EHM2 TASK 3: CODE OF ETHICS AND LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY ANALYSIS
A. Company’s Code of Ethics: Target
The subject of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is widely used in Target's broad set of rules. Target worked effectively at conveying what they mean for social, monetary, and ecological change by covering clear goals that express quantifiable results for our planet. Target's set of rules examines a shared obligation to regard fundamental liberties. Fair work rehearses by colleagues and colleagues, focusing on the world through manageability endeavours and putting resources into the networks through generosity and volunteerism. The business naturally includes us with others, and we frequently follow up for the benefit of others (Smith, 2021). Many parts of a decent CSR strategy are examined exhaustively in Target's set of principles record.
Target's code of ethics unequivocally addresses how the organization consents to legitimate orders. The implicit principles subtleties the organization's position on keeping a zero capacity to bear resistance with legitimate infringement. Target's broad set of principles urges colleagues to be careful in noticing resistant ways of behaving and supports a commitment to voice concerns when occasions of thought manhandling happen. With wellbeing, security, and administrative drives, infringement of compensation and work regulations, safeguarding individual data, and directing business decently, Target's implicit set of principles underlines prerequisites for all representatives and colleagues to know and consolidate in their day-to-day work the regulations that oversee moral and fair strategic policies to guarantee lawful consistence (Smith, 2021). Target's broad set of principles sums up that when worker activities disregard the law and affect the Objective brand, legitimate outcomes could happen, including punishments, arraignment, fines, and prison time.
Organizations should observe guidelines, guidelines, and regulations to prepare for extortion and misuse. Rules and guidelines are upheld in the working environment to shield representatives and organizations from arraignment, claims, and fines. Ramifications for organizations with resistant strategic approaches with legitimate commands incorporate criminal arraignment and charges, efficiency misfortunes, penalties, and punishments (Smith, 2021). The ramifications of resistance aren't restricted to lawful punishments. Roundabout expenses for an organization can be huger and incorporate pessimistic reputational costs, business interruption or conclusion, and individual liabilities. The Government Exchange Commission (FTC) directs many regulations and guidelines to safeguard shoppers against organizations with out-of-line and misleading practices (2017). If the FTC finds organizations are resistant to the law, it can force a most extreme common punishment of $40,000.00.
Target implements internal safeguards to protect business data and the organization's assets. To guard against illegal or unethical theft of property, abuse, misuse, or unauthorized disclosure of non-public and intellectual property, Target put in place protections to manage business operations effectively and avoid disruptions in work efforts. Two ethical safeguards Target enforces to prevent illegal and unethical acts for physical security in the workplace are tracking physical property through asset management and empowering employees through security awareness.
To ensure the impact of communicating ethically is understood by all employees, Target publishes the Delegation of Authority policy and Social Media Guidelines to enforce the understanding of communicating responsibly. The protections include publishing policies that address Records and Information Management, Information Security, and the Acceptable Use of Information Resources. Other physical security protections include contacting assets protection or corporate security when suspicious or dishonest activity is observed.
Ethical conduct in the workplace encourages a culture of moral decisions. Leaders are modelling acceptable behaviour to help to drive employee engagement, happiness, and retention. Target's code of ethics is a proposal to comply with the company's code to promote a culture of integrity and accountability. Target's code of ethics does a great job of fostering an ethical culture. Entrenched in Target's code of ethics, employees are equipped with the knowledge and tools to do what's right when ethical dilemmas arise (Giwa et al., 2020). Every topic in Target's code of ethics is a commitment to the values, behaviours, and code of the company and resources that actively reinforce ethical standards. The communication of expectations is a powerful organizational influence tool (Johnson, 2019).
To do what's right, people have to hold themselves and others accountable for how they act and conduct business. Reporting unethical behaviour is a test of character. Leaders encourage teamwork and create structures, processes, and programs that allow a positive ethical culture to flourish. Target gives employees three resources to use to reinforce an ethical culture when raising alleged ethical code violations for deliberate reasons. Target provides employees with a channel to voice concerns, seek guidance, or report violations. Employees have the option to talk with their immediate supervisor or a member of Human Resources. When reporting unethical actions, employees can call the compliance hotline or visit Target's integrity URL (Giwa et al., 2020). Employees can report an unethical violation by email or writing to the ethics and compliance board. Reporting non-compliant violations is handled anonymously and confidentially. Target bans retaliatory behaviour against employees when unethical conduct is reported and takes protection seriously.
