INTERNATIONAL LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN BUSINESS
Legal Environment of Business
Instructor: Leslie Dunn
By: Janet Hutchins
American Intercontinental University
This paper is concerning ethical issues faced by an employee who while working for her first corporate job right out of college has started to lose her idealism after being employed for only 4 months. She has assisted company executives here in the U.S. and in many European countries. While she has a primary boss in the U.S. offices, she has had many secondary bosses in Europe. During this short period of time, in both her departments in the U.S.A and in Europe, she has witnessed employees that come to work while ...view middle of the document...
During these modern times of corporate globalization operations in business for Europe and the United States aren’t as different as many think. There are mixed and unclear definitions of what it means for a company to be responsible and ethical that both Europe and the United States have to deal with. Knowing these rights and responsibilities are important. Within this country, individuals have experiences with leaves and breaks, safety, wages, hours, benefits, hiring, health, pay, etc…, (Employee Issues, 2011). For those that work for a corporation, there are different laws that are available for each of these areas. To make sure that everyone can work together for a company in harmony, Equal Opportunity is stressed as is the different civil discrimination laws. In every business the employer is required to be accommodating to the employee, and the employee also has the right to speak up. However, in many companies this isn’t always the case and employees fear they will be terminated if they were to speak up, (US Dept. of Labor, 2011). How each organization differs depends on how policies and procedures are placed within the organization and whether or not the company turnover is high or low.
In Europe, being aware of those rights and responsibilities between the employee and employer is crucial. On this continent the employees should have knowledge of procedures in wage reduction, leave that adoptive fathers can acquire, disability, safety in the workplace, private pension, flexible work opportunities at home, medical insurance benefits, minimum wage, as well as retirement and pay based on merits, (FedEE, 2011).
There are differences and similarities between these two continents/countries that are worth making note of. In the United States our laws allow everyone to remain free, although, some states have at-will. “However, in Europe, individuals base their decision making on the European Union. What goes into each workplace environment is based on what the European Union will allow", (FedEE, 2011). Employees aren’t encouraged or allowed to speak up in Europe and the fear of termination for this reason is real and could be a reality in both places. But, on the other hand there are several similarities that are worth bringing out. There is the growing phenomenon in the United States where individuals are being allowed to work from home and this is also allowed by the EU in Europe. And both locations also offer retirement and health benefits, procedures and policies for safety, leave, wages and pay. In both of these cultures individualism is a key component and this means that each person fends for themselves. “Research was actually conducted to try and determine how ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices of companies based in Europe compared to companies that are U.S.-based where they researched eight companies from Europe and ten companies from America. They were compared with industries in...