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” and 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 the current laws and US Sentencing Guidelines 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.
You must use the rubric to direct the creation of your submission because it provides detailed criteria that will be used to evaluate your work. Each requirement below may be evaluated by more than one rubric aspect. The rubric aspect titles may contain hyperlinks to relevant portions of the course.
A. Select an established company and analyze the company’s code of ethics by doing the following:
Note: You should be able to find the company’s code of ethics on the company’s website or in the company’s annual 10k report. Only use the code of ethics for part A.
- Analyze whether the code of ethics is lacking in the area of corporate social responsibility.
- Analyze whether the code of ethics is lacking in compliance with legal mandates.
a. Describe the implications of being noncompliant with legal mandates.
b. Describe two legal or ethical safeguards your chosen company has in place or could put into place.
Note: If the code of ethics is not lacking in these areas, you must explain why.
- Analyze whether the code of ethics facilitates the development of an ethical culture.
- Explain how an employee would raise an ethical concern in this company.
a. Describe three resources available to employees.
b. Discuss which resources you would most likely use.
- Include the code of ethics you analyzed in part A by copying and pasting the code into a separate document. Please include this document as a separate attachment.
B. Develop a policy that instructs employees how to address unethical conduct observed at work by doing the following:
- Discuss the factors an employee would need to consider before deciding to blow the whistle about unethical conduct observed at work.
- Describe the process the employee should follow if the employee decided to blow the whistle.
C. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of paying whistle-blowers based on current laws (i.e., the False Claims Act, Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act).
D. Analyze the impact the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines might have on an organization.
- 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.