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CHAPTER 7

PREVALENT MORAL ISSUES AND


DUBIOUS PRACTICES IN THE
WORKPLACE
 Moral issues frequently confront a person as he performs
his work and as he tries living as ethically as possible in the
work place
 Un ethical practices perpetuated by some decadent
employers and employees undermine the integrity of the
work place.
UNETHICHAL PRACTICES OF THE PART OF EMPLOYERS
 The list of unethical practices committed by employers is
impressively long. Most of these practices affect the morale
of workers and lessen their productivity while other practices
are driven by greed for profit.
 SEXUAL HARASSMENT
 The authority, position and influence of employers open
opportunities for them to ask sexual favors or make sexual
advances from their employees. Most of the time, the
victims are women, although occasionally, they can also be
men. Stories abound of some sexually starved employers
proposing promotion for their chosen employee in
exchange for one-night stand.
BRIBING GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
 The problem often starts with employers bribing government
officials in exchange for cornering some highly profitable business
deal or project.
 These employers gain back the millions they spend on “lagay” by
crimping on materials either in quality or quantity resulting in
substandard buildings the same or the similar results extend to
poor quality roads and bridges which, in the long run cab result
in injuries, loss of lives and loss of property.
PAYING EMPLOYEES BELOW MINIMUM WAGE
 The lack of alternative employment is exploited by some
decadent employers to keep wages low. Aware of the
helplessness of workers to find other employment, employers
sometimes scoff at the wage rates prescribed by labor law,
literally forcing workers to accept wages way below the
minimum wage.
TAX EVASION
 Ordinary people often fixed income earners pay their taxes
conscientiously and have no way of evading tax as these are previously
withheld from them, some wealthy employers pay private accountants to
find brilliant ways in which they can best evade paying the right taxes.
These employers, in cahoots with unscrupulous revenue officials, go to the
extent of forging public documents (in revenue offices it is called ‘fixing’)
to hide real properties and incomes.
RESISTING AND INTERFERING WITH TRADE UNIONS
 A traditional source of profit for profit- hungry employers is exploitation of
labor. Trade unions were born out of the need to protect workers from this
exploitation. This explains why, in the view of decadent employers, trade
unionism goes against the (rotten) principles of profit maximization.
CUTTHROAT COMPETITION
 A social thinker once commented that capitalist and the cannibals have something in
common. They both eat their own kind! Employer-businessmen are generally driven by
profit and the generally selfish. They compete voraciously and, as much as possible,
do not want any of their kind sharing the market.
BUSINESS ESPIONAGE
 Business espionage is committed when a company spies and steals valuable or
essential information from other competing companies. Espionage is done as means
of unfairly staying ahead of competitors, sometimes at the expenses of the
competitors hard earned resources.
 INFRINGEMENT
 Infringement is committed when one tries to imitate, reproduce or counterfeit another
company’s registered products. A well-known case of infringement in the Philippines is
the case of pirated film and music compact disc (CD’S).
 NEGATIVE ADVERTISING
 The term is used here to refer to any form of advertising designed to destroy the image
of a competitor. Advertising is legitimate means of promoting products and service of
the public. Advertising is an important tool in achieving the goals of the company.
 PIRATING EMPLOYEES
 Pirating employees does not necessarily imply any vacancy to fill up, rather, it suggests
inducing employees from other companies to leave their companies and join another
company. It is done as one way of stealing trade secrets, or benefiting from the skills and
competencies of employee who were trained by competitors.
 EMPLOYING CHILDREN
 One factor in the profit formula of some unethical employers is the employment of
children. Employers pay less wages to children, but they use these children to perform
work that adult workers usually do.
 DOUBLE STANDARD
 Double standard is used here to refer to the unethical practice of discrimination at the
workplace. Discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis
of prejudice. Discrimination occurs when partiality prevents objective consideration of an
issue or situation.
 GENDER DISCRIMINATION
 Gender discrimination is occurring, promotions pay, assignments, training etc., should be
handled without regard the gender. Some employers set gender as basis for determining
who will get promoted, how much wage a worker should get, what assignment to give
and what training a worker can possibly undergo.
AGE DISCRIMINATION
 is one of the horrors of becoming old. There are reports about employers who cut their
workforce in half, singling out older workers downsizing or right-sizing is not unethical in
itself. Sometimes companies in order to stay in business, are forced to downsized. But if
the basis of selecting who will be laid off is age then it becomes unethical.
DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION
 Not all disabled person are unfit to work. Sometimes, some of them even outperform
able persons in some work in the workplace. And it is unethical practice for some
employers to discriminate against persons because of disability.
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST GAY AND LESBIAN WORKERS
 This form of discrimination is also called discrimination based on sexual orientation. On
the job this form of discrimination painfully continues. Everyday gay and lesbian workers
are subjected to homophobic comments.
 RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION
 This form of discrimination applies to the unethical and illegal practice of some
employers to discriminate against employees for their religious belief’s affiliations.
Philippine constitution and the labor code clearly outlaw the practice employers
nevertheless still widely violate it.
 FAVORITISM
 Favored employees are the first people to be promoted even if they are
unfit for promotion. they are often giving the best assignment and
afforded the best training opportunities. Favoritism is demoralizing to the
rest of the workforce. But unethical employers just love playing favorites.
 ENTERTAINING GOSSIP/MALICIOUS TALK/BACKSTABBING
 Gossiping, malicious talk or backstabbing are common in the workplace
today largely because decadent employers approve and encourage
these practices. Some unethical employers find interest in snooping at the
personal lives of their employees rather than thinking about their general
welfare.
 INSULTING EMPLOYEES IN PUBLIC
 Scolding an erring employee is fine, as long as it is done properly. But to
scold employees in public and to censure them using profane language
is unspeakably unprofessional and unethical.
 UNETHICAL PRACTICES ON THE PART OF EMPLOYEES
 Itis safe to say that all of us have our own
experience about some fraudulent practices
perpetuated by workers, both in pubic and in
private offices. Some of these practices are hard to
break as they have become the “culture” of a
particular workplace partly because of the wrongful
perception of many that they are inherent in the
practice of work.
 1.LAGAY, LUSOT, AND LAKAD
 Lagay is “to bribe” referring to the act of giving and/ or receiving a bribe, or it could
refer to anything given to someone to include him to act dishonestly or spur him to
work well and fast. Lusot literally means evading something, perhaps blame for an
unaccomplished task, by escaping through the whole or opening. To get out of a
“tight fix”. Making “lusot” required “lakad”. The end of lakad is lusot. To complete the
decadent employee works in connivance with other people who are not formally
connected with the office and are well trained and well versed in searching for and
inducing clients with problem, they are called “fixers”.
 2.PALAKASAN
 Practice of giving preferential treatment to a particular client to the unfair
disadvantage of others. This is manifested in our inclinations to prioritize the interest of
persons whom we have some emotional attachments to, or those whom we
personally know. Or in some way, related to the issue of “lagay” as could result in
preferential treatment.
 3.DISCOURTESY
 Employees who are arrogant, unfriendly, unapproachable, impolite, and can make
clients feel uncomfortable.
 The employees should keep in mind two things:
 The reason why they are employed or why their institution or firm exists is
because of these “faceless” client or customer.
 Customer or client being human greatly value kindness respect and
recognition.
 4.IMPROPER USE OF OFFICE MATERIALS
 Using office materials for personal purposes and benefits at the expenses
of the company/government funds. it is true that employees enjoy the
privilege of using office equipment, these are providing to them to make
the performance of their official duties more efficient, and not for any
personal purpose.
 5.PILFERAGE
 Stealing small items owned by someone else, in this case the employer or
the company. ”Rats” infest not only house but also the civil service taking
something not yours, no matter how small is still stealing. It is theft and
theft is a crime.
 6.GOSSIPING AND BOOTLICKING
 Offices are beehives of the juiciest storyteller’s people whose days are
not complete without discussing someone else life. Problems and
miseries. Person who desire to be promoted at the expense of tarnishing
the image and dignity of their co-worker. Employees indulge in idle talk
out of pleasure they derive in minding the affairs of others, some do it to
gain favor from their employers who entertain if not encourage
gossiping it is called “bootlikers or applepolishers”.
OTHER ETCHICAL ISSUES IN FOCUS
 STRIKES
 Strikes comprise not only concerted work stoppages but also slowdowns. (deliberate
reduction of workers individual production) mass leaves sit down (when employees stop
working but refuse to leave the premises of the firm, refuse to leave the plant and the
machine.) and other such similar activities. A strike can last for short as a day or can
languish for several months even year. Strike is a legitimate social act a law provides for it.
 Here are some of the several causes of strike:
 To compel recognition of a labor union.
 To exert pressure on the company during bargaining or work negotiation.
 To exert pressure on union demands for wage increases and other benefits.
 To protest unfavorable actions taken by the employer.
 To protest unfair labor practices.
 BLUFFING
 Means conscious misstatements, exaggerations and or concealment of pertinent facts.
Through bluffing either party can convey to the other an overstated portrayal of its ability
to inflict or endure cost. For the workers cost could be in the forms of shutdowns mass
retirements and dismissals. For the employers cost could be be in the form of strikes.
 WHISTLE-BLOWING
 Is a great concession to the dictate of conscience. It generally
arises from clashes between and among the duties we must
render to our various social affiliations. Our duties and
obligations to our family to our work or profession and the
society are usual sources of moral dilemma.
 ISSUE OF HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THE WORKPLACE

