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Code of Ethics (2003)

Organization: American College of Healthcare Executives Visit Organization Page
Date Approved: 
November 10, 2003

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Code of Ethics

Preface

 

The Code of Ethics is administered by the Ethics Committee, which is appointed by the Board of Governors upon nomination by the Chairman. It is composed of at least nine Fellows of the College, each of whom serves a three-year term on a staggered basis, with three members retiring each year.

 

The Ethics Committee shall:

  • Review and evaluate annually the Code of Ethics, and make any necessary recommendations for updating the Code. 
  • Review and recommend action to the Board of Governors on allegations brought forth regarding breaches of the Code of Ethics. 
  • Develop ethical policy statements to serve as guidelines of ethical conduct for healthcare executives and their professional relationships. 
  • Prepare an annual report of observations, accomplishments, and recommendations to the Board of governors, and such other periodic reports as required. 

The Ethics Committee invokes the Code of Ethics under authority of the ACHE Bylaws, Article II, Membership, Section 6, Resignation and Termination of Membership; Transfer to Inactive Status, subsection (b), as follows:

 

Membership may be terminated or rendered inactive by action of the Board of Governors as a result of violation of the Code of Ethics; nonconformity with the Bylaws or Regulations Governing Admission, Advancement, Recertification, and Reappointment; conviction of a felony; or conviction of a crime of moral turpitude or a crime relating to the healthcare management profession. No such termination of membership or imposition of inactive status shall be effected without affording a reasonable opportunity for the member to consider the charges and to appear in his or her own defense before the Board of Governors or its designated hearing committee, as outlined in the "Grievance Procedure," Appendix I of the College's Code of Ethics.

 

Preamble

 

The purpose of the Code of Ethics of the American College of Healthcare Executives is to serve as a guide to conduct for members. It contains standards of ethical behavior for healthcare executives in their professional relationships. These relationships include members of the healthcare executive's organization and other organizations. Also included are patients or others served, colleagues, the community and society as a whole. The Code of Ethics also incorporates standards of ethical behavior governing personal behavior, particularly when that conduct directly relates to the role and identity of the healthcare executive.

 

The fundamental objectives of the healthcare management profession are to enhance overall quality of life, dignity and well-being of every individual needing healthcare services; and to create a more equitable, accessible, effective and efficient healthcare system.

 

Healthcare executives have an obligation to act in ways that will merit the trust, confidence and respect of healthcare professionals and the general public. Therefore, healthcare executives should lead lives that embody an exemplary system of values and ethics.

 

In fulfilling their commitments and obligations to patients or others served, healthcare executives function as moral advocates. Since every management decision affects the health and well-being of both individuals and communities, healthcare executives must carefully evaluate the possible outcomes of their decisions. In organizations that deliver healthcare services, they must work to safeguard and foster the rights, interests and prerogatives of patients or others served. The role of moral advocate requires that healthcare executives speak out and take actions necessary to promote such rights, interests and prerogatives if they are threatened.

 

I. The Healthcare Executive's Responsibilities to the Profession of Healthcare Management The healthcare executive shall:

  1. Uphold the values, ethics and mission of the healthcare management profession; 
  2. Conduct all personal and professional activities with honesty, integrity, respect, fairness and good faith in a manner that will reflect well upon the profession; 
  3. Comply with all laws pertaining to healthcare management in the jurisdictions in which the healthcare executive is located, or conducts professional activities; 
  4. Maintain competence and proficiency in healthcare management by implementing a personal program of assessment and continuing professional education; 
  5. Avoid the exploitation of professional relationships for personal gain; 
  6. Use this Code to further the interests of the profession and not for selfish reasons; 
  7. Respect professional confidences; 
  8. Enhance the dignity and image of the healthcare management profession through positive public information programs; and 
  9. Refrain from participating in any activity that demeans the credibility and dignity of the healthcare management profession. 

 

II. The Healthcare Executive's Responsibilities to Patients or Others Served, to the Organization and to Employees

 

A. Responsibilities to Patients or Others Served

 

The healthcare executive shall, within the scope of his or her authority:

  1. Work to ensure the existence of a process to evaluate the quality of care or service rendered; 
  2. Avoid practicing or facilitating discrimination and institute safeguards to prevent discriminatory organizational practices; 
  3. Work to ensure the existence of a process that will advise patients or others served of the rights, opportunities, responsibilities and risks regarding available healthcare services; 
  4. Work to provide a process that ensures the autonomy and self-determination of patients or others served; and 
  5. Work to ensure the existence of procedures that will safe-guard the confidentiality and privacy of patients or others served.

 

 B. Responsibilities to the Organization

 

The healthcare executive shall, within the scope of his or her authority:

  1. Provide healthcare services consistent with available resources and work to ensure the existence of a resource allocation process that considers ethical ramifications; 
  2. Conduct both competitive and cooperative activities in ways that improve community healthcare services; 
  3. Lead the organization in the use and improvement of standards of management and sound business practices; 
  4. Respect the customs and practices of patients or others served, consistent with the organization's philosophy; and 
  5. Be truthful in all forms of professional and organizational communication, and avoid disseminating information that is false, misleading, or deceptive. 

 

C. Responsibilities to Employees

 

Healthcare executives have an ethical and professional obligation to employees of the organizations they manage that encompass but are not limited to:

  1. Working to create a working environment conducive for underscoring employee ethical conduct and behavior. 
  2. Working to ensure that individuals may freely express ethical concerns and providing mechanisms for discussing and addressing such concerns. 
  3. Working to ensure a working environment that is free from harassment, sexual and other; coercion of any kind, especially to perform illegal or unethical acts; and discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, ethnic origin, age or disability. 
  4. Working to ensure a working environment that is conducive to proper utilization of employees' skills and abilities. 
  5. Paying particular attention to the employee's work environment and job safety. 
  6. Working to establish appropriate grievance and appeals mechanisms. 

