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Steven Mintz
United States
My ethics knowledge and wisdom gives me a unique perspective on accounting and business ethics, fraud and whistle-blowing, societal and workplace ethics issues.
Interests: Reading, writing, blogging, ethics advice, traveling, eating, sports
Recent Activity
Ethical Legalism is at Heart of Yelp’s Posting Policies Last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the online review site Yelp can change the ratings of businesses on its site as it sees fit. Yelp was accused of lowering the ratings of companies that... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Workplace Ethics Advice
Does the Increased Bureaucracy Justify the Protection Afforded Students? New federal rules issued on Monday aim to make campuses safer by requiring colleges to train students and employees on preventing sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. The rules also include new categories for identifying hate crimes (gender identity and national origin) and specify that students can choose advisers, including lawyers, to accompany them in campus disciplinary proceedings. The rules will take effect in July 2015. Until then, colleges are expected to make a "good-faith effort" to comply with the rules. "These regulatory changes provide new tools to improve... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Ethics Sage
Our Values define who we are in Life and in the Workplace Acting in accordance with company values in the workplace is the key component in developing an ethical organization culture. Still, are there any situations where one’s values can be compromised for the greater good? If so, what are... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Workplace Ethics Advice
Is it Morally Right for the U.S. to Bomb ISIS Positions? This blog was completed by a student of mine in my ethics class. I thought she did an excellent job in identifying the ethical issues surrounding whether the U.S. should be fighting ISIS. She chose to remain anonymous so I will simply thank her for her contribution. I have added some of my own thoughts to her piece. As violence escalates in the Middle East by the radical Islamic group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, many Americans are questioning whether the U.S.... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Ethics Sage
Are Tax Inversions an Ethical Practice? Apple, the world’s biggest company by market capitalization, captured attention last month with the introduction of a digital watch, larger iPhones and a slick electronic payment system. Amid all the hype, there was scarcely any mention that much of its hardware is made outside the U.S.— or that Apple’s sophisticated lawyers and accountants could be expected to keep its American taxes low, partly by stashing much of its profit overseas. It seems that most American consumers, investors and politicians have tacitly accepted that if a company is profitable, doesn’t violate the law and produces... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Thanks for your contribution to the discussion.
The Golden Rule Provides Ethical Guidance on Dealing with Bipolar Employees Imagine that you have bipolar personality disorder and it creates special challenges for you in the workplace. Well, according to the National Institute of Mental Health bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
The Ethics of Performance Evaluation The performance evaluation system developed by an organization should be built on the ethical principle of fairness. Performance evaluation is a way of sending a message to employees about how they are performing with respect to the goals and long-term strategies of an organization. A... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
How will we know if a College Education is “worth it?” Many questions are being raised about whether it “pays” to spend four or five years getting a college education. The answer always seem to focus on the return on investment concept. In other words would a college student paying $100,000 in tuition earn enough during his or her lifetime to justify the high cost. The problem is this is the wrong question to ask about the value of a college education. The true value of a college education, and one that can’t be reduced to dollars and cents, is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Leaders need to identify the Telltale Signs of Zombie-ism We’ve all seen them and dealt with them from time to time. They are “workplace zombies” that suck the energy and spirit out of their co-workers and make life miserable for those around them. The result can be a malaise that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
What Motivates a Person to Blow the Whistle on Financial Wrongdoing? Whistleblowing has become a more accepted practice in our society in part because the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act sanctions the practice under specific circumstances. The questions I address in today’s blog are: What are the values exhibited by a whistleblower? Is the would-be whistleblower an ethical person or just someone looking for a big payday? How might we make such a determination? The award has been described as incentivizing whistleblowing because it may encourage a disgruntled employee to gather information about financial wrongdoing and then inform the SEC of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2014 at Ethics Sage
On social media, anything you say or do can be used against you in the court of public opinion I have previously blogged about sexual harassment in the workplace. This blog was written by Amanda Jaylene. I thought my readers would benefit from the discussion of sexual harassment and social... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
U.S. to Blame for ISIS and World War III The proverb the enemy of my enemy is my friend suggests that two parties can or should work together against a common enemy. Some have used it as the guiding principle of when to interfere in Arabia, including the U.S.’s own foreign policy. Well, it has backfired big time and now that policy has brought us to the precipice of World War III. To be sure it is a new kind of war – a war against radicalized Islam that detest our values of religious freedom and liberty for all. It... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Newport Beach School District Actions are Unethical Last week I read that a high school graduate wants her diploma invalidated and has asked for "education do-over." She claims her brain injury led to her being rushed through to graduate. Crystal Morales, a Newport Beach high school graduate, is asking the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
I'm glad you liked it.
