The Value of Fairness and the Wrong of Wage Exploitation

Business Ethics Quarterly 30 (3):414-429 (2020)
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In a recent article in this journal, David Faraci argues that the value of fairness can plausibly be appealed to in order to vindicate the view that consensual, mutually beneficial employment relationships can be wrongfully exploitative, even if employers have no obligation to hire or otherwise benefit those who are badly off enough to be vulnerable to wage exploitation. In this commentary, I argue that several values provide potentially strong grounds for thinking that it is at least sometimes better, morally speaking, for employers to hire worse-off people at intuitively exploitative wages than to hire better-off people at intuitively fair wages. Rather than suggesting that hiring badly off people at intuitively exploitative wages is permissible, however, I suggest that this gives us reason to think that employers can be obligated to hire worse-off people rather than better-off people and to pay them nonexploitative wages.



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Brian Berkey
University of Pennsylvania

References found in this work

Equality or Priority?Derek Parfit - 2002 - In Matthew Clayton & Andrew Williams (eds.), The Ideal of Equality. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 81-125.
Whether and Where to Give.Theron Pummer - 2016 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 44 (1):77-95.
The All or Nothing Problem.Joe Horton - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (2):94-104.
Sweatshops, Choice, and Exploitation.Matt Zwolinski - 2007 - Business Ethics Quarterly 17 (4):689-727.

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