 

III. Conflicts of Interest

 

A conflict of interest may be only a matter of degree, but exists when the healthcare executive:

  1. Acts to benefit directly or indirectly by using authority or inside information, or allows a friend, relative or associate to benefit from such authority or information. 
  2. Uses authority or information to make a decision to intentionally affect the organization in an adverse manner. The healthcare executive shall: 
    1. Conduct all personal and professional relationships in such a way that all those affected are assured that management decisions are made in the best interests of the organization and the individuals served by it; 
    2. Disclose to the appropriate authority any direct or indirect financial or personal interests that pose potential or actual conflicts of interest; 
    3. Accept no gifts or benefits offered with the express or implied expectation of influencing a management decision; and 
    4. Inform the appropriate authority and other involved parties of potential or actual conflicts of interest related to appointments or elections to boards or committees inside or outside the healthcare executive's organization. 

IV. The Healthcare Executive's Responsibilities to Community and Society

 

The healthcare executive shall:

  1. Work to identify and meet the healthcare needs of the community; 
  2. Work to ensure that all people have reasonable access to healthcare services;
  3.  Participate in public dialogue on healthcare policy issues and advocate solutions that will improve health status and promote quality healthcare; 
  4. Consider the short-term and long-term impact of management decisions on both the community and on society; and 
  5. Provide prospective consumers with adequate and accurate information, enabling them to make enlightened judgments and decisions regarding services. 

 

V. The Healthcare Executive's Responsibility to Report Violations of the Code

 

A member of the College who has reasonable grounds to believe that another member has violated this Code has a duty to communicate such facts to the Ethics Committee.

 

Appendix I

 

American College of Healthcare Executives Grievance Procedure

  1. In order to be processed by the College, a complaint must be filed in writing to the Ethics Committee of the College within three years of the date of discovery of the alleged violation; and the Committee has the responsibility to look into incidents brought to its attention regardless of the informality of the information, provided the information can be documented or supported or may be a matter of public record. The three-year period within which a complaint must be filed shall temporarily cease to run during intervals when the accused member is in inactive status, or when the accused member resigns from the College. 
  2. The Committee chairman initially will determine whether the complaint falls within the purview of the Ethics Committee and whether immediate investigation is necessary. However, all letters of complaint that are filed with the Ethics Committee will appear on the agenda of the next committee meeting. The Ethics Committee shall have the final discretion to determine whether a complaint falls within the purview of the Ethics Committee. 
  3. If a grievance proceeding is initiated by the Ethics Committee: 
    1. Specifics of the complaint will be sent to the respondent by certified mail. In such mailing, committee staff will inform the respondent that the grievance proceeding has been initiated, and that the respondent may respond directly to the Ethics Committee; the respondent also will be asked to cooperate with the Regent investigating the complaint. 
    2. The Ethics Committee shall refer the matter to the appropriate Regent who is deemed best able to investigate the alleged infraction. The Regent shall make inquiry into the matter, and in the process the respondent shall be given an opportunity to be heard. Upon completion of the inquiry, the Regent shall present a complete report and recommended disposition of the matter in writing to the Ethics Committee. Absent unusual circumstances, the Regent is expected to complete his or her report and recommended disposition, and provide them to the Committee, within 60 days. 
    3. Upon the Committee's receipt of the Regent's report and recommended disposition, the Committee shall review them and make its written recommendation to the Board of Governors as to what action shall be taken and the reason or reasons therefore. A copy of the Committee's recommended decision along with the Regent's report and recommended disposition to the Board will be mailed to the respondent by certified mail. In such mailing, the respondent will be notified that within 30 days after his or her receipt of the Ethics Committee's recommended decision, the respondent may file a written appeal of the recommended decision with the Board of Governors. 
  4. Any written appeal submitted by the respondent must be received by the Board of Governors within 30 days after the recommended decision of the Ethics Committee is received by the respondent. The Board of Governors shall not take action on the Ethics Committee's recommended decision until the 30-day appeal period has elapsed. If no appeal to the Board of Governors is filed in a timely fashion, the Board shall review the recommended decision and determine action to be taken. 
  5. If an appeal to the Board of Governors is timely filed, the College Chairman shall appoint an ad hoc committee consisting of three Fellows to hear the matter. At least 30 days' notice of the formation of this committee, and of the hearing date, time and place, with an opportunity for representation, shall be mailed to the respondent. Reasonable requests for postponement shall be given consideration. 
  6. This ad hoc committee shall give the respondent adequate opportunity to present his or her case at the hearing, including the opportunity to submit a written statement and other documents deemed relevant by the respondent, and to be represented if so desired. Within a reasonable period of time following the hearing, the ad hoc committee shall write a detailed report with recommendations to the Board of Governors. 
  7. The Board of Governors shall decide what action to take after reviewing the report of the ad hoc committee. The Board shall provide the respondent with a copy of its decision. The decision of the Board of Governors shall be final. The Board of Governors shall have the authority to accept or reject any of the findings or recommended decisions of the Regent, the Ethics Committee or the ad hoc committee, and to order whatever level of discipline it feels is justified. 
  8. At each level of the grievance proceeding, the Board of Governors shall have the sole discretion to notify or contact the complainant relating to the grievance proceeding; provided, however, that the complainant shall be notified as to whether the complaint was reviewed by the Ethics Committee and whether the Ethics Committee or the Board of Governors has taken final action with respect to the complaint. 
  9. No individual shall serve on the ad hoc committee described above, or otherwise participate in these grievance proceedings on behalf of the College, if he or she is in direct economic competition with the respondent or otherwise has a financial conflict of interest in the matter, unless such conflict is disclosed to and waived in writing by the respondent. 
  10. All information obtained, reviewed, discussed and otherwise used or developed in a grievance proceeding that is not otherwise publicly known, publicly available, or part of the public domain is considered to be privileged and strictly confidential information of the College, and is not to be disclosed to anyone outside of the grievance proceeding except as determined by the Board of Governors or as required by law; provided, however, that an individual's membership status is not confidential and may be made available to the public upon request. 

