Faulty Business Ethics Can Lead To Employment Practices Liability – Get Help From A PEO
Source: SOI Blog
Investigative disclosures at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) highlight that faulty business ethics can lead to employment practices liability. Even in the most respected circles and organizations, missteps for personal gain, saving reputation, fostering business success, etc., can hurt individual people and an organization as a whole. Developments at Penn State bring to mind questions regarding the ethical conduct of business, i.e.: What do we mean by business ethics? Are we complying with our stated standards? Are checks and balances in place to ensure compliance? And, Do we have potential employment practices liability? Professional employer organizations (PEOs) assist organizations in establishing and implementing ethical standards and recognizing, responding to and dealing with ethics breaches (as required).
“Business ethics are workplace standards of acceptable behavior which serve as rules to evaluate conduct in the workplace and to judge decisions,” suggests Raymond A. Parker, SPHR, Senior Vice President – Human Resource Consulting with SOI, a leader among professional employer organizations (PEOs). “Applying ethical conduct on the job requires knowing what is right and wrong consistent with established standards, and reliably doing what the organization’s ethics policy requires. Ethics involves all of us, no matter what our status or station. Understanding ethical conduct gives us a guide to follow during times of crisis, uncertainty, competitive dilemma and similar situations.”
In any business, there are certain behaviors and choices between right and wrong that are expected of both employers and employees so as to guide and support them in their daily activities. But in today’s business arena, making the choice between right and wrong, i.e., what is ethical or unethical, is often unclear. At times employees (and employers) may make decisions based on misguided company loyalty or even for personal gain. When relationships with co-workers or conflicts of interest enter into the picture, the “correct” choice is lost in the “grey area” between right and wrong. It is incumbent upon the employer to ensure the underlying values of the company—those manifested in employee behavior—are well thought out, stated clearly, compliant with legal requirements, communicated effectively, understood, reviewed frequently, and “lived” throughout the organization. With reinforced ethical conduct, companies realize significant benefits:
- Positive public image
- Better security of client information
- Higher quality and productivity
- Heightened employee morale
- Compliance with legal requirements
- Reduced potential for employment liability
Because of their experience with public and private organizations of all sizes across numerous industries, PEOs can assist businesses in clarifying values, clearly stating those values in a company ethics policy, and translating that policy into an appropriate code of conduct for the organization.
SOI is a leading professional employer organization (PEO) for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) serving as a trusted partner in integrated human resource (HR) compliance, risk management, employee benefits, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), and payroll processing. SOI is based in Charlotte, NC and supports tens of thousands of worksite employees throughout the U.S. For more details on employment practices liability.