Chapter 18

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Business & Society
Ethics, Sustainability, and Stakeholder
Management
Eighth Edition
Archie B. Carroll
Ann K. Buchholtz
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
1
Chapter 18
Employee
Stakeholders:
Privacy, Safety,
and Health
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Learning Outcomes
1. Articulate the concerns surrounding the employee’s
right to privacy in the workplace.
2. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of
polygraphs, integrity tests, and drug testing as
management instruments for decision making.
3. Discuss the right to safety and the right to know, and
summarize the role and responsibilities of OSHA.
4. Elaborate on the right to health and safety in the
workplace, with particular reference to violence,
smoke-free workplaces, and family-friendly
workplaces.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Chapter Outline
• Right to Privacy in the Workplace
• Workplace Safety
• The Right to Health in the Workplace
• Summary
• Key Terms
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Right to Privacy, Safety, Health
• Right to privacy
•
The status of workers’ rights is ill-defined.
• Right to safety
•
Thousands injured on the job annually.
• Right to health
•
Thousands suffer from work-related health
problems.
 In today’s uncertain work environment,
employees are more hesitant to ask for their
rights to be respected.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Right to Privacy
Right to:
• Keep personal affairs to oneself
• Autonomy
• Determine when, how, and to what extent
private information is communicated to
others.
 Privacy in the workplace is in flux as new
technological options are introduced.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Right to Privacy (continued)
Wired magazine’s best and worst
firms for privacy at work
The Best
IBM
The Worst
Eli Lilly
HP
Ford
Baxter Healthcare
Sears
Walmart
New York Times Co.
BNSF
Hilton Hotels
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Workplace Privacy Issues
1. Collection and use of employee
information in personnel files.
2. Integrity testing.
3. Drug testing.
4. Monitoring employee’s work, behavior,
conversations, and location by electronic
means.
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Collection and Use of Employee
Information
 Privacy Act of 1974
 USA Patriot Act
 Background checks/screening
 Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
• Two significant loopholes:
• Employers can opt to do the background
checks themselves instead of using outside
providers.
• FCRA does not cover the interview process.
 Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC)
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Integrity Tests
Polygraph
• Lie Detector
• Highly controversial in business
Employee Polygraph Protection Act
(EPPA)
• Banned most private-sector use of the lie
detector
Integrity tests
• Also controversial, but viewed as a
substitute for polygraph tests
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Employee Polygraph Protection Act
Exceptions Include:
 Security services
 Nuclear facilities
 Radioactive or toxic waste
 Public water supply facilities
 Public transportation
 Precious commodities
 Proprietary information
 Controlled substances
 Government employees
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Integrity Testing
To stem employee theft
Reasons for Use
To screen employees and applicants
To replace polygraphs
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Arguments For Drug Testing
High cost of drug abuse
•
Increased rate of accidents and injuries
•
Increased rate of theft
•
Increased propensity to make poor decisions
•
Ruined lives
Ethical responsibility to employees and
public to provide
 Safe workplaces
 Secure asset protection
 Safe places to transact business
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Arguments Against Drug
Testing
• Violates due process rights
• Invades privacy rights
• False positives from common foods and
medicines
• Ignores employee’s actual performance
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Guidelines for Drug Testing
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Written company policy and procedure concerning
substance abuse.
Requirements for drug testing program are documented.
Employees get advance notice and right to refuse
screening.
Employee awareness if safety and security needs justify
testing.
Tests done uniformly and impartially.
Specimen handling meets legal, technical, and ethical
requirements.
Qualified review of positive results prior to employer
notification.
Notification of employee or applicant prior to employer
report.
Report to employer contains only the information needed
for work placement purposes or as required for
government regulations.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Drug Testing: State and Federal
Legislation
State laws
• Restrict drug testing to reasonable cause
and suspicion
• The U.S. Department of Labor maintains a
website with state drug policies
Federal laws
• Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
• Specific regulations for drug testing in
organizations
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Employee Assistance Programs
Employee Assistance Programs
(EAPs)
• Extend into a variety of employee problem
areas.
A proactive way of dealing with employee
problems
1. Employees are valuable members of the
organization.
2. It is better to help troubled employees than to
discipline or discharge them.
3. Recovered employees are better employees.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Monitoring Employees on the Job
 Employee monitoring occurs at the
majority of mid- to large-sized firms.
Technology changed the pervasiveness and
nature of monitoring.
 Videotaping
 Recording phone calls and voice mail
 Reading computer files
 Monitoring emails and web access
 GPS
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Effects of Employee Monitoring
• Invasion of privacy
• Treats employees unfairly
• Creates stress and tension
• Excessive pressure to be productive
• Produces low morale
• Creates a sense of job insecurity
 The Electronic Communication Privacy
Act of 1986 is the only privacy protection
available for electronic monitoring.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Policy Guidelines on the Issues of
Privacy
1. Obtain informed consent before acquiring
information.