 

Appendix II Ethics Committee Action

 

Once the grievance proceeding has been initiated, the Ethics Committee may take any of the following actions based upon its findings:

  1. Determine the grievance complaint to be invalid.
  2.  Dismiss the grievance complaint. 
  3. Recommend censure. 
  4. Recommend transfer to inactive status for a specified minimum period of time. 
  5. Recommend expulsion.

An Interfaith Declaration : A Code of Ethics on International Business for Christians, Muslims, and Jews (1994)

Organization: Dialogue Institute Visit Organization Page
Source: Interfaith Declaration Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
1994

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

An Interfaith Declaration : A Code of Ethics on International Business for Christians, Muslims, and Jews

SETTING

 

The idea for a high level dialogue between Muslims and Christians, which resulted in the issuing of the Declaration, arose from a State Visit by the British Royal Family to Jordan in March 1984. One theme of their discussion there was to consider what might be done to counteract the tendency in their respective countries for the media and others to concentrate on the excesses of extremism-not least, religious extremism. They felt that there was a need to encourage a refocusing on the values held in common by those who look to religion to guide their behavior. It was agreed that Jewish thought and experience had a relevant contribution to make to the subject and senior representatives were invited to the discussions.

 

After some preliminary discussions it was agreed that the basis for a dialogue would be the conviction that insights of the Scriptures and practice of Jews, Christians and Muslims had an important contribution to make to any discussions on values.

 

After exploring a number of topics which might produce worthwhile outcomes, the representatives of each faith selected business, behavior of ethics as a starting point. They were interested particularly in the implications of international business activity, in the form of trade and investment, for traditional business practices which were often quite different in countries with different religious traditions.

 

HRH Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Crown Prince El Hassan of Jordan and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, invited a group of distinguished Jewish, Christian and Muslim thinkers and business leaders to see whether they could agree on some principles which might serve as guidelines for international business behavior. The group met four times and between meetings exchanged papers exploring in some depth the different approaches to behavioral problems arising in business relationships and the basis for their resolution.

 

The participants at the consultations included royalty, theologians, businessmen, philosophers, bankers, and clerics. What they were attempting to discover was what values the three monotheistic faiths had in common concerning economic activity. In other words, what were the shared moral, ethical and spiritual values inherent in the Abrahamic tradition that are relevant in a business context?

 

The delegates were asked to express their ideas about the cross-cultural problems they discerned with current business behavior. They explained their different approaches to production, distribution, employment, money, materialism, spirituality, and wealth creation. The contributions were translated and circulated to participants. The Gulf War interrupted the process but it was considered worthwhile reconvening in 1992.

 

KEY CONCEPTS

 

The early discussions were somewhat laborious as many misconceptions and misrepresentations about both religion and business had to be addressed before there was any consensus about the variety of issues covered by the term business ethics.

 

The leaders of the consultations then asked the author to look at the material and see whether there was a basis for an agreement. Using techniques of content analysis, four key concepts that recur in the two Testaments of the Bible and the Qur’an in respect to economic transactions were distilled. These were: Justice, Mutual Respect, Stewardship and Honesty. A set of statements concerning the interaction of business with the community was then drawn up. The discussions were concluded at a meeting held in Amman, Jordan in Oct. 1993, with the acceptance of a set of guidelines in an Interfaith Declaration reflecting the participants’ shared concerns for the four value concepts set out above as applied to international business transactions.

 

The meetings of the group and the resultant Declaration indicate that whatever their particular insight into Truth may be-and it is acknowledged that there are differences-they nevertheless had a common heritage with a high degree of shared values. They also re-affirmed that in their opinion, there was a common moral basis derived from the Scriptures. For a number of reasons they felt it was well worthwhile trying to apply these to contemporary international business issues.

 

One of the reasons was that there was general agreement that the growth in material prosperity in the industrial world was generating an alternative value system which they believe to be detrimental to the wholesome development of human beings: selfishness and dishonesty are tending to supplant generosity and integrity. They noted that there is evidence that morality and ethical standards are declining in their respective societies, as exemplified by the wide reporting of dishonest and corrupt practices. Part of the problem they thought was an ambivalence concerning what is considered right and wrong, and economic relationships had not escaped this influence. It was decided that a reiteration of shared ethical values in the form of a Declaration would make a contribution to sustaining and improving the standards of international business behavior.

 

It was realized that the application of these principles may be more difficult to apply in some countries than in others because of the different degree of influence that religion has within a given society. Muslims and to a lesser extent Jews generally operate within a social atmosphere that is conducive to the influence of their religious precepts being heeded in their societies. It is normal for moral and ethical concerns to be discussed within a religious ethos.

 

With some exceptions, Christians are more dependent upon personal convictions, which often have to be stated in a secular social atmosphere that has little sympathy with them. While the influence of Islamic institutions is more open and obvious, and that of Judaism still strong, the influence of Christianity tends to be personal, in spite of the publication of some pertinent encyclicals from the Vatican addressed to the Roman Catholic Church and secular institutions.

 

All participants agreed that, in the final analysis, the application of ethical principles is a matter of person judgement rather than rules; codes can only set standards. It follows that the Declaration (or indeed any code of ethics) is not a substitute for corporate or individual morality; it is a set of guidelines for good practice. In isolation it will make little real difference; if used as part of a corporate program to raise ethical awareness and to be used as the basis of cross-cultural business, it is likely to have a lasting effect both by setting norms and by being used as a guide to best practice.

