Does the American workplace support or discourage moral agendas?

March 30, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

Download Story

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a proposed class action sex-discrimination law suit against Walmart. The plaintiffs allege company-wide policy reinforces gender stereotypes. Walmart disagrees. But the retail giant has long faced criticism over its treatment of employees. Whether or not its policies are explicitly sexist some argue that Walmart’s corporate culture isn’t friendly toward women.

Other companies have also been taken to task for trying to impose or promote a certain set of values. The owners of Chick-fil-A are Christians and close up shop on Sundays. But some consumers claim the company also supports anti-gay rights groups.

How do corporate values shape the American workplace? And what recourse do employees have if their views aren’t in line with their employers? Eight Forty-Eight heard from listeners, and spoke to Chicago News Cooperative Deputy Editor David Greising, Chicago Tribune religion reporter Manya Brachear, and professor Laura Beth Nielsen. Nielsen is a research professor at the American Bar Foundation and director of the Center for Legal Studies at Northwestern University.

Music Button: REM, "Moral Kiosk", from thie CD Murmur, (IRS)