As a leader in your organization, it is vital that you are familiar with the laws that regulate your industry. Sparked by the dramatic corporate and accounting scandals of Enron, Arthur Andersen, Adelphia, and WorldCom, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was implemented in 2002 in an effort to restore confidence in the stock markets. Sarbanes-Oxley represents the most important securities legislation since the original federal securities laws of the 1930s as it increased governmental regulation and oversight of publicly traded companies and established protections for whistleblowers. The False Claims Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provide a financial incentive for those who blow the whistle to report fraudulent activity within their organization.
In this task, you will select and analyze an established company’s code of ethics, analyze how an employee would raise an ethical concern within an organization, and consider current laws with respect to whistleblowers.
You are an experienced ethics officer who has recently been hired by an established company. You have been tasked with analyzing the company’s current code of ethics and identifying areas in need of improvement.
Your submission must be your original work. No more than a combined total of 30% of the submission and no more than a 10% match to any one individual source can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from sources, even if cited correctly. The similarity report that is provided when you submit your task can be used as a guide.
Prepare a report (suggested length of 6–8 pages) in which you do the following:
A. Choose a company’s code of ethics from the Web Links section below and analyze that company’s code of ethics by doing the following:
Note: Links to the code of ethics for the companies can be found in the Web Links section. The code of ethics is only used for section A. You must choose a code of ethics from one of the following companies:
• Mayo Clinic
• Wells Fargo
1. Analyze how well the chosen company’s code of ethics covers the topic of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
2. Analyze how well the chosen company’s code of ethics covers the topic of compliance with legal mandates.
a. Describe the ramifications for an organization when it is noncompliant with legal mandates.
b. Describe two policies the chosen company has in their code of ethics to ensure employees behave legally and/or ethically.
3. Analyze how well the chosen company’s code of ethics facilitates the development of an ethical culture.
4. Identify three resources available to employees to use when raising an ethical concern and discuss which resource you would most likely use to report an ethical concern.
B. Discuss three factors an employee might consider before deciding to report unethical conduct observed at work.
1. Describe three internal steps (i.e., inside the company) an employee could take if they decide to report or blow the whistle on misconduct or unethical behavior in the workplace.
2. Describe two possible external actions (i.e., outside the company) an employee can take to report or blow the whistle on misconduct or unethical behavior in the workplace.
C. Analyze one advantage and one disadvantage of paying whistleblowers. Base your analysis on one of the following laws:
• False Claims Act
• Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act
D. Analyze the changes that organizations have made based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
1. Discuss three culpability factors that are used to determine fines under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
E. Acknowledge sources, using in-text citations and references, for content that is quoted, paraphrased or summarized.
F. Demonstrate professional communication in the content and presentation of your submission.