 

METHOD

 

The code drew on the experience of group members, a number of existing guidelines and codes, and conduct which has been adopted by international organizations such as the International Chamber of Commerce. Individual company codes of ethics, too, were used where appropriate.

 

The distinction between three categories of ethical issues are recognized in the code.

 

  •  The morality of the economic system in which business activity takes place. 
  •  The policies and strategies of organizations which engage in business. 
  •  The behavior of individual employees in the context of their work.

 

 

 It was also noted that while some ethical issues affect all types of industrial and commercial activity, there are others which are distinctive to a particular sector. The outstanding example is that of the provision of financial services. Practices in the banking sector differ significantly in different countries and cultures and have specific characteristics which can involve moral choice. For instance, it was accepted that it is especially important to Muslims that money is not treated merely as a commodity that can be bought or sold for a market price (riba). Jews explained that they treat money as a resource to be used to achieve good results but never to be used to exploit a fellow Jew who might be in temporary difficulties (usury). Christians indicated that they have allowed the use of money as a factor of production and use the discount rate as one measure of the viability of an enterprise. A rate of interest is therefore charged to borrowers and is paid to lenders, usually at an agreed rate. Exploitation of the weak by charging exorbitant rates is also considered reprehensible.

 

In practice, the importance of financial resources in the industrial process was recognized by those of all three religions. Muslim banks provide money for enterprises and pay close attention to how clients is performing. In this way they share in the risks and rewards. Although charging interest for borrowing money is forbidden in Muslim teaching, a fee for the services of a bank or a reward from a successful partnership with a business achieves the same moral purpose-namely, the enabling of a commercial enterprise to take place for the mutual benefit of everyone concerned.

 

It was also recognized that the legal framework in which business is conducted is not the same in all countries. For instance, the duties of company directors vary and employment law, e.g., legal notice of dismissal or redundancy, is hardly ever the same in any two countries. While recognizing that national law applies to a company registered in that country (irrespective of the nationality of its owners and managers), and that it should be scrupulously followed, the laws on a particular matter may be less demanding in, say the country of the parent company. Some business practices which are covered by law in one country may be the subject of self-administered regulation or of voluntary codes of behavior in another. It follows that some subjects covered by the Declaration may already have the force of law in some countries.

 

The Interfaith Declaration was launched at St. James’s Palace, London, in May 1994. It has subsequently been widely circulated with translations into Arabic and German.

 

The Group responsible for its compilation wished to be used by business people, business organizations and those advising companies, perhaps by adopting it as the basis of their relationship with those involved in international business. It was also suggested that the topics included in the Declaration could be included in business training courses both by companies themselves and by colleges, universities and consultants who offer different types of business training throughout the world. The code reflects best practice and it is hoped that it will be seen as a useful means of addressing some of the crosscultural problems which arise in the course of international business relationships.

 

Simon Webley

 

 INTRODUCTION

 

A series of Interfaith consultations began in 1984 under the patronage of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and HRH Crown Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan. Followers of the three monotheistic faiths Christianity, Islam and Judaism took part, under the auspices of St. George’s House, Windsor and the Al Albait Foundation and the Arab Thought Forum in Amman. More recently Sir Evelyn de Rothschild has joined Their Royal Highnesses as a patron in this endeavor.

 

A group of distinguished members of the three religions convened perio- dically to deliberate on topics of common interest. Theologians, academics and prominent figures active in business and government were all involved. Conscious of and concerned about the effects of violent expressions of religious extremism not only in European and Muslim countries but throughout the world, the participants sought to highlight the importance of the shared moral, ethical and spiritual values inherent in the common Abrahamic tradition. Aware of the implicit danger of religious bigotry and the threats to the essential fabric of contemporary society, they placed a strong emphasis on the benefit of dialogue, forsaking stereotypical portrayal of each other. Constructive dialogue, difficult to conduct at the outset, developed as mutual confidence between the participants improved. A sense of purpose emerged as they recognised the need to overcome prevailing misconceptions and dispel longstanding misrepresentation. The consultations eventually culminated into consensus about a variety of topics including business ethics.

 

Recent consultations discussed an interfaith code of ethics for international business, formulated in the light of the religious traditions of the three monotheistic faiths. Discussions of the terms of the code began in 1988, and were concluded at a meeting held in October 1993 in Amman. The provisions of the guidelines reflect the ethical basis indicated in the teaching of the three religions. The Declaration has been drawn up by a group of eminent scholars, clerics, and business people from the three religions following a comprehensive review of the teachings of their respective religions with regard to ethical issues in the conduct of business. They concluded that the Declaration should be based on the shared concern for justice, mutual respect, stewardship and honesty.

 

The Declaration illustrates, in a practical way, that people of very different cultures or beliefs often have more in common than is sometimes apparent. It is hoped that the sense of the Declaration will be incorporated into Statements of Purpose or Codes of Conduct. It is offered on the understanding that it will help to facilitate expanding international economic activity, which is beneficial for harmonious international relations and prosperity.

 

Although the code does not attempt to cover all aspects of business behavior, it incorporates the best of contemporary business practice, as well as indicating the modes of good practice as enjoined by divine injunctions. It is recommended to adherents of the three faiths; and commended to leaders of international business, as well as teachers of business management, whether followers of the three monotheistic faiths or not.

 

Special thanks go to Mr. Simon Webley of the British-North American Research Association, for his work on the text.

