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This is an individual
assignment that each student must submit his/her own report.

We all need to be ethical in our dealings with others, and
often practical ethics means avoiding even the appearance of wrongdoing. It is important to understand the legal
limits on behavior, so that we can set our own ethical system well inside the
boundaries of what is legal. Also, some
of the legal restrictions are unexpected, and make it possible to do wrong by

Below is a (by no means
all-inclusive) list of legal regulations on daily professional behavior.


Body of Law that Restricts it

Using another company’s inventions, logos, slogans,
corporate name, etc.

Copyright, patent, and trademark laws

Disclosing “material” public information to a few people
and not to others. (“Material” means
having a substantial impact on a company’s earnings.)

Regulation Fair Disclosure

(Reg FD)

Using material non-public information to make investment

“Insider trading” laws

Not disclosing income

Tax laws

Misstating earnings, shipments, costs, or other material
financial matters

Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)

Accepting gifts from vendors / Giving gifts to customers

Federal employee guidelines, company policy

Cooperating with competitors to set prices or restrict

Racketeering laws (RICO)

Practices that discourage competition

Anti-monopoly laws, and possibly racketeering laws

Unsafe equipment or practices in an office or jobsite

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Performing actions in a foreign country that would be
illegal in the US, even if the actions are considered “routine” in the
foreign country

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Exporting materials without proper certification –
especially materials with potential military uses (e.g. decryption)

Export control laws

Homework: Pick three examples (3 rows) of “body of
law”. Write 1 paragraph each on the law
and how it affects engineers.

Cite references.

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