Whether they realize it or not, managers and workers make many decisions every day that can have a direct or indirect ethical impact. When making these decisions, all employees need to be aware of the legal and ethical implications their decisions may have on others. Many routine decisions do not present an obvious ethical dilemma, such as hiring one person over another simply based on a ‘gut feeling’ or giving preferential treatment to one customer over another because you like them; however, these decisions can come back to haunt you in the future. To overcome this possibility, most companies establish detailed policies and procedures that guide managers to make good ethical decisions.
For this assignment, you will assume the fictitious role of the Human Resource Director for Xtra Office Supplies and write seven ethics policies for your organization. Here are some parameters to help you with this assignment:
Your company has 30 employees, 7 of which are managers.
You will write 7 ethics policies that will guide both rank-and-file employees and their managers as they make business decisions.
Each policy should discuss a specific decision-making process, such as the external hiring process, the internal promotion process, employee discipline, approval of time-off, vendor relations, financial reporting process, accepting gifts, reporting expenses, customer returns and refunds, etc. These are just example, you may select any appropriate topics you wish for your policies.
Each policy should clearly state the decision-making process it covers, giving guidance on how managers and employees should address the situation. The policy should outline specific expectations, give advice on available resources, and state when a situation should be escalated to the next level of management. Ensure each policy details any consequences for breaking it, such as discipline or termination.
Keep in mind the scope of these policies. The company is rather small, so the management structure most likely consists of several department managers that oversee rank-and-file employees (you are one of those managers) and the company owner or president. Therefore, you can specifically state who to escalate certain problems to. For example, in the case of an allegation of workplace harassment, you may want to state that the reporting party goes directly to the Director of Human Resources.
Keep your policies practical. This is a small, local printing company, so chances are they will not have as many detailed policies as a Fortune 500 corporation. Remember, the policies are a guide for all employees and managers as they make day-to-day decisions, so select appropriate topics. For example, a fair time-off policy is very practical, as a small company cannot afford to have too many individuals taking vacation at the same time. However, this policy should comply with any legal requirements such as FMLA, employment contracts, or wage and hour laws.
While doing research, find a policy format that you like and use it for all 7 policies; this will help you focus your writing and make it easier for the reader to understand and apply. You can find many examples online, and there are templates available on government websites like the U.S. Small Business Administration. Make sure you give credit to these sources in your final paper.
Formatting & Sources
Please write your paper in the APA format. As part of your research, you may refer to the course material for supporting evidence, but you must also use at least three credible, outside sources and cite them using APA format as well. Please include a mix of both primary and secondary sources, with at least one source from a scholarly peer-reviewed journal. If you use any Study.com lessons as sources, please also cite them in APA (including the lesson title and instructor’s name).
Primary sources are first-hand accounts such as interviews, advertisements, speeches, company documents, statements, and press releases published by the company in question.
Secondary sources come from peer-reviewed scholarly journals, such as the Journal of Management. You may use like JSTOR, Google Scholar, and Social Science Research Network to find articles from these journals. Secondary sources may also come from reputable websites with .gov, .edu, or .org in the domain. (Wikipedia is not a reputable source, though the sources listed in Wikipedia articles may be acceptable.)
If you’re unsure about how to use APA format for your paper and sources, please see the following lessons:
Company Ethical Policies
This Company’s Code of Ethics guides both the leadership and all employees on how to conduct themselves within the business premises and as they undertake business operations. The central premise for the listed ethical policies is to build the Company’s reputation in providing quality products and services, to achieve business integrity and honesty.
Business Conduct Policy
● All employees play a fundamental role in building the Company’s reputation; hence, they all adhere to the Company’s ethical guidelines and fully comply with applicable laws.
● All employees’ conduct is to be guided by six ethical principles, including honesty, respect, integrity, fairness, promise-keeping, and compassion. All employees need to ensure that all their business operations, application for services, procurement activities, and employees’ hiring are made concerning the identified ethical principles leading the development of an open, fair, and impartial working environment.
● \In upholding this Business Conduct policy and being ethical, the employee should understand what is right and wrong and choose to do what is right. Determining the right thing will entail considering whether the action is legal, fair, and right. In case an employee is not sure about the ethics or the legality of a particular action, they have the mandate of consulting with their Supervisors or Senior managers depending on who is deemed appropriate to provide impartial advice on the matter.
Fair Competition Policy
● The Company prohibits any anti-competitive practices that could restrain or distort competition and any practices that cause unfair competition.
● The Company’s staff will not make formal or informal agreements with competitors on any transaction conditions such as fixing prices, limiting or controlling production, engage in any technical development or investment, manipulating or dividing markets or provisioning sources, participating in fake offers, or other competition types for offers restraining market access and the freedom to compere for other enterprises, applying inequivalent conditions for equivalent performance to the commercial partners among other unfair competition concerning the Company’s clients and the competitors. Employees will not take any actions that harm the legitimate interests of the Company’s consumers and other operations that violate the Competition law.
