Business or Corporate ethics is a form of professional or applied ethics that looks at ethical principles and problems that arise in a business setting. It applies to all features of business demeanor and is pertinent to the conduct of personalities and business society as a whole (Smith, 1952). There are ethics related to human resource management. Human resource management takes up the area of activity of orientation, training, performance appraisal, recruitment selection and development, health and safety issues and industrial relations where ethics really matters.
Even if it is on moral grounds, no CEO should let her workers decide for themselves whether or not to work overtime in dangerous parts of her plant. Though we have to accept that employee dedication comes from those who believe that their prospect is tied to that of the business and their willingness to make individual sacrifices for the company, the more the company is devoted to protecting its workers, the more probable that the workers will take care of the business. Thus to avoid complacency, accidents and errors, any CEO should never let decision making in the hands of employees even if it is for the employees’ economic interest (Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell, 2006).
A CEO should always consider the work-related health and safety of her employees. This is a cross-disciplinary part concerned with covering the health, welfare and safety of the people in employment. The aim of occupational safety and health programs is to cultivate a safe work environment. These health and safety precautions should also be used by CEOs to protect the family members of the workers and the nearby communities affected or impacted by the workplace environment (Everly, 1986). Production ethics should always be taken into consideration by any CEO. These ethics of production deal with the responsibilities of a company to ensure that manufacturing processes do not cause injury. No CEO therefore should debate with the fact that all employees need to wear protective devises every time they are within the company (Smith, 1952).
Since there is always a degree of danger in any production process and it is difficult to define the degree of permissibility, or the degree of permissibility depends on the changing state of preventive technologies, CEOs are required to ensure that decision making is a power vested on them and not on the employees.
Working during pregnancy has been found to have adverse effects on the pregnant women. These outcomes include birth weight, spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, and fetal death. Data collected on strenuous work during pregnancy and indexed with several different occupational factors showed that posture, mental stress, use of machines and noise in the environment affected the women. Preterm birth is also associated with the number of hours worked per week by these pregnant or child bearing-age women (Mongeli, 2003). Preterm births happen in the following percentages, depending on the number of hours per week. 3.6% among women working fewer than 40 hours a week, 5.6% among those women working 40 hours, 7.0% for those working 41-45 hours and 10.0 for those working more than 45 hours a week (Mongeli, 2003).
CEOs should therefore not allow pregnant women to work in dangerous places in their companies and minimize the number of hours these people work. They should also ensure that maternity leave is offered earlier to allow these women to have enough time to rest and organize themselves for the expected delivery both mentally and physically. This, according to Homer et al., (1990), would enable the women to deliver promptly and with no major complications. It is thus not right for any CEO to allow women of child-bearing years or those pregnant to work in dangerous places without wearing protective gear or to decide for themselves whether or not to work overtime in risky places.