Wage Differences As Robert Hall Essay Research

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Wage Differences As Robert Hall Essay, Research Paper Wage Differences at Robert Hall I. Problem The Robert Hall Clothes, Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware are paying men and women different wages for essentially the same job. This is morally wrong because it is gender discrimination. II. Analysis A. The management of Robert Hall learned in 1973 that it was entirely legal for them to pay male salespersons more than female salespersons. Management feels that it is okay to pay women clerks less, because the commodities that they sell cannot bring in the same profit margins as the commodities the men sell. The women argue that selling costs and profit margins do not matter, because the skills, efforts, and responsibilities required of all clerks are ?substantially? the same. Also,

the women are not allowed to work in the men?s department or vice versa, which means they do not have an opportunity to make as much as the men. The management of Robert Hall must decide if women and men should be paid the same wages. If they decide not to pay the women clerks the same wages, then the morale of the women workers will decline and some women clerks might quit. Management should make a decision quickly, before women boycott their department stores. B. The primary ethical value at stake is equality. Robert Hall is discriminating against the women employees by paying them less than men and not allowing them to work in the men?s department. Kant?s philosophy states that everyone should be treated as a free person equal to everyone else. It appears that Robert Hall is

not treating their female clerks equal to the male clerks. Another ethical issue to consider along with equality is that of fairness. The management of Robert Hall is not being fair in distributing the goods of the company. The women employees have the same responsibilities, skills, and efforts as the men, if not more. Rawls?s philosophy assumes that a productive society will incorporate inequalities in distributing the goods. Also, Rawls?s theory states that everyone should have an equal opportunity to qualify for the more privileged positions in society?s institutions, which the women clerks do not have. III. Alternatives A. In deciding whether to increase female clerks? wages or not to increase them, the management of Robert Hall needs to evaluate the company?s distribution

system and the fairness of the principles used in that system. They also need to analyze where the company draws the line between legally okay and morally okay according to company policy. According to Rawls, management must choose an alternative that will not discriminate on the basis of gender and improves the position of the least advantaged without making everyone else worse off to be morally right. One option for management is not to change the wages of the female employees. Robert Hall knows that it is legally okay to have different wages, so they do not have to change anything. Management may not find it beneficial or necessary to increase women?s wages given the data at hand. Another option for management is to increase the wages of female clerks to equal or nearly equal

the wages of the male clerks. The morale of the female clerks will probably increase if management raises their wages. Management must analyze the impact the wage difference has on female clerks and evaluate the benefits and costs of changing the wage. The company should also take into consideration its own policy on equality. B. The first alternative is supported by the legal obligation Robert Hall Clothes Inc. has to their employees. According to a 1973 supreme court ruling, Robert Hall does not have to pay men and women equal. This was based on the fact that the men sell higher and more expensive quality commodities than the women. The company cannot sell higher and more expensive quality commodities in the women?s department, because there is too much competition in the area.