Ethics and Accounting Personnel McMillan Shipping Company has an equal opportunity employment policy. This policy has the full support of the company’s president, Rosemary Creighton, and is included in all advertisements for employee positions. Hiring in the accounting department is done by the controller, D. W. “Butch” Brigham. The assistant controller, Jack Merton, also interviews candidates, but Brigham makes all decisions. In the last year, the department hired 5 new people from a pool of 175 applicants. Thirteen had been interviewed, including four minority candidates. The five hired included three sons of Brigham’s close friends and no minorities. Merton had felt that at least two of the minority candidates were very well qualified and that the three sons of Brigham’s friends were definitely not among the most qualified. When Merton questioned Brigham concerning his reservations about the hiring practices, he was told that these decisions were Brigham’s and not his, so he should not question them.
1. Explain why Brigham’s hiring practices were probably unethical.
2. What should Merton do about this situation?