Unethical Business Practices – Ethics are beyond legal and doing right whether or not anyone is looking. As for unethical business practices, these business actions usually don’t meet the standards of acceptable business operations, or employees that aren’t doing the right thing. It may be an individual who is unethical or the entire corporate culture in the case of the corrupt businesses. Keep in mind that unethical actions are not always illegal, but they will hurt society.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act from 2002 was in response to corporate scandals. This act, abbreviated as SOX, makes it more difficult for corporations to commit financial fraud, protecting investors. It says that all CFOs and CEOs of publicly traded American companies must sign a statement that they have read the reports (annual and quarterly), and vouch that they are accurate. Additionally, businesses must explain the logic if they don’t have an ethics code. It also created the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
Unethical Business Practices
1 – Toyota Ignored Safety
In 2010, Toyota ignored information about safety and delayed investigating possible recalls. In 2009, they learned about sticking pedals and faulty brakes; instead of addressing the issue, they added side airbags. In some cases, Toyota faced accusations of hiding evidence for hundreds of cases involving death and rollovers, putting their drivers and passengers at risk.
2 – Apple Uses Slave Labor
Apple relies on child slave labor that is working in dangerous conditions, for ten hours each day while being exposed to cancerous vapors. The conditions at the manufacturing plant Foxconn are bad enough that they had to install “anti-suicide nets.” The workers live in horrible conditions and experience unreasonable workloads and humiliating discipline. Apple has reduced some of their work with Foxconn, but they still rely primarily on them. Apple also used Irish tax loopholes to avoid some taxes.
3 – Monsanto Relies on Toxic Chemicals
Monsanto created Agent Orange, a chemical weapon used in Vietnam that still affects the population today. Until now, the company works in GMO foods and own the vast majority of seed patents (more than 95 percent). They sue small farmers aggressively and work to discredit dissenters by using fake online profiles.
4 – Philip Morris Advertised To Kids
The tobacco giant Philip Morris has been considered unethical for years as a great deal of advertising from them targets kids. Despite stricter regulations, Philip Morris still prominently places ads and products in magazines, convenience stores, and delis. They continue to try to create the image of smokers being cool and are considered the biggest reason for young smokers.
5 – Chevron Spills Toxic Waste
Chevron has attempted to avoid millions of dollars’ worth of taxes plus 18 years’ worth of unethical business practices. When they dumped billions of gallons worth of toxic waste into Ecuadorian rainforest, they were sued and tried to deny their involvement even though there was plenty of solid evidence. They even faked a letter from Ecuador’s ambassador that claimed to dismiss the lawsuit and worked to discredit the judge, delaying the suit for two years.
6 – DynCorp Harms Locals
DynCorp is a private military contractor that has been paid to fight in the Colombian drug war since 2001. They have been accused of recklessly endangering the environment and people of the country as well as torture and murder. They have also been accused of applying large quantities of herbicides to crops, leading to livestock death, health issues and more than 10,000 deaths. During the late 90s, Dyncorp was accused of statutory rape and selling children as slaves in Bosnia while they were supposed to be working.
7 -Wal-Mart Lacks Compassion
Wal-mart is well-known for their unethical business practices concerning employees. They consistently place profits before the health of their employees. Just one example is Deborah Shank, who was in a collision involving a semi-trailer in 2000, resulting in permanent brain damage and confinement to a wheelchair. Years later, they sued her family for medical costs, leaving Mrs. Shank to rely on Medicaid for around-the-clock care.
Unethical Business Practices