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ETHICAL BEHAVIOR IN THE WORKPLACE

ETHICAL BEHAVIOR IN THE WORKPLACE

Case # 15 

In a TV ad for Old Milwaukee beer, the scantily clad Swedish Bikini Team descends by parachute into the campsite of several awed young males. The voice-over to the woman’s bump and-grind routine is, “It just doesn’t get any better than this.” Things got a lot worse for five women employees of Stroh Brewery, the maker of Old Milwaukee beer, whose claims that their harassment by fellow male employees was encouraged by the company’s advertising. The Stroh executives conceded that the women had been subjected to lewd comments and displays of pornographic pic­tures but pointed to the company’s own sexual harassment policy as evidence that such conduct is not condoned. They labeled as “preposterous” the claim that the Swedish Bikini Team ads contributed in any way to the harassment.  The women argued that “these ads tell Stroh’s male employees that women are stupid, panting playthings.”  One woman said of the men in her office, “When they are getting feedback from the top of the company that women are bimbos and that’s OK, that’s why I’m getting treated the way I’m getting treated.’’ Shortly after the women filed suit, the Swedish Bikini team was featured in PIayboy magazine.

 

  1. Are the five women being realistic in their claim?

 

  1. Is the company wise in using this type of commercial?  Are they playing to a male market?
  2. What would you advise the company to do?
  3. Is this a “hostile environment?”  Explain.

Please Explain Your Answers Thoroughly

Case # 16 

Dolores Stanley, a 33-year-old churchgoing mother of three, was promoted to the position of manager of a Dairy Mart store in rural Ohio.  After 10 years with the convenience stone chain, one of her first acts as a manager was to remove all “adult” magazines, including Playboy and Penthouse from behind the counter where they were displayed in opaque plastic wrappers. Her Dairy Mart superiors insisted that the magazines be put back on display in the store, saying that it was not the company’s role to censor their customers reading. Dolores Stanley replied that she could not participate in the selling of material that was offensive to her personally and degrading for all women. Forcing her to sell the magazines constituted sex­ual harassment, she claimed.

  1. Was Dolores right that this was a form of sexual harassment?
  2. If not, what was it?
  3. Was Dairy Mart correct in displaying the magazines?
  4. How could this situation be resolved?  Give several alternatives.

Please Explain Your Answers Thoroughly


Case #17 

A major automotive service company prided itself on customer service.  As a regular policy, it exchanged products sold to consumers for new products if the customer was unhappy.  The returned products were tested and if they met standards, they were repackaged and sold again.  The customers that buy the repackaged goods were not informed of the previous purchase or use of the product.  No complaints have been registered.  Some customers did return the repackaged products due to problems, but they were given new products in exchange.

 

  1. Is this approach good customer service?  Is it ethical?

 

  1. What are the specific problems in this case?

 

  1. Should the policy be stopped?  Altered?  Or simply continued?
  2. (a) What ethical issues are involved in the employer-employee relationship?
  3. b) At this point in your studies, do you feel that the employer-employee relationship is balanced, or does one side have an advantage over the other?
  4. a) Many companies have admitted they cannot financially support the pension system which they have negotiated with their employees.
  5. b) At this point in your studies, do you feel that the employer-employee relationship is balanced, or does one side have an advantage over the other?

Explain your answer with citations

 

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