Business Ethics Quarterly 29 (3):295-316 (2019)

Robert C. Hughes
University of Pennsylvania
Does the content of a physically dangerous job affect the moral permissibility of hiring for that job? To what extent may employers consider costs in choosing workplace safety measures? Drawing on Kantian ethical theory, this article defends two strong ethical standards of workplace safety. First, the content of a hazardous job does indeed affect the moral permissibility of offering it. Unless employees need hazard pay to meet basic needs, it is permissible to offer a dangerous job only if prospective employees have a reason other than hazard pay to choose this job instead of safer alternatives. Second, employers typically cannot justify omitting expensive safety measures by paying employees more, even if employees prefer higher pay to greater safety. Employers offering dangerous jobs must meet these two standards to avoid treating their employees merely as means.
Keywords doctrine of double effect  hazard pay  employment  risk  Formula of Humanity  Kantian business ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/beq.2018.47
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Behaviorism 15 (1):73-82.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - In Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37-108.

View all 50 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Business Ethics.Jeffrey Moriarty - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Dangerous Work, Intention, and the Ethics of Hazard Pay.Adam D. Bailey - 2020 - Business Ethics Quarterly 30 (4):591-602.
Business Ethics.Alexei Marcoux - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Risk, Double Effect and the Social Benefit Requirement.Robert C. Hughes - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (12):29-29.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Attractiveness of Risk.John T. Sanders - 1994 - American Society for Value Inquiry Newsletter 1994 (Fall).
Healthy Limb Amputation, Bioethics and Patient Autonomy.Kellie Williamson - 2010 - Emergent Australasian Philosophers 3 (1).
Risk in Science Instruction.Julia Hansen & Marcus Hammann - 2017 - Science & Education 26 (7-9):749-775.
Positional Information in the Amphibian Limb.J. Faber - 1976 - Acta Biotheoretica 25 (1):44-65.
Risk and Value.John T. Sanders - 1996 - A.S.V.I. News 1996 (Spring):4-5.
Great Expectations.Adam Morton - 2007 - In Tim Lewens (ed.), Risk: Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
Does Control of Limb Movement Equal Control of Limb Muscles?J. Duysens - 1982 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 5 (4):544-544.
The Role of Well‐Being.Joseph Raz - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):269–294.


Added to PP index

Total views
309 ( #33,973 of 2,504,815 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
41 ( #21,685 of 2,504,815 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes