Wall Street Journal

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Transcript Wall Street Journal

“Employers Often Ignore Office Affairs,
Leaving Co-Workers in Difficult Spot”
 Most
Ers look the other way when issues of morality
arise around extramarital affairs
co-workers don’t look the other way, may feel morally
compromised if colleague expects them to be complicit in
hiding affair from spouse
 But
 What
would you do?
 Some
states ban discrimination on basis of marital
status, so in those states if Er terminated married Ee for
affair, but not an unmarried Ee, could be unlawful
discrimination
 Proportion of men admitting to ever having had an
extramarital affair is 22%, same as ten years ago, cf.
15% of women, up from 10% previously
 Most
of these affairs are taking place in workplace

Source: Wall Street Journal, 3/10/05
Figure 18.2
Pros and cons of employee drug testing
Arguments Favoring Employee Drug
Testing
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Cooperates with U.S. “War on Drugs”
campaign
Improves employee productivity
Promotes safety in the workplace
Decreases employee theft and
absenteeism
Reduces health and insurance costs
Arguments Opposing Employee Drug
Testing









Invades an employee’s privacy
Violates an employee’s right to due
process
May be unrelated to job performance
May be used as a method of employee
discrimination
Lowers employee morale
Conflicts with company values of
honesty and trust
May yield unreliable test results
Ignores effects of prescription drugs,
alcohol, and over-the-counter drugs
Drug use an insignificant problem for
some companies
“Is Your Grocery List Politically
Correct?”

“Fair Trade Certified” food products being embraced by some
of biggest food marketers


Now that “organic” is strictly defined and regulated by gov’t (USDA),
alternative food producers looking for new ways to express difference in
products
“Morally pure marketing” partly an outgrowth of growing clamor about
free trade and effects of globalization on third-world workers


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Mainstream companies getting on board
Market for Fair Trade Certified products three times larger (in sales volume)
in Europe than in U.S.
Part of move to cater to growing niche of shoppers willing to spend
more money for products that let them feel they are acting in socially
responsible fashion

“LOHAS” consumers (“lifestyles of health and sustainability”)

Estimated that nearly one-third of U.S. consumers qualify as LOHAS –
significantly motivated in their purchases by concern for their health and the
environment (at least according to Natural Marketing Institute)

Source: Wall Street Journal, 2/17/04
“Is Your Grocery List Politically
Correct?”

TERM: Fair Trade Certified
WHAT IT IS: Indicates products comply with standards set by Transfair USA and the Fair Trade Labeling
Organizations International.
WHAT IT MEANS: Workers are guaranteed above commodity prices (e.g., coffee farmers $1.26/lb
vs. $0.70); workers have right to organize; men/women receive equal wages; no child labor. Also
indicates some environmental protections.
WHAT IT DOESN'T MEAN: Doesn't mean that products that don't have the certification are unfair
to workers or farmers.

TERM: Fairly Traded
WHAT IT IS: Unofficial, uncertified term.
WHAT IT MEANS: Indicates that the company that made the products believes it was fair to the
workers.
WHAT IT DOESN'T MEAN: Because any company can call their products "fairly traded,” it
doesn't necessarily mean anything.

TERM: Rainforest Alliance Certified
WHAT IT IS: A term licensed by Rainforest Alliance, a New York-based non-profit dedicated to protecting
biodiversity.
WHAT IT MEANS: Rainforest Alliance examined the farm or production site for environmental
soundness and fairness to workers.
WHAT IT DOESN'T MEAN: Doesn't guarantee that workers got more than minimum wage in
their countries -- which is sometimes under $2 a day.
“Is Your Grocery List Politically
Correct?”

TERM: Certified Sustainable
WHAT IT IS: Certification licensed by various nonprofits and is often used to indicate
Rainforest Alliance Certified products.
WHAT IT MEANS: Indicates that production aimed to protect the environment, treat
workers well, and benefit the local community.
WHAT IT DOESN'T MEAN: Doesn't guarantee one standard set of practices, because
certifying organizations can define "sustainable” in different ways.

TERM: Sustainable
WHAT IT IS: Unofficial, uncertified term.
WHAT IT MEANS: Products are made in a way that is profitable, environmentally sound
and beneficial for local communities.
WHAT IT DOESN'T MEAN: Doesn't guarantee anything specific.