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A Company's Code Of Ethics Essay

1945 words - 8 pages

A company's code of ethics is very important to establishing the expectations and quality of its brand. The code of ethics are concrete expectations for employee behavior, accountability and communicates the ethical policy of a company to its partners and clients. A good business practice is to have sound ethics. Having good ethical practice is knowing the difference between right and wrong and choosing what the right thing is. Though good ethical behavior is something that should be done automatically, a company needs to have a set of rules in place that holds everyone accountable. Over the last twenty years, the country has been bombarded with company scandals and unethical behavior; though morally wrong, the punishment does not fit the crime. The punishments have been overkill. A murderer, rapist, or child molester commits violent crimes and potentially is out of jail in 10 - 20 years. The CEO’s that commit white collar crime receive 25 years to life; this paper will discuss how this punishment for committing nonviolent crimes, such as breaching a company’s code of ethics, are disproportionate to violent crimes that plague the country today.

White Collar Penalties are Too Harsh for the Crimes
In the aftermath of Enron, Washington Mutual Bank, TYCO, and World Comm these companies went against the grain of what good ethical behavior is and what their respective company’s code of ethics were. The criminal justice system has made it clear that it will not allow companies and their executives to get away with the misuse of public trust by allowing them to make themselves rich at the expense of the employee. Where these crimes are both ethically and morally wrong, the CEO’s of major corporations are being punished by a set laws that are obviously more for a show of force than to apply rehabilitation and remorse. The government has instituted new laws to combat these crimes such as the White Collar Crime Penalty Enhancement Act of (WCCPA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The thought behind increasing penalties for white collar offenders is the thought of making a huge deterrent for the offender to not repeat the act. As these pieces of legislation have created a huge deterrent in committing future crimes the disproportionate in sentencing white collar offenders and violent crimes offender has to with: (1) the nature of the crime, (2) the number of people affected by the crime, and (3) the amount of loss the crime caused. My research will show that by the standards of sentencing for the white collar offender is media driven, socially unacceptable and morally wrong. Ernest Van Den Haag wrote “However, I thought that the distribution of punishments to individual offenders must be justified by being deserved. I resorted to a retributionist theory to explain the distribution of punishments because I believed that the standard arguments against exclusively deterrence theories of punishment were correct (e.g., that deterrence would justify the...

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