Presentation on theme: "Worker Safety Do workers have a right to a reasonably safe work environment? What does that right entail? What mechanisms are available to ensure that."— Presentation transcript:
Worker Safety Do workers have a right to a reasonably safe work environment? What does that right entail? What mechanisms are available to ensure that this right is protected?
Right to worker safety OSHA: “right to safe and healthful working conditions… and workplaces that are free of known dangers.” http://www.osha.gov/Publicatio ns/osha3021.pdf
Mechanisms to protect right to safety In house compliance efforts Moral Persuasion Professional Codes Union contracts Regulatory agencies –Regulations –Oversight –Enforcement Criminal law Civil law
In House Compliance 4 Elements of Ethics Compliance Element 1: Risk Assessment Element 2: Corporate Culture Element 3: Oversight by the Board and Senior Management Element 4: The Ethics and Compliance Office
Moral persuasion and professional codes Moral persuasion –Moral persuasion can be used to build coalitions and provide pressure on both offending organizations and political bodies. Professional codes –Professional organizations can use their educational and enforcement powers to motivate compliance with safety guidelines.
Regulatory Agencies OSHA Cal OSHA –“California workers have the right to a safe workplace and a number of other more specific rights under the California Occupational Safety and Health Act.” http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/Work ersRights.htm
Legal Remedies Criminal law –Corporations, and individuals within corporations, can be prosecuted under the criminal law for many safety violations. Civil law –Organizations can be sued for injuries and illness caused by safety violations. Administrative law –Regulations and enforcement available under OSHA and CalOSHA
When Remedies Fail Failure of internal compliance Moral persuasion not backed up with enforcement Professional codes weak, spotty enforcement
When Remedies Fail Regulatory agencies understaffed, insufficient penalties Criminal enforcement spotty, weak penalties Civil lawsuits not an option if one uses worker’s compensation system
Should we allow unions? Utilitarianism –Social utility: yes--better working conditions no--higher cost of doing business. Kant –Treating workers as ends in themselves Moral rights –Rights that are asserted: To association, to safety To property
Should we allow unions? Virtue –Fairness, loyalty Care –Seeing employees as members of community Basic justice –Protection from arbitrary power, democracy, liberty of association
National Labor Relations Act Protects employee rights to –Form, join, decertify or assist a union –Bargain collectively through such a union –Refrain from joining a union –Team up with other employees to improve working conditions without a union
NLRB Forbids employers and unions from –Interfering with their employees’ right to form, join or assist a union to refrain from union activities to team up with other workers informally to improve terms and conditions of work –https://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we- protect