Ethics versus Compliance Discussion 300 word minimum:
Before beginning your discussion, read the article Ethics vs. compliance: Do we really need to talk about both? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Organizations often use the terms ethics and compliance interchangeably. However, there are some nuances that are different between compliance and ethics. After reading the article, compare and contrast the similarities and differences between compliance and ethics. Evaluate whether a compliance officer or an ethics officer would be a better fit in your current organization (or in an organization with which you are familiar).
Reply to Edwards Discussion Response must be 200 words:
“Compliance is following the law, ethics is doing what is right regardless of what the law says. Compliance is something that the government requires you to do. Ethics, however, is something you choose to consider when taking action” (Watson, 2014). Compliances on the job can consist of an organization complying with state laws in regards to giving employees breaks. For an example, most state laws require companies to give employees at least a 30-minute unpaid break and 2 fifteen-minute paid breaks for an 8-hour shift.
Ethics can become involved when a company gives a worker a 30-minute break at the beginning of their shift instead of allowing them to work at least half the shift. This is an unethical act because the supervisor is only caring about production getting done instead of how the colleague feels. After hours of working, the colleague will want to take a lunch break, but the supervisor gave it to them after an hour of working because work duties get heavier in the later part of the day. Another example of ethics in the workplace deals with being honest, a supervisor that lies to colleagues will create a bad work climate. Colleagues may be unprofessional to customers, show up to work late while taking longer breaks and take advantage of new hires by making them do majority of the work.
In my current role as a work at home inbound travel agent, my organization needs an ethics officer to ensure complaints and allegations are handled with no moral judgments when dealing with customers and management. Often times customers get upset with agents about pricing and cancellation fees and they will give a bad customer survey score after the call even though the agent was at fault. The bad survey score reflects our metrics which can prevent us from getting a promotion or even receive disciplinary action. An ethics officer will also ensure that management and quality assurance supervisors conduct themselves professionally and fairly during coaching sessions.
Watson, A. (2014, Jan. 27). Ethics vs. compliance: Do we really need to talk about both? Retrieved from http://web3.insidecounsel.com/2014/01/27/ethics-vs-compliance-do-we-really-need-to-talk-abo?&slreturn=1527427563 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Reply to Jeffreys Discussion below 200 word minimum:
After reading the article, compare and contrast the similarities and differences between compliance and ethics.
Watson (2014) described several similarities and differences between compliance and ethics which she depicted as being two sides of the same coin. Compliance is what the law requires you to do, but ethics is what you choose to do when performing actions. Compliance means following the law, whereas ethics is choosing actions that one feels is right regardless of what the law says.
Many different industries have laws and regulations in place that companies must follow. If they do not, they could face liability, fines, or other government action. One example where this can be seen is the recent regulation battle over miles per gallon requirements placed on the automotive industry. The Obama administration passed regulations that auto makers need to follow to be compliant. The Trump administration is now considering dropping these regulations. While the auto industry currently has to meet these regulations for compliance reasons, if the regulations were to be dropped it would still be considered ethical for auto makers to meet these standards because it is the right thing to do for environmental reasons.
Evaluate whether a compliance officer or an ethics officer would be a better fit in your current organization (or in an organization with which you are familiar).
I currently work at a for-profit higher education organization. While the organization could benefit from having an ethics and compliance officer, I think it would mostly benefit from having a compliance officer. The nature of the industry in which the organization is in has many laws and regulations that the company must follow. To ensure compliance with these laws, a compliance officer would be very beneficial to help avoid any liability, fines, or government actions.
While compliance is certainly important, ethics are also important to avoid ethical issues such as corruption, accepting gifts, or bribes. The company should have policies in place that addresses unethical behavior and describes consequences for not adhering to the policies. It’s important that all organizations place an emphasis and balance between compliance and ethics. Too much of one or the other may inhibit the culture of the company. It’s important to convey the importance of both; compliance and ethics.
Watson, A. (2014, January 27). Ethics vs. compliance: Do we really need to talk about both? Inside Counsel. Retrieved from http://web3.insidecounsel.com/2014/01/27/ethics-vs-compliance-do-we-really-need-to-talk-abo?&slreturn=1510619206
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