If I observe an ethical violation, I will follow company procedures for reporting unethical behaviour. I have a great working relationship with my direct leader and would elect to speak with her directly for a directive on how to address suspected unethical acts of conduct. As an alternative option, I would call the internal compliance hotline. I believe a hotline encourages people to report wrongdoings due to its convenience and anonymity.
B. Three Factors an Employee Might Consider Before Deciding To Report Unethical Conduct Observed At Work
Unethical Behaviors Policy
Purpose: Unethical behaviour adversely affects workplace morale and contributes to opposing outcomes. This policy establishes guidelines for addressing unethical behaviour by individuals at the organization, including employees and business partners (2015).
Policy: It is the organization's policy that every team member lives the values, understands the code, follows the law, and takes action when witnessing conduct that undermines the foundation of ethical culture.
Unethical conduct will not be tolerated at the organization. Unethical behaviour is any manner of interaction that harms workplace morale and includes but is not limited to:
Illegal activity and non-compliance with the law;
Hurts the Target brand;
Egregious breach of values, behaviours, and code.
I. Guidelines to Prepare for Reporting Unethical Concerns
Target's code of ethics requires employees to observe standards of business and ethics by understanding the code requirements, living the values in daily actions, and reporting assumed violations of the code. There are ethical reasons why people blow the whistle on unethical behaviour or actions. Employees must weigh important personal and organizational considerations before blowing the whistle (Turyakira, 2018). An individual assessment should include research to ensure the unethical act is valid. The employee should know why they feel strongly about a given issue, understand the force behind their intentions, consider the moral and financial implications, be prepared for others to learn of their identity contingent on the occurrence and outcome, and ready to live with the consequences, determine the best timing, discuss the issue with family, and have an alternate course of action if the expected outcome doesn't occur.
Organizational considerations should start with gathering the report contents, including the suspected person's name, description of the instance, and any pertinent documentation regarding the violation (Turyakira, 2018). Organizational considerations must include discussing the unethical example with a direct lender, making sure the concern is the correct type of issue to report, compiling evidence to support the claim, reviewing company policy on how to internally report the violation, contacting the company's compliance officer if applicable, be prepared to follow the chain of command, take the concern outside the company if still unresolved, or find other employment. Employees must cooperate in internal investigations of unethical behaviour.
II. Reporting a concern
Ultimately Target's ability to enforce the code is based on the commitment of its employees to follow the code requirements and report suspected ethical violations. If an employee decides to blow the whistle on illegal and unethical behaviour, internal and external reporting steps must be followed. Internal reporting steps must include fully following company protocol. Unethical concerns should be reported following the chain of command, starting with the immediate supervisor. If the immediate supervisor has taken part in the problem, the employee should proceed to the next management level. After management has been notified, reporting steps include contacting human resources, the compliance officer or reporting the concerns to senior leaders such as the CEO or president of the company. Reporting can be done in person, by phone, or in writing.
Following applicable laws and regulations, Target will determine whether law enforcement or an external government agency should be notified. Employees must follow external reporting steps if they decide to report unethical behaviour. After all specified internal steps have been performed, the exterior reporting step should report the probable ethical violation to the external compliance hotline (Podgorica et al., 2021). A report will be created, and the appropriate teams will be engaged for further follow-up. Confidentiality and anonymity will remain intact but could be released to the public at some point, depending on the type of complaint and statute.
C. One Advantage and One Disadvantage of Paying Whistleblowers
The False Claims Act enables whistleblowers to bring suit on behalf of any wrongdoer who is currently defrauding the US government (2020). A person considering filing a lawsuit under the False Claims Act on behalf of the government should thoroughly educate themselves on the rewards, protections, benefits, and perils for whistleblowers. The potential rewards and risks associated with whistleblowing can be significant. The rewards system with the False Claims Act encourages people to come forward to help stop wrongdoing and hold offenders accountable (2020). Advantages include moral, ethical, and financial tips. The moral and ethical benefits for whistleblowers outweigh the risks (Podgorica et al., 2021). A whistleblower's entitlement to financial rewards ranges from 15% to 30% depending on the unique circumstances with a successful outcome. Disadvantages could include retaliation from an employer such as loss of employment or demotion, negative feedback or harassment from work colleagues and family members, direct or indirect threats against personal safety, struggles from stress and anxiety with anonymity, and lengthy or unfavourable outcomes.