 

I. BACKGROUND

 

A. ORIGIN AND PURPOSE OF THE DECLARATION

 

The globalization of business is now well established and growing. For instance:

  •  The volume of world trade is accelerating rapidly again.
  •  In 1994 it increased by 9.5% over 1993 and is expected to grow a further 8% in 1995. 
  •  In 1994 world merchandise trade was valued at $4090 billion. ($3,600 billion in 1963). 
  •  Cross border investment for productive purposes is expanding even faster than trade. As a result, cross cultural business relationships are multiplying. 
  •  Stocks and shares of most of the world’s largest enterprises are quoted on a variety of stock exchanges and their directors and staff come from many different countries. 

 

This exponential increase in international economic activity has, among other things, resulted in some serious differences in approach to business operations among some of the major participants.

 

To consider these differences and to see what could be done to resolve them, a group of distinguished leaders (businessmen, bankers and academics and clerics) from the three major monotheistic religions of the world (Muslim, Jewish and Christian) met 1989-94 under the auspices of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and Evelyn de Rothschild of England to see if it would be possible and useful to draw up a set of guidelines on business ethics which are applicable wherever economic activity involving adherents of their religions takes place. The group met four times and explored in some depth, the different approaches to behavioral problems arising in business relationships.

 

The participants were made aware of a range of business situations which could not be resolved solely by consulting legal texts or by applying strictly business (profit) criteria. The purpose of the resulting Declaration of International Business Ethics was to provide:

 

  •  a moral basis for international business activity 
  •  some principles of ethical practice to help business people, traders and investors identify the role they and their organisations perform in the communities in which they operate, and 
  •  guidance in resolving genuine dilemmas which arise in the course of day-to-day business. 

 

The group was conscious that the recent widespread reporting of the rhetoric and activities by extremist adherents (at least in name) of their three religions had produced in the mind of the general public the idea that only disunity and conflict characterized relationships, including business relationships, between those of different religious beliefs. The meetings of the group and the resultant Declaration indicate that whatever their particular insight of the truth may be-and it is acknowledged that there are differences-they nevertheless share a common heritage including a high degree of shared values. This particular group also shared a common ethical basis derived from one bookthe Bible-which they considered to be as relevant today as it has been in the past. The need to relate this relevance to contemporary business issues was felt to be particularly important. To do this, they sought to discover the basic values that their respective Faiths has in common which were relevant to economic activity.

 

Underlying this purpose was their shared concern that at the same time as material prosperity grew in the industrialized world, there is also emerging a value system which is considered to be detrimental to the wholesome development of human beings: selfishness and dishonesty are tending to supplant integrity and generosity. As a result, there is evidence that morality and ethical standards are declining This is exemplified by the wide reporting of dishonest and corrupt practices. Part of the problem was seen to be an ambivalence concerning what is considered right or wrong and economic relationships have not escaped its influence. The participants considered that a reiteration of ethical precepts in the form of a Declaration would make a contribution to sustaining and improving the standards of international business behavior.

 

It was acknowledged that such a code may be more difficult to apply in some countries than in others because of the different degree of influence that religion has within cultures. Both Muslims and, to a lesser extent Jews, operate within a social atmosphere that is conducive to the influence of their religious precepts being heeded, and where it is normal for moral and ethical concerns to be discussed within a religious ethos.

 

Christians in the industrialized countries generally do not enjoy this sup- port and guidance. They are dependent upon personal convictions which often have to be stated in a secular social atmosphere that has little sympathy with them. While the influence of Islamic institutions is more open and obvious, and that of Judaism still strong, the influence of Christianity is personal and subsumed.

 

In the final analysis, the application of ethical principles is a matter of personal judgement rather than rules; a code can only set standards. It follows that the Declaration (or indeed any code of ethics) is not a substitute for corporate or individual morality; it is a set of guidelines for good practice. Its authors hoped that it will contribute to maintaining high standards of business behavior as well as a better public understanding of the role of business in society.

 

B. METHOD

 

The method used in producing the Interfaith Declaration was to analysis the content of submissions by group members and a number of existing guidelines and codes which have been used by international organisations such as the International Chamber of Commerce.  Individual company codes of ethics too-were used where appropriate.  From these sources ethical issues in business can be classified under three general headings:

 

  •  The morality of the economic system in which business activity takes place. 
  •  The policies and strategies of organisations which engage in business. 
  •  The behavior of individual employees in the context of their work. 

In the Declaration, the distinction between these categories is recognised and there may indeed be other levels and sub-categories but the three selected are those where moral issues most commonly arise.

 

A second distinction which needs recognition is that while some ethical issues affect all types of industrial and commercial activity, there are others which are distinctive to a particular sector. The outstanding example is that between the provision of financial services (e.g. banking), and the manufacture and trading of products.

 

There is a third distinction. The legal framework in which business is conducted is not the same in all countries. For instance, the duties of company directors vary considerably and employment law, e.g. legal notice of dismissal or redundancy is hardly ever the same in any two countries. While recognizing that national law applies to a company registered in that country (irrespective of the nationality of its owners and managers), and that it should be scrupulously followed, the laws on the same matter may be less demanding in, say, the country of the parent company. Some areas of business practice which are covered by law in one country may be the subject of self administered regulation or of voluntary codes of behavior in another. Therefore, some subjects covered by the Declaration may, in practice, already have the force of law in some countries.

 

II. THE DECLARATION

 

A. PRINCIPLES 

 

The Declaration on International Business Ethics is built on the precepts of the three religions represented at the dialogues. Christians, Muslims and Jews have a common basis of religious; and moral teaching: they are the People of the Book. Four key concepts recur in the literature of the faiths and form the basis of any human interaction, and are applicable to business relationships. They are: justice (fairness), mutual respect (love and consideration), stewardship (trusteeship) and honesty (truthfulness). Each can be seen as a different expression of the same overall idea.

