Workplace Rantings provides comprehensive news, articles and resources about worker's rights and workplace issues. Join our cause to stop workplace discrimination and harassment. Let's take a stand and promote fairness in the workplace!
Take Action >>> no registration required.

Ethics and Morals in workplace – the Best and the Worst Companies

Holly Hicks,

Ethics and Morals in workplace - the Best and the Worst Companies

Let’s start with the basics…

What are ethics and morals and why are they important in the workplace? First off, we must address the fact that ethics and morals are two different things. Most believe that there are subtle differences, but the facts are that ethics set the standards and codes by which one should behave in a social environment/situation, whereas morals are actually applied based on personal belief or background, and are usually unchanging.

Why you do NOT want to work for an unethical employer…

It is quite fundamental that one know the difference between right and wrong and treat others as they rightfully should be treated. Are there businesses that lack in the ethics and morality department? Well most certainly. In fact, there are numerous studies conducted annually that rate and rank the best and worst employers. No matter who you are, or what type of background you come from, businesses still hold a moral obligation to treat their employees and other members of society with the utmost respect and conduct business and employee relations with the highest level of ethics as possible. Would you want to work for a company that disregards life, health, or security of another? Would you want to be associated with a company with an unjust, or even criminal reputation? Hopefully, this publication will give some insight on these employers’ and also be a guide to some reader’s future endeavors in seeking employment, services, or business relations with such named corporations. In another interesting study, it has been found that ethics and morals are down when the market is low. Who knew? So, in a bad economy, morals simply get thrown out the window? Hmmm…the world we live in.

Which companies are the worst?

Who are the bad guys of business ethics and morality? Will we name names? Absolutely!

This author’s personal experience puts Portland, OR based company ESCO Corporation at the top of the list. ESCO Corp president Calvin Collins drew a lot of attention to the decline of their company’s ethics and unfair workplace practices during 2012-2013. Considered an unethical employer, ESCO Corporation faces negative press, and a petition against them at gained hundreds of signatures.


According to the huffington post, the 12 least ethical companies worldwide are listed as follows:

  • Monsanto Co.
  • Halliburton Company
  • Chevron Corp
  • Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc.
  • Phillip Morris International
  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation
  • Ryanair Holdings plc
  • Syntega AG
  • Grupo Mexico SA de CV
  • Total SA
  • Mediaset Spa
  • Barrick Gold Corporation


Which companies are the best?

When it comes to naming the most ethical and moral companies, the list is very lengthy. More than 99 companies made the list, with Microsoft being number one. Here are the best ones.

Best companies worldwide by division (from ):


  • Indra Sistemas
  • Rockwell Collins Inc.
  • The Aerospace Corporation


  • Adidas
  • Comme Il Faut
  • Gap
  • Patagonia
  • Timberland


  • Cummins
  • Denso
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Johnson Controls

Computer Hardware

  • Hitachi Data Systems

Computer Software

  • Adobe Systems
  • Microsoft
  • Symantec Corporation
  • Teradata Corporation

Consumer Electronics

  • Electrolux
  • Ricoh
  • Xerox

Consumer Products

  • Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Henkel AG
  • Kao Corporation

Diversified Industries

  • General Electric Co.

Energy and Utilities

  • Encana
  • Statoil
  • NextEra Energy, Inc.
  • Northumbrian Water
  • Vestas Wind
  • Wisconsin Energy Corporation

Environmental Services

  • Waste Management

Financial Services

  • American Express
  • Housing Development Finance Corp
  • NYSE Euronext
  • The Hartford Financial Services Group

Food and Beverage

  • General Mills
  • PepsiCo
  • Solae
  • Stonyfield Farm

Food Stores

  • Kesko
  • The Co-Operative Group
  • Wegmans
  • Whole Food Market

Hotels, Travel and Hospitality

  • Kimpton Hotels
  • Marriott International
  • The Rezidor Hotel Group
  • Wyndham Worldwide


  • Zappos

Media, Publishing and Entertainment

  • Thomson Reuters

Real Estate

  • British Land plc
  • Jones Lang LaSalle
  • Unibail-Rodamco
Print Friendly
Did you like this? Share it:


  1. Barfy says:

    The fact that you listed GE as an ethical company tells me your list is biased.
    Did you really do any research or just barf up a list of companies?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current month ye@r day *