Business ethicists have written much about ethical issues in employment. Except for a handful of articles on the very high pay of chief executive officers and the very low pay of workers in overseas sweatshops, however, little has been written about the ethics of compensation. This is prima facie strange. Workers care about their pay, and they think about it in normative terms. This article’s purpose is to consider whether business ethicists’ neglect of the normative aspects of compensation is justified. I examine several possible justifications for neglecting compensation and show that they fail. What remains is a case for thinking that it is worthy of normative analysis.
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