Problem

Unethical practices of employers


Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Employer malpractice
Fraudulent entrepreneurs
Corrupt bosses
Fraud by employers
Employer misconduct
Harassment by supervisors
Illegal employment practices
Abuse by employers
Claim:
Employers are able to use their privileged position as owners or managers of an organization to place employees at a disadvantage. This may take the form of obliging employees (under threat of losing their jobs): to accept lower wages and unsatisfactory working conditions, to undertake tasks for which they are unqualified (including menial tasks), to contravene industry safety regulations, to carry out unethical or illegal practices, to tolerate abuse and (sexual) harassment, and to deliberately produce products of shoddy workmanship (even when this may endanger subsequent users). Employers may also engage workers illegally, including children and illegal immigrants. Hiring procedures and employee advancement may be distorted to favour friends and relatives of the employers (or those willing to offer some premium, including sexual favours). They may also harass (to the point of violence or death) those who oppose them in the pursuit of their policies. In carrying out their business they may adopt a variety of techniques to bribe, or otherwise recompense, those who may facilitate their activities. Employers must necessarily seek ways to reduce their tax obligations and the efforts to this end may result in various forms of tax avoidance and tax evasion. In endeavouring to market their services, employers may chose, whether deliberately or by default, to misinform or mislead their customers concerning the nature or quality of the product (notably where customers may be easily swayed because of lack of a basis for comparison, as in developing countries). In dealing with potential competitors, employers may use a variety of techniques, of which some are unethical (including price fixing rings, cartels, underpricing, disinformation or violence) to squeeze them out of profitable markets. Where convenient, employers may acquire goods under exploitative conditions (such as from developing countries unable to protest), market them in an exploitative manner (such as in developing countries with no alternatives), or ensure the diversion of hazardous materials to legally proscribed destinations. Employers may also chose to use their legitimate activities as a front for illegitimate operations such as money laundering, trade in illegal commodities (including drugs), or the manufacture of dangerous products (such as weapon systems components, explosives, or products for chemical and biological warfare).
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
18.02.1997 – 00:00 CET