Ethical Issues in the Workplace


The workplace ethics issue is becoming increasingly important in today’s society. Companies are prioritizing inclusive workplace cultures, ethical leadership, and environmental sustainability. In 2021, the video game company Activision Blizzard came under public scrutiny after it was sued by the state of California for allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. The American beverage company PepsiCo is criticized for the environmental impact of its single-use plastic packaging. Identifying the issues within Activision Blizzard and PepsiCo can help find the best ethical framework and strategies to solve them.

Activision Blizzard

In 2021, a lawsuit was filed against the video game company Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for allegedly exposing its female employees to daily harassment and abuse. An investigation found enormous pay discrepancies between women at administrative and non-administrative levels and a toxic “frat boy” workplace culture (Plunkett, 2021). Female workers were promoted more slowly, terminated more quickly, and forced to fulfill the responsibilities of their male counterparts when the latter proudly came to work hungover and bragged about their sexual exploits. Furthermore, female employees were constantly subjected to unwanted sexual comments and advances (Plunkett, 2021). Activision Blizzard is the perfect example of a company facing socially ethical issues due to sexual harassment and discrimination allegations.

The ethical framework that best applies to the situation at Activision Blizzard is a toxic workplace culture that led to discrimination and harassment. Since the leaders at the company thought it was acceptable to disrespect and bully their female employees, they fostered a toxic environment that normalized this behavior and was exacerbated by continually hiring like-minded personalities. In order to deal with this issue, Activision Blizzard should employ a third-party organization to investigate each sexual harassment claim and take appropriate disciplinary action. Furthermore, an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy should be adopted immediately, and ethical workshops held to foster a more tolerant, inclusive environment.


One ethical issue PepsiCo faces is the environmental issue of plastic pollution. PepsiCo is an American food and beverage company that is most famous for its sweet-flavored carbonated beverages sold in single-use plastic bottles. In 2021, it was discovered that PepsiCo became the world’s top plastic polluter for the fourth year in a row (Greenpeace Southeast Asia, 2021). Plastic debris takes thousands of years to degrade; it litters every corner of the planet and threatens the environment by choking wildlife and spreading toxins. Furthermore, since plastic is produced from fossil fuels, many greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere. Single-use plastic packaging is a serious ethical, and environmental issue PepsiCo must deal with since it directly contributes to climate change and biodiversity loss.

The ethical framework that applies to PepsiCo’s issue of plastic pollution is environmental sustainability. The central problem is responsible corporate conduct concerning natural landscapes, resources, species, and non-human organisms. In order to deal with the issue, PepsiCo should change its approach to packaging materials. Glass containers use the least amount of CO2 and energy, and aluminum can be recycled indefinitely without loss of quality or durability (Sipper, 2019). The best solution to improve PepsiCo’s ethical, and environmental sustainability is to package its products in glass bottles and aluminum cans instead of single-use plastic bottles.


In conclusion, both Activision Blizzard and PepsiCo deal with different varieties of workplace ethical issues. Activision Blizzard fostered a toxic workplace culture that led to the harassment and discrimination of female employees. To solve this problem, each claim should be investigated by a third-party organization, and a comprehensive anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy should be adopted. On the other hand, PepsiCo faces the ethical issue of environmental sustainability because of its use of single-use plastic bottles. PepsiCo should move towards the glass and aluminum packaging to reduce plastic waste and impact the environment.


Greenpeace Southeast Asia. (2021). The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo named top plastic polluters for the fourth year in a row. Greenpeace.

Plunkett, L. (2021). Activision Blizzard was sued by California over widespread harassment of women. Kotaku. 

Sipper, B. (2019). It’s time for glass again – can we end the beverage industry’s use of plastic? Waste Advantage Magazine. 

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