● Every employee in the Company will sign a Fair competition Policy that provides guidelines on conducting themselves and will be handled by the Disciplinary Committee in the instance of violation. This will result in various corrective actions, including and not limited to possible dismissal.
Conflicts of Interest Policy
● The Company expects its employees to act in the company’s best interests and avoid any situations or activities that are or appear to prioritize one’s interests over the Company’s Interests.
● These actions include the situations preventing the employee from devoting time and devotion to one’s employment obligations or those that will affect one’s judgment and capacity to act in Company’s best interests. Examples of these situations include but are not limited to insider trading, the use of employment resources for personal gain, and personal transactions with the Company’s business associates.
● It is not possible to provide an actual, comprehensive definition of a conflict of interest. Nonetheless, one factor common to every conflict of interest situation is the potential of an individual’s actions or decisions will be affected or do have the appearance of being affected due to the actual or possible divergence between the Company’s interests and other interests.
● If an employee is faced with a situation or action that does lead to a conflict of interest, the situation should be disclosed to the Supervisor or an Executive Manager.
Fair Time-Off Policy
● This policy is intended to provide its employees with flexible paid time off from work that could be used for personal needs such as vacation, family illness, school, volunteering, among other employee choices.
● The PTO days accrued by the employee will replace any existing vacation, sick time, and individual business days that have been allocated under previous policies.
● An individual’s eligibility to accrue PTO is in line with the employee’s working or utilizing accrued PTO for the bi-weekly pay duration., PTO will not be earned in pay durations during which the unpaid leaves, disability leaves for worker compensation leave is taken. Employees will need to use time from the PTO bank in hourly increments.
● To take PTO, they will need to make two notice days to their Supervisors and Human resources except when the PTO is to be utilized for legitimate, unpredictable illness or emergencies.
● Progressive Disciplinary actions relating to absenteeism occurrences will be administered following a rolling 12-month calendar as follows: no disciplinary actions will be provided for one to three incidents, a verbal warning with documented coaching will be provided in the fourth incident, a written warning on the employee’s file will be provided on the fifth incident and employment termination to be given on the sixth incident.
Record Keeping and Financial Reporting Policy
● Companypany requires honest and accurate recording and reporting of all information to make responsible business decisions.
● All of the Company’s books, records, accounts, and financial statements need to be maintained responsibly, in reasonable detail, accurately and be a proper reflection of all transactions within the Company. This recording and reporting should comply with all applicable legal requirements and Company’s internal controls and p[ropcedures.
● Any undisclosed or unrecorded funds, other assets, or liabilities will not be allowed.
● All employees are expected and required to prepare, preserve and produce all information as per the policy and with a separately published record retention policy.
● To protect the Company’s employees and partners’ privacy and ensure compliance with federal and state law, each individual should ensure that all records pertaining to their medical or personal data are confidential stories and should be disclosed when authorized.
Company Information and Confidentiality Policy
● Each employee has access to some typeCompanypany confidential information, including technical information on the Company’s operations, financial information, strategies of conducting operations, plans, and intentions.
● All of the Company employees are to sign an undertaking of confidentiality to Companypany and ascertain that they will treat Company’s confidential information with the integrity it deserves.
● Every employee is required not to reveal any confidential information to any party either when employed with Companypany when they leave except when they have obtained written authorization from the company’s CEO.
Reporting Ethical or Fraudulent Violations
● Each employee can reinforce an ethical environment with Companypany and positively impact the conduct of colleagues.
● In the event that an employee feels powerless to stop any suspected misconduct, one has discovered it after it has happened, it needs to be reported to the proper level of management.
● Each employee is expected to cooperate voluntarily with or respond to any inquiry form and also provide testimony to any self-regulatory organization or another law enforcement authority for any violations against applicable laws that have happened within Companypany. An employee can make reports or disclosures to law enforcement or a regulatory authority without any prior notice of the Company’s authorization.
● It is a violation of the Ethics Policy for one individual that has reported any violation to be intimidated or retaliated.
● If there are still further concerns after speaking to local management or one feels uncomfortable speaking to them. The employee should anonymously contact the Company’s Ethics Helpline by phone at (012)056 7895or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business ethics: Sample policies, corporate culture article. (2000, October 20). Inc.com. https://www.inc.com/articles/2000/10/14404.html
Heathfield, S. (2021). Need a sample paid time off (PTO) policy? The Balance Careers. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/sample-paid-time-off-policy-1918910
World Health Organization. (2017). Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, April 2017. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/about/ethics/code_of_ethics_full_version.pdf