Do companies really need to implement and integrate social responsibility and social media strategies in order to succeed in today's business world? These ideas didn't even exist until relatively recently, and most businesses appeared to run smoothly before. But in the last couple of years, rarely a day has gone by without some mention in the news of companies taking on the role of social or environmental steward or engaging their customers and creating communities on the Internet. With all the talk, it seems businesses that don't incorporate these strategies will look like obsolete outcasts, soon to disappear from the market.
I first wrote about genetic discrimination in the workplace in August of 2004. At that time, I compared it to the movie Gattaca, in which a man tries to hide his “imperfect” genetic makeup so that he can enjoy a way of life and secure a job reserved for people without “flawed” genes. Although Gattaca is science fiction, the movie's plot is not that remote from present-day reality.
Imagine this: a customer enters your office or store and very quickly suffers an attack of some sort, causing her to break out in hives and have difficulty breathing. Employees remove her from the store, but she's in such a state that she has to go to the hospital. You later discover that the customer suffers from environmental sensitivities, and unfortunately she had her first major attack at your workplace. Oh, and she claims she can no longer work because of the episode, so she's suing you for damages and lost wages.