Though the specific details and aspects may vary between companies and industries, some important ethical issues businesses may face include providing fair compensation for their employees regardless of age, creed or gender, sourcing their products through legal means and managing operations in a sustainable practice. Some businesses must also consider the working conditions of the employees as well as their business partners.
One common ethical issue that many businesses face is ensuring equal opportunities and benefits for all of the employees without making any decisions according to personal prejudices. This can appear in the hiring practices, such as not choosing one applicant over another due to her race or sexual orientation, as well as ensuring that female employees receive the same pay and advancement opportunities as males. It is also an ethical responsibility of a company to make sure that it does not employ labor tactics that provide insufficient compensation for actions, such as forcing the employees to work extended hours without pay or violating minimum wage laws.
Another ethical issue that many businesses face is ensuring that they obtain products and materials through legal means, both in compliance with local, federal and international laws. This could come in the form of food manufacturer using ingredients that require a harvesting process that endangers local species or a production plant pumping toxic waste into local water supplies. Similarly, these businesses must also make sure that the methods they use to create products do not have a significant effect on local communities or the environment.