 

1. Justice

The first principle is justice which can be defined as just conduct, fairness, exercise of authority in maintenance of right. All three faiths agree that God created the world and that justice must characterize the relationship between its inhabitants. Fair dealings between each other and between believers and others is constantly reiterated in the Scriptures as are God’s justice and mercy in his dealings with humankind.

 

In the Muslim teaching it is seen as a basis of relationship. The Qur’an, Maida, v.9. states: “Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety, and fear God.”

 

It is also a strong theme in Jewish writing. For instance, a passage on the subject in Deuteronomy 16:18-20 concludes with the statement, “Justice, and only justice, you shall follow that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God gives you.”

 

Jesus too suggested that some of the Jewish teachers of his day neglected the weightier matters of the Torah: Justice and mercy and faith (Matt: 23: 23), and Christians are urged by Paul to “Consider what is just” (Phil. 4: 8).

 

2. Mutual Respect (Love)

The second principle-mutual respect or love and consideration for others -is also inherent in the moral teachings of each religion. The word love has many meanings. But, as is clear from the reading of Scripture, the God of justice and mercy is also the God of love. What Scripture expresses as love is here rendered as mutual respect or reciprocal regard that exists between two individuals.

 

The statement in Leviticus 19: 18 “Love your neighbor as yourself,” which is reiterated by the Prophet Mohammed as “Love for yourself what you love for others” (), and by Jesus as “You shall love your neighbor as your self” (Matt. 22: 39), is a common ethical basis for all interpersonal relationships. The application of this has come to mean that self interest only has a place in the community in as much as it takes into account the interests of others. My neighbor in the business context can be defined as any person (individual or corporate) with whom the organisation comes into contact in the course of business life. Of paramount importance in this respect is the employee.

 

The illustration of the Good Samaritan given by Jesus to an enquiry from a Jewish lawyer as to who was his neighbor (Luke 10: 30-37), indicates that one’s neighbor is not always of the same ethnic origin or economic status as oneself. Indeed, a neighbor may be much weaker or vulnerable or a different race or religion. A business application of this would be in the case of a small company supplying a large one. The principle of love would suggest that restraint in the use of power by the strong, especially in difficult times, would be ethically correct, and in accord with the written precepts of the three religions. It follows that a large sophisticated company based in a developed country should treat a supplier or customer from a developing nation in the same way it would treat a firm with whom it does business in its home country.

 

3. Stewardship

A third principle which the three faiths have in common is that of stewardship (trusteeship) of God’s creation and all that is in it. It is a richly diverse universe: “...and it was good.” The Scriptures testify to the beauties and wonders of nature as signs of God’s goodness and providence. Humanity is set over it all with delegated responsibility, a steward charged with its care and proper use for which s/he will have to give account. The Scriptures know nothing of absolute ownership: the human is God’s trustee.

 

While this may be readily understood by an owner of a small business or an inheritor of an agricultural holding, the principle is applicable to anyone who is entrusted with the responsibility of managing scarce resources. It applies equally to individual wealth, the long-term viability of a business, and the use of renewable resources. Ownership is not seen, therefore, to be absolute. As such, businesses have an obligation to use resources for the benefit of the people in society at large as well as for its stockholders.

 

Muslims point to two Qur’anic verses on this topic: “And bestow upon them of the wealth of Allah which He has bestowed upon you” (Sura [Light] 24, 33). “And spend of that whereof He has made you trustees” (Sura [Iron] 57, 7). An authentic saying of the prophet Mohammed confirms this concept of humanity’s responsibility for its wealth. It proclaims that no man or woman will be allowed to proceed to their reward on the day of the judgement unless they first give account of their deeds, which includes how they obtained their wealth and how they used it.

 

Jews too, have encompassed the concept of stewardship in their teachings concerning responsibility in society. The patriarch David stated: “Who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you” (1 Chr. 29: 14).

 

The New Testament stresses the accountability of Christians for the way they have used resources. Jesus summed this up by stating: “From everyone to whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48).

 

This principle provides a longer term perspective for business decisions than is likely to be found where the concept of absolute ownership predominates. It also provides the basis for a proper concern for the natural environment on which business activity makes considerable demands. It implies a caring management not a selfish exploitation and is concerned with both present and future.

 

4. Honesty

The fourth principle inherent to the value system of each of the three faiths is honesty. It incorporates the concepts of truthfulness and reliability and covers all aspects of relationships in human life-thought, word and action. It is more than just accuracy, it is an attitude which is well summed up in the word “integrity.”

 

In precepts and parables, Scripture urges truth and honesty in all dealings between human beings. It is stressed that dishonesty is an abomination and bearing false witness breaches the basic laws of God. In business dealings, “true scales, true weights, true measures” are to be used. Speaking the truth is a requirement for everyone.

 

Muslims place considerable emphasis on truthfulness in business. For instance, in a Hadith it is stated: “The merchant whose words and transactions are righteous and who is a trusty man will be (resurrected) amongst the martyrs in the day of judgement” (Ibn Mace, Sunan, II/724, no. 2139 [Ticaveti]).

 

Jews too constantly stress honesty as the basis for human relationships. The book of Leviticus is explicit concerning honesty in business: “You shall have true scales, true weights, true measures” (Lev. 19: 36), and “All who act dis- honestly are an abomination to the Lord” (Dt. 26: 16), and regarding truthfulness, the Decalogue states: “You should not bear false witness” (Ex. 20: 16).

 

Christians also expect honesty and truthfulness to characterize the lives of believers. Jesus states that doing what is true is a test of obedience to God: “He who does what is true comes to the light that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought of God” (John 3: 2) and Paul urged the Ephesian Christians: “You shall speak the truth in love”(Eph. 4: 15).

 

These four principles, justice, love, stewardship and honesty form the moral basis of the Declaration that follows.