 According to Assefa Bequele, director of the international
labor organization (ILO) East Asia multidisciplinary, works of
today enjoy greater economic and social benefits in
incomes and better quality of life because of economic
growth and technological development.
 FACTS AND FIGURES
 DEATHS The ILO estimates that about 200,000 workers worldwide die
annually and it is presumed that over half of these figures are from the
Asia and Pacific regions.
 INJURIES As many as 120 million workers worldwide are injured or
become ill annually. In the case of work-relate fatalities, half of the
estimate comes from developing countries.
 DISEASES According to the ILO there is a high prevalence of workers
suffering from work-related diseases in developing countries.

 UNSAFE WORK SITUATIONS OF SPECIFIC GROUPS


 Unsafe working conditions remain a widespread phenomenon for
specific groups of people, despite rapid economic growth, especially in
developing countries.
 WORKING CHILDREN
 In many sectors working children are often involved in unsafe work.
Urgent attention must be paid to children in hazardous employment.
Their protection requires legislative action, education, and training and
assurance that at least very young children are not allowed to work.
 MIGRANT WORKERS
 Usually work in new setting under conditions which are unfamiliar to
them and are less protected for various economic and social reasons.
Their precarious employment conditions often mean that they have to
endure unsafe working conditions.
 DISABLED, OLDER AND INDIGENOUS WORKERS
 This special group tends to accept unsafe and unhealthy
working conditions. Many of them work outside the
organized sector and are not union members.
 WORKING WOMEN AND MOTHER
 This special group forms an increasing proportion of the
workforce. The basic issue is to provide equal employment
opportunities for both women and men.

THE ROLE OF EMPLOYERS AND
EMPLOYEES
Below is a checklist for the roles
and responsibilities of both
employers and employees in
ensuring health and safety in the
workplace.
EMPLOYERS SHOULD ENSURE THAT:

□ workplaces, machinery, equipment and processes under their


control
are safe and without risk to health;
□ chemical, physical and biological substances and agents under
Their control are without risk to health when appropriate
protective measures are taken;
□ adequate protective clothing and protective equipment are
available, where necessary; and
□ measures to deal with emergencies and accidents, including
Adequate first aid arrangement are available, where necessary
WORKERS ARE RESPOSIBLE FOR:
 □ taking care of their own safety and that of others who may be
 affected by their acts or omissions at work;
 □ complying with instructions given for their own and others
 safety and health, and with other safety and health procedures;
 □ using safety devices and protective equipment correctly
 and not rendering them inoperative
 □ reporting to their immediate supervisor any situation which
 they believe could present a hazard, and which they themselves
 cannot correct; and
 □ reporting any accident or injury to health at work.