Should Apple refuse to hire individuals with criminal record (ex-offenders)

Executive Summary

Numerous entities realize ethical is important for business development,and help entities evaluating and guiding business practice (Koehn, D. 1995).Ethical issue in the business world, dealing almost completely with workplace personnel issues which has become increasingly complex (White, G. W. 2001).In 2015, Apple took criminal records into hiring process and excluded individuals who have been committed of a felony from working on construct its headquarter because Apple want its products designed as “beautiful” and “pure”. This article is deal with the ethical issue “should Apple refuse to hire individuals with criminal record (ex-offenders)” and used the three key ethical theories: Utilitarian ethics, Kantian Ethics and Virtue Ethics to investigate the ethical issue. Giving the case of Waldon et al v. Cincinnati Public School, it clearly presents the conflicts between employees and background checks. Moreover, it brings the issue to the public that the prohibition may protect companies from risk but itbecome harmful to a groups of people, made them feel be discriminated.Under utilitarianism, company should achieve high profit and satisfied customers’ need, the policies enacted by Apple did enhance the customer loyalties and company’s benefit. The code of ethical conduct of Kantian ethics is whether people are willing to do the right thing even when it is not merely in their self-interest. Thus, Apple should not refuse to hire the people with criminal record followed by the laws or rules like human right law, equal employment opportunity act and corporate social responsibility as they all ask for equal employment opportunity and completely eradicate. Last theory is virtue ethics: the individual should contain moral valuable or desirable characteristics such as honest, fairness, etc. Apple’s comportment is fulfilling the moral standard only if it owns the good qualities, however, the refusal violates the qualities. To sum up, the conclusions of the issue are different in three perspectives. It is understandable and ethical in Utilitarianism but it holds an opposite view in Kantian and Virtue ethics. To solve the different consequence from these analyses, Apple should modify and improve its regulations based on the various records of the employees and applicants. Apple can accepted them if the criminal records is not essential or not influence the colleagues.



Nowadays, more and more business make decision take the ethical consideration.  However, there are still plenty of business ethics issues in the current society. Some major issues may result from hiring, firing and dealing with employees, such as gender discrimination at workplace, employee harassment, minority community participation, working conditions, and child labor. This article is going to analysis the issue of applicant or employees with criminal convictions are rejected by companies in three aspects and discuss this action is moral or not.

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