Case Study of the Week: Fair and Inclusive Employee Benefits

Mar 25, 2024

Business Ethics

You are to assume the role of the senior vice president at Jamwell Pets, a company that produces varieties of foods for dogs and cats. The president of the company wants your team to determine how to respond to unethical allegations regarding employee benefits.  

Jamwell Pets’ corporate office is located in a moderately sized city and employs over 200 people. Jamwell Pets is involved in raising awareness and funds for various organizations, but most involve the care and health of pets. Jamwell donates pet foods to animal adoption agencies throughout the country and provides all of the food for dogs and cats at the headquarter city’s local shelter.

Each year the local shelter holds a 5K to raise awareness and funds. Shelter animals attend the 5K event, ready for adoption, and donations of animal toys, treats, blankets and beds are gathered from the community and 5K participants. Jamwell is a sponsor of the 5K and provides funding for the signage and promotional materials. Participants pay a $50 registration fee and receive a race t-shirt, water bottle and other swag.

Jamwell Pets promotes the 5K to its 200+ corporate office staff and offers a great incentive. Any employee that registers for the 5K and crosses the finish line receives a compensatory day, also known as day off from work with pay. Every year, approximately 30 people from the Jamwell staff participate in the 5K. Pictures are taken of all Jamwell Pets staff participating and are posted on the company’s social media accounts and website.

This year, upon the initial announcement of this year’s 5K, several employees notified the president of concerns. One employee is having knee problems, another employee is using crutches due to an injury. Two remote workers live over 100 miles away from the corporate office and cannot travel to participate in the race. An anonymous employee admitted to being too unfit to participate in a 5K race. These employees all stated that offering a free compensatory day is unethical given that not every employee is able to participate.  

The president wants your team to analyze the situation and determine if it is unethical to offer Jamwell Pets employees a compensatory day for participation in the 5K. The president wants your ideas on how to make the entire 5K more inclusive and fair, but still offer rewards. Finally, the president wants your recommendations on communicating any changes or additions to the 5K process to employees while maintaining the privacy of the employees that voiced concerns.


Randi Bibiano
Competitive Events Specialist

Randi Bibiano is DECA's competitive events specialist. In this role, she conceptualizes and authors role-play scenarios for the collegiate and high school division’s competitive events programs. She also manages DECA's online competitive events and serves as a liaison to volunteer efforts at DECA's educational conferences.

Discussion Questions

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Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:

Business Management and Administration

Instructional Area(s):

Emotional Intelligence

Performance Indicators:

Explain the role of ethics in human resources management
Explain reasons for ethical dilemmas
Recognize and respond to ethical dilemmas
Recognize/Reward others for their efforts and contributions