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Business Ethics – Libertarian View

The Libertarians have acknowledged that employers have some moral obligations to protect the welfare of the employees. Employers must disclose the safety risks during the employment process so that their employees will have to make an informed judgment about where they want to work. They view that provided the business owner with property rights has disclosed the workplace hazards, he owes no duty to the employees. The employees here are at liberty to accept or reject working overtime at the dangerous parts of the chemical plants. These statements will be judged whether it is morally right or wrong according to the good and happiness the results will bring to the employees. Some of the employees will choose to work overtime while others will not. Those who choose to work overtime in the dangerous parts might be affected by the chemicals and this might deprive them of their future pleasure.

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Although they may benefit by having their wages increased, it is not clear whether the benefits will be greater than the harm they will have undergone. Those who choose to wear the protective types of equipment will be safe from any chemical harm while those who decide not to wear the protective pieces of equipment will expose themselves to the harmful chemicals. Therefore, we cannot measure the harm and the benefits this will bring to the employees since we do not know the number of employees who will decide to protect themselves. Ethical action is the one that will bring the greatest good to the greatest number of employees. In my view, these rules should be made compulsory that no employees should be allowed to work overtime in the dangerous parts and all of them must wear protective equipment while working. These are their basic rights that cannot be overridden and no amount of good can justify condemning employees to the harmful chemicals. These are wrongs that must never be permitted.

These statements by the CEO might seem non-humane if the results bring harm to most of the employees. The CEO should address some rules that will benefit the employees when they abide by them rather than harm them. The overall effects of these rules and the promotion of general happiness of the employees should be balanced. Whether the decision is right or wrong will be indicated by the moral perception of the employees. If the act will have maximized the good consequences then she will be seen as ethically right. The central concept of the libertarian view is the freedom of human beings from coercion by other human beings. There are moral questions that cannot be answered by the principle of liberal utilitarianism and therefore other methods of applied ethics are needed to complement and support the theory ( Hayry, 2002).

The pregnant women will also choose to work in the dangerous parts while others will not. Those who decide to work in the dangerous part while they are pregnant will be exposing their babies to harmful chemicals. Employers should maintain standards that will prevent miscarriages and injuries to unborn babies. It is a basic right for pregnant women and women of childbearing age to be protected. The aggregate harm is great for those who choose to work and will also not protect themselves. It is a sufficient moral reason to protect pregnant women and those in the childbearing age and will be morally wrong if the women are left to work in the dangerous part of the chemical plants.

There are no plausible moral principles that explain particular moral obligations therefore, a moral conclusion cannot be reached about a particular situation. There are no correct moral principles that exist. The rights of the workers should be respected and the business owner should improve the safety of the employers. This will also prevent deaths and serious injuries such as the loss of limbs and neurological damage. Therefore regulatory model should be practiced to improve the bargaining position of the workers. Whether outcomes are good or bad depends on who assesses since it is difficult to accurately judge. The utilitarian approach has a great deal of uncertainty (Brenkert & Beauchamp, 2009).

Reference List

Brenkert, G., & Beauchamp, T. (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics. Chicago, Oxford University Press US.

Hayry, M. (2002). Liberal Utilitarianism and Applied Ethics. New York, Routledge.

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