June 7-13, Business Ethics Roundup

It would be hard to find a week of greater business ethics activity.

  1. The operators of Facebook are very upset with the President’s use of their platform. However, that does not mean that they are planning on doing anything. Concern without action – a business ethics fail.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/12/tech/zuckerberg-chan-trump-facebook-posts-intl-hnk/index.html

2. Tucker Carlson is losing advertisers. Whether this is due to his stated belief that in regard to Black Lives Matter: “Remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will.” Or it could be his attacks on Sesame Street. Either way his show is suffering some exodus of advertisers.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/12/media/tucker-carlson-ad-boycott/index.html

3. Jobs are lost for insensitive or racist talk or posts.

Greg Glassman

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/09/business/greg-glassman-crossfit-resignation/index.html

Nancy Lublin

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/12/tech/crisis-text-line-ceo-terminated/index.html

Adam Rapoport

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/08/media/bon-appetit-adam-rapoport-resigns/index.html

4. On a normal week, that Ford Motor Company was recalling two million cars because the doors could open while the vehicle was in motion would have been front page news but against the Black Lives Matter headlines and corporate America’s reactions, it’s just a minor item.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/12/business/ford-recall-faulty-door-latch/index.html

5. Ben and Jerry’s goes full anti-racism demanding change. During this eventful week many businesses issued statements of support for Black Live Matter and against racism. But very, very few of these can rival “Ben and Jerry’s” for its dramatic and direct content.

https://www.benjerry.com/about-us/media-center/dismantle-white-supremacy

6. The confederate flag is banned at NASCAR and in both the Marines and Navy. This is something I never thought I would see in my life time and absolutely not during the term of the current President.

NASCAR

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/10/us/nascar-bans-confederate-flag-spt-trnd/index.html

The United States Marines and the United States Navy

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/09/politics/us-navy-ban-confederate-flag/index.html

Strollers recalled due to strangulation hazard (via Detroit Free Press)

From the Detroit Free Press

A drawstring on the stroller can get wrapped around a child’s neck, posing a strangulation hazard. The firm has received one report of an 11-month-old who got entangled in the cord at her neck. She was freed by her mother.

Courtesy of the Richards and Oliver law firm.

Did the company pull the strollers out of the good of their hearts or out of fear of law suits? It was the law suits.

The right to sue is one of the great American rights, that right most people would have to be prompted to list, but it’s critical to our health and safety.

If there is anything we have seen from the 2007 financial crisis, it is the willingness of major companies to damage hundreds of millions of lives in the course of business while blaming the victims. I promise you if Congress has not been continuously limiting the right to sue these huge financial companies over the last twenty years, the 2007 debacle would never have happened.

James Pilant

Can Corporate Mistakes Kill You?

ABC is covering the story of Fairbanks Farms meat recall. It appears two people may have died from eating meat contaminated with e-coli. Whether or not there was misconduct and none has been claimed at that time, this is a clear example of company whose products could kill or injure thousands of people.

Another important lesson here (particularly for my Business Law students) is that one company can produce products under many labels. Fairbanks sold it meat products under the following labels:

B.J.’s Wholesale Club/Burris, Trader Joe’s, ACME, Shaw’s Supermarkets Inc., Price Chopper, Giant Food Stores and Ford Brothers.

E-coli contamination chiefly kills the elderly and the very young. Its symptoms mimic the flu. It is very likely that many more Americans have been killed by e-coli than official numbers indicate.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/beef-recall-ecoli-contamination-fear-prompts-ground-beef/story?id=8970713