Common Ethical Issues in the Workplace

Martin Lowenstein

December 7, 2022

Regardless of how big or small your company is, you’ll want to make sure that you’re aware of the common ethical issues in the workplace. These include harassment, retaliation, genetic discrimination, environmental responsibility, and health and safety. By knowing what you’re responsible for, you’ll be able to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to protect the interests of your company.


Often overlooked, retaliation, as a common ethical issue in the workplace, can impact your employees’ careers and their professional development. It is also an important issue to address as you build a positive workplace culture. It can have legal consequences as well as damage your employees’ relationships and mental health.

Although retaliation can be tricky to identify, there are some ways to help prevent it. First, make sure that all employees have clear guidance on retaliation. You can also encourage employees to speak up.

You may also want to implement disciplinary procedures. This can help protect your organization from future misconduct, and it can also be a tool for leaders to foster a positive culture. You may even want to consider creating an ombudsman program.


Creating a harassment policy and training employees is an essential step in protecting your organization from harassment. Training employees to understand harassment is a good start, but you should also set up a complaint process that is effective. If you have a harassment policy in place, make sure it is enforced and updated to reflect best practices.

Harassment is when an individual uses unwelcome conduct based on a protected class. Protected classes include race, age, gender, religion, and physical ability.

If an employee feels that harassment is occurring, they should notify their employer immediately. They should also document the harassment and their response. Depending on the type of harassment, they may also document meetings or phone conversations.

Harassment can be based on sexual orientation, religion, national origin, or disability. It is illegal to harass an employee based on any of these protected classes. It can also be illegal to retaliate against someone who reports harassment.

Genetic discrimination

Throughout history, laws and regulations have been developed to address discrimination. In some cases, these regulations have been implemented to protect employees, while in others, the laws have been used to prohibit discrimination.

The issue of genetic discrimination in the workplace has been an important topic in recent years. Lawmakers continue to introduce legislation to address this issue. However, the legislation introduced to date may not address all of the relevant concerns, or it may give the false impression that health discrimination has been addressed.

The American Medical Association (AMA) is a staunch supporter of comprehensive genetic discrimination protections. In March 2013, the AMA’s Board of Trustees approved a set of principles designed to protect patients from discrimination. These principles address genetic discrimination in the workplace, health insurance, and compensation processes. These principles are also intended to provide physicians with guidance for preventing and redressing the misuse of patient medical information.

Health and safety

Occupational health and safety is one of the most important ethical issues in the workplace. It is the arena where market values and health values collide. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been established to ensure that employers and employees are protected from workplace hazards. OSHA has developed standards and regulations to protect workers.

These laws require organizations to provide employees with equal employment opportunities. They also require organizations to provide a safe workplace. Many organizations violate these laws. Companies may cut corners to save costs, which can result in injuries or psychosocial risks.

Employers may also monitor worker activity on company-provided devices. Some workers misuse company data for monetary or other purposes. They may also change or skim off the top of company records.

Environmental responsibility

Practicing environmental responsibility at work can help reduce emissions, waste, and other negative impacts on the environment. In addition, it can help promote green business practices.

Creating an environmental business ethics plan requires a number of practical approaches. For example, firms can get involved in conservation projects, hire vendors focused on green issues, and encourage employees to participate in cause-driven volunteer programs.

A product stewardship strategy can reduce pollution and environmental costs associated with the entire life cycle of a product. This strategy can be implemented in a variety of ways, such as by replacing old equipment with high-energy-rated devices and encouraging carpooling.

The benefits of practicing environmental responsibility at work are obvious. It can help to reduce employee anxiety and tension, and it can help to improve the overall atmosphere in the workplace.