2. Disclose the nature of any surveillance.
3. Set controls to avoid unauthorized spread
of information.
4. Collect and use only job-relevant medical
and health data.
5. Require reasonable suspicion before doing
drug tests.
6. Respect and preserve the boundary between
work and home.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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The Workplace Safety Problem
Two events are forerunners of workplace
safety initiatives
1. The death by cyanide poisoning of an employee
of Film Recovery Systems.
2. The poisonous gas leak at the Union Carbide
Plant in Bhopal, India.
Right-to-know laws
•
Employers have a duty to provide employees with
information on the hazards of workplace
chemicals and to make sure that workers
understand what the information means in
practical terms.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Right-to-Know Laws
OSHA’s hazard communication
standards
1. Update inventories of hazardous chemicals in the
workplace.
2. Assemble material safety data sheets.
3. Ensure that hazardous chemicals are properly labeled.
4. Train workers on the use of hazardous chemicals.
5. Prepare and maintain a written description of the
hazard communication program.
6. Consider any problems with trade secrets from the
disclosure requirements.
7. Review state requirements for
hazard disclosure.
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The History of OSHA
 Nitpicking rules
•
Early on, promoted rules that were trivial in
comparison to its larger mission of protecting
health and safety.
 Spotty record
•
Employee injuries, illnesses, and deaths have
not steadily decreased under OSHA rules.
 Rejuvenated OSHA
•
Post-Reagan, increased budget, more energy,
new administrator.
 The Future of OSHA
•
Tougher government accountability for OSHA
in the future.
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Workplace Violence
• A major problem posing challenges to
management.
• Companies make few efforts to address
workplace violence.
Continued violence in the future because of:
 Greater tolerance for violence
 Easily available weapons
 Economic stress
 Difficult job market
 Insufficient support systems
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Who is Affected?
Workers are most at risk who:
• exchange money with the public.
• deliver passengers, goods, or services.
• work alone or in small groups.
• work late at night or early morning.
• work in community settings with extensive
public contact.
• work in high-crime areas.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Prevention
 OSHA’s “general duty clause” mandates that
employers provide safe workplaces– is not
specific to violent acts.
Employers are held liable for an unsafe act
when:
1. The employer neglected to keep the
workplace free from a hazard.
2. The hazard was one that is generally
recognized by the employer or the industry.
3. The hazard was already causing or likely to
cause serious harm.
4. Elimination or removal of the hazard was
feasible.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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OSHA’s Recommendations for
Preventing Workplace Violence
1. Provide safety education.
2. Secure the workplace.
3. Provide drop safes.
4. Equip field staff with cell phones and
alarms.
5. Instruct employees not to enter unsafe
locations.
6. Develop policies and procedures covering
visits for home health-care providers.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Right to Health in the Workplace
Smoking in the workplace
• Growing anti-smoking sentiment in the
U.S. and globally
•
Passive smoke kills thousands in the U.S.
each year
• Benefits of smoke-free workplaces:
 Lower employee healthcare costs.
 Smoke-free workplaces help smokers to
quite.
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Family-Friendly Workplace
Work/Life balance
•
•
A state of equilibrium where the demands of a
person’s personal and professional life are equal.
A desirable state for most workers, but difficult in
recessionary economic times.
Family-friendly benefits
1. Dependent care flexible spending accounts
2. Flextime
3. Family leave above time required Family and
Medical leave Act
4. Domestic partner benefits
5. Adoption assistance
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Family and Medical Leave Act
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
• Designed to make life easier for employees
with family or health problems.
FMLA employee rights
 12 weeks of unpaid leave in 12-month period
 Reinstatement in old or equivalent jobs
 Health benefits during leave periods
 Protection from retaliation
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Family-Friendly Workplace (continued)
FMLA employer rights
 Companies with fewer than 50 workers are
exempt.
 Right to demand that employees obtain
medical opinions or certifications; may
require additional opinions.
 Do not have to pay employees, but must
continue health benefits.
 If employee and spouse are at the same firm,
the total leave for both may be limited to 12
weeks.
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Key Terms
• Background checks
• Broad brush EAP
• Chief privacy officer
(CPO)
• Drug testing
• Electronic
Communication
Privacy Act of 1986
(ECPA)
• Employee Assistance
Programs (EAPs)
• Employee monitoring
• Employee Polygraph
Protection Act (EPPA)
• Fair Credit Reporting
Act (FCRA)
• Family and Medical
Leave Act (FMLA)
• Family-friendly
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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Key Terms (continued)
• Integrity tests
• Occupational Safety
and Health
Administration
(OSHA)
• Polygraph
• Privacy Act of 1974
• Privacy impact
statement
• Privacy in the
workplace
• Right-to-know laws
• Smoking in the
workplace
• Type 1 error
• Type 2 error
• Work / life balance
• Workplace violence
• USA Patriot Act
© 2012 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning
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