When will Owners Learn that everything you Say can and will be Held against you in the Court of Public Opinion By now you would think that owners of professional sports teams would have learned that 'Everything you Say can and will be Held against you in the Court of Public Opinion. How is it that owners can be so insensitive to blacks who have given so much to sports and comprise the majority of the players in most professional sports teams? Just when we think it might be safe to give the benefit of the doubt to team owners,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Protecting the Public Interest by Blowing the Whistle on Employer Wrongdoing The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was adopted by Congress on January 5, 2010 in response to numerous instances of financial fraud by some of the largest companies in the U.S. It changed the regulatory... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Alibaba’s Unique Structure fraught with Danger for Potential Shareholders Caveat emptor is a term that fits the upcoming IPO of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba. The risk is due to the unique ownership interest in the company. This is an interesting IPO because it is a foreign entity and the American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) that will be offered in the IPO do not represent interest in the shares of Alibaba. In fact, the shareholders are a small group of under 20 Chinese individuals, including Jack Ma, the company’s chairman and co-founder who will see his net worth skyrocket when he sells... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Should American Investors Trust the Financial Statements Issued by Chinese Companies? I have previously blogged about questions that have been raised by U.S. regulators about the reliability of the financial statements issued by Chinese companies. Recently it was announced that officials from China and the U.S. have committed to cross-border... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
What should the Goals Be of Teaching Ethics to Business School Students? Years ago my ethics professor asked our class: Can Business Schools Teach Ethics? More than half of the class said ‘no’. The rest of us said ‘yes’ but we had no idea how to teach ethics effectively. Many of us were uncomfortable with the notion that we would be preaching to our students and telling them what is right and what is wrong. Most of us believed you are born with a good sense of right and wrong and nothing can change the way you will act when... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Ethics Sage
The Ethics of Dating in the Workplace Last week a reader of this blog asked questions about the ethical conflict they experienced in the workplace. The issue is one that many workers encounter so I decided to blog about what I believe is the appropriate action to take – at... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
“No Means No’ an Example of Trying to Legislate Behavior As colleges and universities prepare for the new academic year, this is a good time to discuss a growing problem on campuses throughout the U.S. – sexual assault on women. I have previously blogged about the problem. Now, the California legislature is debating a bill that would require college students to secure “affirmative consent” from their partners at every stage of sexual activity. If the bill is passed, colleges must use the legislature’s definition of consent in their sexual assault policies or risk losing state funding for student financial aid.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Organizational Culture and Ethical Leadership the Key to Workplace Ethics Two weeks ago I blogged about “What is Ethics?” I pointed out that ethics should be based on accepted standards of behavior that have developed over time and come from a variety of sources including: (1) the influence of religious... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Cheating Scandals at Notre Dame and Harvard Raise Questions about Student Responsibilities and Professors’ Ethical Obligations Academic cheating and fraud is prevalent today. The scandal at Notre Dame that was revealed on August 15, and a scandal at Harvard in 2012, stand out as examples of how even the best universities and those with honors codes are not shielded from dishonest behavior on the part of their students. I discuss academic dishonesty in my ethics class so it is an opportune time to examine such issues as we begin another academic year. Academic dishonesty includes both academic fraud, plagiarism, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2014 at Ethics Sage