as education and rehabilitation (Shaw &amp Barry,2013).

  1. What about other health-threatening activities, i.e. smoking outside of working hours, unprotected sex, etc. Should employers be able to question or test employees or potential employees about these activities?

Itis unethical for employers to be interested in employees’activities, outside of working hours, which have no impact on theirproductivity or colleagues. Therefore, it is unwarranted and immoralto conduct test related to social habits such as smoking andunprotected sex, which have no consequences at the workplace. Thiswould infringe the privacy rights of the individual. Nonetheless,employee wellness program, sponsored by the employer, can be used toeducate employees to adopt responsible lifestyles (Shaw &amp Barry,2013).

  1. Should employers be allowed to use polygraph tests to &quotscreen&quot out potentially costly employees who may engage in illegal drug use or any of these activities?

Itis morally wrong for employers to use polygraph tests for the purposeof recruitment, appraisal, and investigation of employees. Althoughsome jobs demand the use of polygraph and other lie detectionmethods, they are an infringement of individual’s privacy rights(Shaw &amp Barry, 2013). For example, polygraph tests are usuallyadministered to job applicants in the security or pharmaceuticalsectors. However, the accuracy and assumptions in the tests canresult in false conclusions. Also, the regulations related to thetest do not adequately protect the subjects’ privacy (Shaw &ampBarry, 2013).

  1. Should employers be allowed to require that applicants or employees give the employer access to digital information, such as Facebook or Twitter?

Surveysindicate that companies are increasingly using the social media,mainly Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in the recruitment processes.Some employers request for online passwords from candidates. Thetrend is necessitated by the benefits accrued by the human resourcesdepartment by evaluating the online profiles of job applicant (NPR,2012). However, it is unethical to use the online information inscreening individuals for employment purposes. This is because theonline profile may be molded at achieving a different goal.Additionally, the recruiting manager may discriminate the employeesbased on information from the social media. It is also immoral topunish or victimize workers because of online posts and comments thatdo not have an impact on the workplaces (Shaw &amp Barry, 2013).


Fund,J. (2012). Theunions` last stand? California`s Proposition 32 could be pivotal.National Review, Oct 29, 2012. Reading Level (Lexile):1380,

NPR(2012). Resume,Cover Letter And Your Facebook Password?

Shaw,W. &amp Barry, V. (2013). MoralIssues in Business.Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.