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Ethical Bases for Laws. BCS-LEB-1: The student summarizes the ethical responsibilities of business owners. BCS-LEB-2: The student summarizes the effects of diverse cultures and customs on business. BCS-LEB-3: The student determines ethical issues directly related to government regulations.

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ethical bases for laws

Ethical Bases for Laws

BCS-LEB-1: The student summarizes the ethical responsibilities of business owners.

BCS-LEB-2: The student summarizes the effects of diverse cultures and customs on business.

BCS-LEB-3: The student determines ethical issues directly related to government regulations.

ethics and the law
Ethics and the Law
  • An ethical decision is 1) reasonable and 2) impartial.
  • Ethical decisions are reasoned out typically by referring to an established authority that provides consistency.
    • The law is such an authority.
    • Religious texts are also an authority.
      • The Bible says “Thou shall not lie” so believers view it as wrong / unethical to lie.


Making decisions that treat everyone the same

business ethics
Business Ethics
  • Ethics are often not considered in business decisions to increase profit maximization.
    • Moving factories and/or skilled jobs overseas to save money instead of creating U.S. jobs


Determining what is right or wrong action in a reasoned, impartial manner

two basic forms of ethical reasoning
Two Basic Forms of Ethical Reasoning
  • Consequences Based
    • Looks for alternative ways to alter the current situation
    • Attempts to forecast the consequences of the alternatives
    • Select the alternative that generates the greatest good.
  • Fundamental Ethical Rule Based
    • The acts themselves are judged as right or wrong
    • The standard for judging comes from a recognized authority or human reasoning
consequence based reasoning

Consequence-Based Reasoning

Ethics that evaluate the results of an action

fundamental ethical rules

Fundamental Ethical Rules

Ethical decisions evaluate the act and not its consequences

ethics reflected in laws
Ethics Reflected in Laws
  • Armed with the Constitution, the government ensures federal law making provides:
    • The greatest good for the greatest number of people.
    • Protection of minorities from the majority’s wrong doing (Bill of Rights)
  • Unethical, lawbreaking often occurs when individuals do not respect &/or obey even minor laws
  • They assess the risk of being punished against the benefits of obeying the law
    • They lack personal integrity.
the good

The Good

Standard for judging right and wrong



A person who does not respect the law



Doing what is right even under pressure to act otherwise

ethics reflected in laws cont d
Ethics Reflected in Laws Cont’d
  • People who care passionately about human rights are sometimes compelled to violate unjust laws that conflict with ethical reasoning.
    • They engage in civil disobedience.
  • MLK, Jr. used public yet, non violent civil disobedience to get minority groups human rights when:
    • Political methods didn’t change the unjust law
    • Personal/ Self interests weren’t promoted
    • Violators were willingly to accept the punishment
civil disobedience

Civil Disobedience

Open, peaceful conduct in violation of an alleged unjust law

civil rights

Civil Rights

Personal, human rights recognized and guaranteed by our consitution

moral rights

Moral Rights

Legitimate claims on other people, which flow from each person’s status as a human being

business and social responsibility
Business and Social Responsibility
  • The duty to do what is best for the good of society
  • Businesses have a responsibility to do good for
    • Their Customers
    • Their Employees
    • Society
    • Creditors and Owners
responsibility to customers
Responsibility to Customers
  • Businesses should offer a good, safe product or service at a reasonable price.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a federal government agency that protects consumers from dangerous or falsely advertised products.
    • Example: mass product recall
responsibility to employees
Responsibility to Employees
  • Some businesses provide work experience for people to develop the skills & confidence levels.
    • For example, bad working conditions, like a sweatshop, are unethical and illegal.
  • Volunteerism - Some companies allow employees to take one or more paid days off during the year to work on community projects.
  • Businesses must provide employees with safe conditions, equal treatment, and fair pay.
      • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor that sets and enforces work-related health and safety rules.
  • The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women be paid the same wages for doing equal work.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act bans discrimination against people with physical and mental disability.
responsibility to society
Responsibility to Society
  • One of the biggest social issues facing business today is environmental responsibility.
  • The U.S. government created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which enforces rules that protect the environment and control pollution.
responsibility to creditors and owners
Responsibility to Creditors and Owners
  • Major corporations kept inaccurate accounting records that showed lower profits than they actually make.
  • Such behaviors are harmful to creditors (those who loan money) and outside shareholders (those who are owners but do not work in the business).
  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act mandates truthful reporting and makes the CEO more accountable for the actions of the financial managers of a firm.