Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Class: Business Ethics 2 - Unethical Partner, Unethical Boss

For this week's Business Ethics lunch, I plan on looking at the following two cases; thoughts welcome:

1. Janet is an independent auditor who often uses the services of Bill's valuation practice to appraise shares and businesses. Janet eventually realizes that Bill's billings to his clients [although not to her] are fraudulently inaccurate. Assuming Bill won't listen to Janet's rebuke, is Janet obligated to part ways with Bill?

2. A religious school would like to hire Dror, a citizen of another country, to serve as receptionist. Sarah, the school's new office manager, contends that a Labour Market Opinion is required in order to legally hire Dror, but the school's CEO laughs and informs her that Dror's position will be considered "religious work" and therefore will be exempt from this requirement. Is Sarah obligated to endanger her job by protesting?

Among the sources related to these vignettes, here are two [for the first vignette] which I find fascinating:

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 407-2
A member or firm engaged in a practice of public accounting to which another business or practice is related, or engaged in such related business or practice, shall be responsible to the Institute for any failure of a non-member who is associated with such related business or practice and who is under the member’s or firm’s management or supervision or with whom the member or firm shares proprietary or other interest in such related business or practice to comply with the rules of professional conduct.

R' Avraham Feigelstock, Toldot Chatam Sofer pg. 31b
ומאוד הזהירם שיהיו דוברי אמת בלבבם ויהי׳ תוכם כברם וירחקו במטחוי קשת מאנשי שקר ומרמה אף אם מבני תורה המה ודכירנא שסיפר לי אבא זצ"ל על ת"ח אחד שהי׳ גם עשיר ומחבר ספר אבל מינות נזרקה בו והי׳ בו גם מדות לבן להלבין פני חכמים ולצערן שאמר לו אביו הקדוש זצ״ל תאמין לי כי כל פעם אשר איש ההוא הולך מביתי מיד אני לוקח לי ספר מוסר ללמוד בו כי הבל פיו של אותו איש מטמא
He warned them repeatedly to speak honestly from the heart, to be the same inside and out, and to distance themselves an arrow's shot from people of lies and trickery – even if those are people of Torah. I remember that my father [Ktav Sofer] once told me of a Torah scholar who was also wealthy and the author of a religious text, but who had absorbed heretical ideas and who had the traits of Lavan, humiliating the sages and causing them pain. His holy father [Chatam Sofer] had told him, "Believe me: Whenever that man leaves my home, I take a book of ethical instruction to study, for that man's breath communicates impurity."

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