D. The Changes That Organizations Have Made Based On the US Sentencing Guidelines
Corporate adoption of practical ethics and compliance programs was greatly influenced by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, developed by the US Sentencing Commission (USSC) on November 1, 1991. Since 1991, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations have provided a criminal justice framework to deter and punish organizational misconduct (Patuzzo et al., 2018). These guidelines encourage organizations to implement internal control systems by mandating penalties when internal systems fail. Initially, individual defendants were prosecuted. With the new sentencing guidelines, organizations were held responsible and accountable when a sole employee was indicted on a crime. This changed the way organizations viewed the efficacy of ethics and compliance programs and how they drove their business operations. Developing an ethical corporate culture gained more momentum for the organization's top management (Patuzzo et al., 2018). Compliance initiatives, codes of ethics, and compliance programs provide the standards and guidelines for ethical behaviour. They reinforced adherence to the laws that governed ethical conduct and were critical to avoiding penalties and fines.
When organizations are criminally liable for illegal actions, the liability is based on several factors. Culpability factors used to determine fines under the US Sentencing Guidelines are the organization's size, prior history of similar criminal conduct, and the role of obstructing or impeding an investigation. Penalties are based on a base fine and a culpability score. The base fine corresponds with a determined offence level, the organization's monetary gain, and the ensuing loss caused by the criminal offence.
The culpability score is increased or decreased based on aggravated or mitigating factors. Aggravating factors are the size of the organization by factoring the number of employees in the organization or the number of individuals involved in criminal activity, prior history of misconduct conduct, and the role of obstructing or impeding an investigation (McPhail et al., 2018). Mitigating factors are whether an effective compliance program was in place at the time of the offence, if the organization self-reported the crime and was fully cooperative, and if they accepted responsibility for the criminal activity.
Corporate compliance, ethical culture, and ethical decision-making are vital components for the success of every business operation, regardless of the industry. An effective compliance program will protect organizations and employees to avoid fraud, abuse, and practices that inevitably interrupt business operations. Compliance violations can result in fines, penalties, lawsuits, and loss of reputation.
Giwa, A., Milsten, A., Vieira, D., Ogedegbe, C., Kelly, K., & Schwab, A. (2020). Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Bioethical Analysis of Healthcare Professionals and Institutions' Moral Obligations During Active Shooter Incidents in Hospitals—A Narrative Review of the Literature. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 48(2), 340-351. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-law-medicine-and-ethics/article/should-i-stay-or-should-i-go-a-bioethical-analysis-of-healthcare-professionals-and-healthcare-institutions-moral-obligations-during-active-shooter-incidents-in-hospitals-a-narrative-review-of-the-literature/8BD07C0B94642107FA962FA07FF22C3B
McPhail, I. V., Stephens, S., & Heasman, A. (2018). Legal and ethical issues in treating clients with pedohebephilic interests. Canadian Psychology/psychologie canadienne, 59(4), 369. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-55269-008
Patuzzo, S., De Stefano, F., & Ciliberti, R. (2018). The Italian code of medical deontology. historical, ethical and legal issues. Acta Bio Medica: Atenei Parmensis, 89(2), 157. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179026/
Podgorica, N., Flatscher-Thöni, M., Deufert, D., Siebert, U., & Ganner, M. (2021). A systematic review of ethical and legal issues in elder care. Nursing Ethics, 28(6), 895-910. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0969733020921488
Smith, H. (2021). Clinical AI: opacity, accountability, responsibility and liability. AI & SOCIETY, 36(2), 535-545. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00146-020-01019-6
Turyakira, P. K. (2018). Ethical practices of small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries: A literature analysis. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 21(1), 1-7. https://journals.co.za/doi/abs/10.4102/sajems.v21i1.1756