 

GUIDELINES

 

A. BUSINESS & POLITICAL ECONOMY

 

All business activity takes place within the context of a political and economic system. It is recognised that:

 

1.  Business is part of the social order. Its primary purpose is to meet human and material needs by producing and distributing goods and services in an efficient manner. How this role is carried out-the means as well as the end-is important to the whole of society.

 

2. Competition between businesses has generally been shown to be the most effective way to ensure that resources are not wasted, costs are minimized and prices fair. The State has a duty to see that markets operate effectively, competition is maintained and natural monopolies are regulated. Business will not seek to frustrate this.

 

3. All economic systems have flaws; that based on free and open markets is morally neutral and has great potential for good. Private enterprise, sometimes in partnership with the State, has the potential to make efficient and sustainable use of resources, thereby creating wealth which can be used for the benefit of everyone.

 

4. There is no basic conflict between good business practice and profit making. Profit is one measure of efficiency and is of paramount importance in the functioning of the system. It provides for the maintenance and growth of business, thus expanding employment opportunities and is the means of a rising living standard for all concerned. It also acts as an incentive to work and be enterprising. It is from the profit of companies that society can reasonably levy taxes to finance its wider needs.

 

5. Because the free market system, like any other, is open to abuse, it can be used for selfish or sectional interests, or it can be used for good. The State has an obligation to provide a framework of law in which business can operate honestly and fairly and business will obey and respect the law of the State in which it operates.

 

6. As business is a partnership of people of varying gifts they should never be considered as merely a factor of production. The terms of their employment will be consistent with the highest standards of human dignity.

 

7. The efficient use of scarce resources will be ensured by the business. Resources employed by corporations include finance (savings), technology (machinery) and land and natural renewable resources). All are important and most are scarce.

 

8. Business has a responsibility to future generations to improve the quality of goods and service, not to degrade the natural environment in which it operates and seek to enrich the lives of those who work within it. Short-term profitability should not be pursued at the expense of long term viability of the business. Neither should business operations disadvantage the wider community.

 

B. THE POLICIES OF A BUSINESS

 

Business activity involves human relationships; it is the question of balancing the reasonable interests of those involved in the process: i.e., the stakeholders, that produces moral and ethical problems. The policies of the business will therefore be based on the principles set out in the paragraphs above and in particular:

 

1. The board of directors will be responsible for seeing that the business operates strictly within the letter and spirit of the laws of nations in which it works. If these laws are rather less rigorous in some parts of the world where the business operates than in others, the higher standards will normally be applied everywhere.

 

2. The board will issue a written statement concerning the objectives, operating policies of the organisation and their application. It will set out clearly the obligations of the company towards the different stakeholders involved with a business [employees, shareholders, lenders, customers, suppliers and the community (local and national government)].

 

3. The basis of the relationship with the principal stakeholders shall be honesty and fairness, by which is meant integrity, in all relationships as will as reliability in all commitments made on behalf of the organisation.

 

4. The business shall maintain a continuing relationship with each of the groups with which it is involved. It will provide effective means to communicate information affecting the stakeholders. This relationship is based on trust.

 

5. The best practice to be adopted in dealings with six particular stakeholders can be summarized as follows:

 

a) Employees

 

Employees make a unique contribution to an organisation; it follows that in their policies, businesses shall where appropriate, take notice of trade union positions and provide:

 

i) Working conditions that are safe and healthy and conducive to high standards of work.

 

ii) Levels of remuneration that are fair and just, that recognize the employees’ contribution to the organisation and the performance of the sector of the business in which they work.

 

 

iii) A respect for the individual (whether male or female) in their beliefs, their family responsibility and their need to grow as human beings. It will provide equal opportunities in training and promotion for all members of the organisation. It will not discriminate in its policies on grounds of race, color, creed, or gender.

 

b) Providers of Finance

 

A business cannot operate without finance. There is therefore, a partnership between the provider and the user. The company borrowing money shall give to the lender:

 

i) What has been agreed to be repaid at the due dates.

 

ii) Adequate safeguards in using the resources entrusted.

 

iii) Regular information on the operations of the business and opportunities to raise with directors matters concerning their performance.

 

c) Customers

 

Without customers a business cannot survive. In selling products or services, a company shall provide for the customer:

 

i) The quality and standard of service which has been agreed.

 

ii) After-sales service commensurate with the type of product or service and the price paid. iii) Where applicable, a contract written in unambiguous terms.

 

iv) Informative and accurate information regarding the use of the product or service especially where misuse can be dangerous.

 

d) Suppliers

 

Suppliers provide a daily flow of raw materials, products and services to enable a business to operate. The relationship with suppliers is normally a long term one and must therefore be based on mutual trust. The company shall:

 

i) Undertake to pay its suppliers promptly and in accordance with agreed terms of trade.

 

ii) Not use its buying power in an unscrupulous fashion. iii) Require buyers to report offers of gifts or favors of unusual size or questionable purpose. e) Community (Local and National Government) While companies have an obligation to work within the law, they must also take into account the effects of their activities on local and national communities. In particularly they shall:

 

i) Ensure that they protect the local environment from harmful emissions from manufacturing plant, excessive noise and any practice likely to endanger humans, animals or plant life.

 

ii) Consider the social consequences of company decisions e.g. plant closures, choice of new sites or expansion of existing ones.

 

iii) Not tolerate any form of bribery, extortion or other corrupt or corrupting practices in business dealings.

 

f) Owners (shareholders)

 

The shareholders undertake the risks of ownership. The elected directors shall:

 

i) Protect the interests of shareholders.

 

ii) See that the company’s accounting statements are true and timely.

 

iii) See that shareholders are kept informed of all major happenings affecting the company.

