‘Forcing’ Employee Vegetarianism at Work

business_ethics_highlights_2Beware the headline below: the company in question isn’t forcing anyone to become a vegetarian; they’re just not paying for meat products when the company provides food at corporate events. But still, they’re definitely doing what they can to impose a set of values during the workday.

Of course, corporations impose their values on employees in all sorts of ways. Corporate leaders are often reminded that managing corporate culture—that is, values—is their job. Corporations very often encourage/require employees to dress a certain way, to use certain kinds of language, and to adhere to their own particular brands of professionalism. Is this case different?

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LINK: Memo From the Boss: You’re Vegetarian Now (by David Gelles for the New York Times)

…Other companies have tried to prevent employees from using everything from Uber to cigarettes. In 2015, IBM banned employees from using ride-sharing apps, citing safety and liability concerns. (Employees rebelled, and the company did a U-turn a day later.) And several big employers, including General Electric, have successfully paid employees to quit smoking. Scotts Miracle-Gro even has a policy of not hiring smokers, a move it says helps keep health care costs down.

In some of these cases, the values of a few executives are imposed on workers who must adhere to their employers’ worldview, often relating to issues with scant connection to the business. But WeWork appears to be the first big company to tell its employees what they can and can’t eat….

What do you think?

See also, from the Business Ethics Blog: Can Employers Tell Employees What to Eat?


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