Ethics

(I am not finished with this post, these are some of my questions at the moment, but I thought I’d publish it for now, until I have time to do some research to answer some of my thoughts.)

Stephenson, E. (1/13/17).  After Trump tweet, ethics office to U.S. employees: do not endorse products, Reuters, Yahoo! News, (yahoo.com)

Any lawyers out there?  Is Trump (illegally) above the law, or do said ethics laws only apply to other government employees and not to the president?  Either way, I disapprove.

I’m trying to find a good clip or visual to illustrate my point, those training videos many of us have had to take.  You’ve probably heard the basics.  (in no particular order)

1) nepotism – Do not hire someone related to you.

1b) in that vein, “sweethearting” – don’t sell things at a discount to family and friends

2) separation of work and politics (i.e. lobbying) – don’t campaign for/against politicians at work, don’t distribute pamphlets etc.

3) gifts – do not give or receive gifts (meals, etc., i.e. lobbying) from coworkers that exceed $50

4) conflict of interest – you can’t work at one company if you also work at another company that might have a conflict of interest…i.e. working for a vendor and a company that hires that vendor**, or having a personal financial interest conflict

5) insider information

6) revolving door

7) don’t wear or advertise other logos, products, etc.

as well as personal ethics and behavioral standards:

8) do not discriminate (in hiring, etc.) on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation***

9) no harassment – emotional, verbal, physical, sexual – i.e. don’t intentionally hurt people, don’t touch people without their consent, and attempt to respect everyone

 

What I would then like to determine is to which degree these are federal laws, state laws, or none of the above and either “just” common sense guidelines or employer-specific rules.  To which degree are these laws that government employees/civil servants must follow, but private industry employees do not – though their employers may echo similar rules.  If these are laws that all government employees must follow, to what degree are some governmental officials – i.e. the president – exempt, and are they actually exempt? and if so, why?

As for the case of nepotism, journalists on NPR, a couple weeks ago, were debating loopholes about how it would be illegal for Trump to hire his son-in-law for position x, but legal, loophole-wise, for him to hire his son-in-law for position y.  Why?  (i.e. “you can’t be a cabinet member, but you can be an advisor”)

Are other ethical rules “just” suggestions rather than law, such as Trump putting personal businesses into a blind trust?

If these aren’t laws, why and can we make them laws?  If they are laws, why is Trump exempt?  and so on.

Footnotes:

**St. Clair, S., & Cohen, J. (4/17/15). College of DuPage backers with exclusive deals rake in millions, Chicago Tribune, (chicagotribune.com)

*** Currently federal law prohibits discrimination against race, ethnicity, religion, and gender, “race, color, religion, national origin, or sex” (Civil Rights Act 1964), then added a provision for no discrimination due to age (Age Discrimination in Employment 1967).  1978 a provision against discrimination due to/related to pregnancyDisabilities, 1990.  And, 2008, a law to prevent discrimination against someone related to their genetic information.  But there  does not appear to be a law prohibiting discrimination according to sexual orientation/LGBT.  The latter was only made law as one of Obama’s executive orders, and can therefore more easily be overturned [cite].

Related Links:

*Condon, B., & Bykowicz, J. (1/23/17). Lawsuit: Trump business ties violate Constitution, Yahoo News!, Associated Press, (yahoo.com)

*A code of ethics for public service officials from United Nations Public Administration Network, though this one specifically cites the Philippines (unpan.org)

*OGE: United States Office of Government Ethics, YouTube page (youtube.com)

*workplace ethics videos:
—–DuPont Solutions

*Folkenflik, D. (11/18/16). The Rise of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s Son-In-Law, Morning Edition, NPR,  (npr.org)

*Laws Enforced by EEOC, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (eeoc.gov)

 

Advertisements

No Responses to “Ethics”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: