Case | HBS Case Collection | February 1990 (Revised March 1990)

Quantum Semiconductor, Inc.

by Janice H. Hammond and Roy D. Shapiro

Abstract

Quantum is faced with a difficult ethical dilemma--industry studies provide evidence that chemicals used in semiconductor manufacturing may cause women working in fabrication cleanrooms to suffer a higher likelihood of spontaneous abortions. The possibility of other reproductive health risks exist also. Barring all women of child-bearing age from fabrication areas may be viewed as sex discrimination and cause legal ramifications. Full automation is too costly for this small company. What should they do?

Keywords: Safety; Prejudice and Bias; Law; Equality and Inequality; Cost; Production; Ethics; Health; Gender Characteristics; Semiconductor Industry;

Citation:

Hammond, Janice H., and Roy D. Shapiro. "Quantum Semiconductor, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 690-059, February 1990. (Revised March 1990.)