Watch any 5 or more episodes of The Apprentice and write a 4-5 page paper with a very brief description of the task to introduce the legal and ethical issues. Students should use direct examples of legal or ethical conflicts from the show and should discuss legal and ethical issues that the participants should be thinking about given the task they are to complete. (For example, if the task is to run a lemonade stand, the paper should discuss selection of corporate form, employment law, advertising issues, etc.) Episode 1 cannot be used as it is the example. The following would be an acceptable analysis of episode 1:
In Episode 1 of the Apprentice, the teams were assigned to work a car wash. Each team was responsible for promotion and sales. The team earning the most money would be the winner. There are several legal and ethical issues that could arise from such a task. First, water is a scarce resource, especially in California. One must consider the ethics of promoting the use of water for washing cars. Issues to investigate would be the use of reclaimed water, recycled water, etc. Second are issues related to safety and disposal of the chemicals or detergents used in washing cars. Other issues to consider in the car wash industry generally would include liability for damage to the cars or property within the cars, labor issues if people are hired to do the washing and drying rather than a machine wash, tax issues (social security, Medicare, state and federal income taxes, sales taxes, etc.). Advertising also could be an issue.
For example, in the episode, one team, assigned to the largely gay neighborhood of West Hollywood chose to hire male models to promote the car wash with their shirts off. One should consider the ethics of using sex or sexuality to sell a product or service. Also, one should consider the ethics of stereotyping clientele based on the neighborhood or location. Would anyone be alienated by the use of half-nude male models. The other team in the episode chose to lure customers in for a $10 car wash and then “push” upgraded washes. There are ethical considerations, and potential legal considerations here. Was this tactic a form of bait and switch, where one item is advertised and then pressure put on to purchase a different and more expensive product? Is it ethical to offer something and lure in customers and then use sales tactics to get an upper hand?