 

C. CONDUCT OF INDIVIDUALS AT WORK

 

The following are based on best ethical practice for employees in a business. Employees of an organisation shall:

 

1. Implement the decisions of those to whom he or she is responsible which are lawful and in accordance with the company’s policies in cooperation with colleagues.

 

2. Avoid all abuse of power for personal gain, advantage or prestige and in particular refuse bribes or other inducements of any sort intended to encourage dishonesty or to break the law.

 

3. Not use any information acquired in the business for personal gain or for the benefit of relatives or outside associates.

 

4. Reveal the facts to his superiors whenever his personal business or financial interests become involved with those of the company.

 

5. Be actively concerned with the difficulties and problems of subordinates, treat them fairly and lead them effectively, assuring them a right of reasonable access and appeal to those to whom their immediate superior is responsible.

 

6. Bring to the attention of superiors the likely effects on employees of the company’s plans for the future so that such effects can be fully taken into account.

 

APPENDIX

THE USES OF THE DECLARATION

 

This Declaration is offered to business people, business organisations and those who advise companies as a basis for sound ethical business practice.

 

Relevant sectors of it can be adopted by corporations as an international standard of business ethics and be acknowledged as such in corporate Annual Reports.

 

To be effective, it needs endorsement at the highest level of business management and a means will need to be devised to make employees at all levels aware of its existence. Some ways of doing this are:

 

  •  Reproduce it as a booklet with a foreword from the Corporation’s Chair. 
  •  Include it in literature given to all new employees. 
  •  Make it a subject in all internal training courses. 
  •  See that the topics contained in the Declaration are included in business training courses offered in colleges and universities. 
  •  It also requires a method to see that its precepts are carried out.

Workplace Code of Conduct (2007)

Organization: Fair Labor Association Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
October 23, 2007

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Workplace Code of Conduct

Workplace Code of Conduct

There shall not be any use of forced labor, whether in the form of prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or otherwise.

 

Child Labor No person shall be employed at an age younger than 15 (or 14 where the law of the country of manufacture* allows) or younger than the age for completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture where such age is higher than 15.

 

Harassment or Abuse Every employee shall be treated with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.

 

Nondiscrimination No person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment, including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin.

 

Health and Safety Employers shall provide a safe and healthy working environment to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or as a result of the operation of employer facilities.

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

 

Wages and Benefits Employers recognize that wages are essential to meeting employees' basic needs. Employers shall pay employees, as a floor, at least the minimum wage required by local law or the prevailing industry wage, whichever is higher, and shall provide legally mandated benefits.

 

Hours of Work Except in extraordinary business circumstances, employees shall (i) not be required to work more than the lesser of (a) 48 hours per week and 12 hours overtime or (b) the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture or, where the laws of such country do not limit the hours of work, the regular work week in such country plus 12 hours overtime and (ii) be entitled to at least one day off in every seven day period.

 

Overtime Compensation In addition to their compensation for regular hours of work, employees shall be compensated for overtime hours at such premium rate as is legally required in the country of manufacture or, in those countries where such laws do not exist, at a rate at least equal to their regular hourly compensation rate.

 

Any Company that determines to adopt the Workplace Code of Conduct shall, in addition to complying with all applicable laws of the country of manufacture, comply with and support the Workplace Code of Conduct in accordance with the attached Principles of Monitoring {click here to see the Principles of Monitoring} and shall apply the higher standard in cases of differences or conflicts. Any Company that determines to adopt the Workplace Code of Conduct also shall require its licensees and contractors and, in the case of a retailer, its suppliers to comply with applicable local laws and with this Code in accordance with the Principles of Monitoring and to apply the higher standard in cases of differences or conflicts.

 

* * *
*All references to local law throughout this Code shall include regulations implemented in accordance with applicable local law.

© 2005 Fair Labor Association. All rights reserved.
Fair Labor Association - 1505 22nd Street, NW - Washington, DC 20037

Professional Employment Guidelines (1978)

Organization: American Chemical Society Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
1978

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Professional Employment Guidelines

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
1155 SIXTEENTH ST., N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036


FOREWORD


This publication of Professional Employment Guidelines incorporates all guidelines proposed by the Committee on Professional Relations, adopted by the Council and endorsed by the Board of Directors, including actions taken at the Council meeting on March 15,1978 and by the Board of Directors at its meeting on June 10, 1978.

 

The origins of the guidelines extend back over many years, and the history of their development is a fascinating story in itself. But this document will merely note that these years bear witness to the dedication, patience, foresight, and tenacity of countless persons who contributed to the development of Professional Employment Guidelines and their adoption by the Council and endorsement by the Board. Innumerable hours have been expended by councilors and other ACS members in proposing, analyzing, deliberating, and finally voting upon these concepts and the formulations of them expressed here.

 

For those who cherish the democratic process, there can be satisfaction in the realization that Professional Employment Guidelines represent a consensus of the Council, which is the largest member-elected body in the ACS. For those who value a clear statement of rights and responsibilities for employers and for chemists, there can be a sense of achievement in the Council's acceptance and the Board's endorsement of these guidelines.

In a formal sense, the Committee on Professional Relations has prime responsibility for overseeing the implementation and observance of Professional Employment Guidelines. On this point, the committee has a proven record of public accountability to the Council and the membership. But in a true sense, all ACS members have a duty to know and observe these guidelines and to bring departures from their spirit and content to the committee's attention.

 

Professional Employment Guidelines


Prepared by the Council Committee On Professional Relations
American Chemical Society

 

Preamble

The American Chemical Society seeks to enhance the productivity and economic welfare of both chemists* and the employers of chemists by the delineation of employment practices that collectively foster the mutual confidence and mutual security of employers and employed chemists and by the review of the practices of individual chemists and employers.

 

I. Terms of Employment


The Chemist

1. The prospective employee should apply only for those positions in which he or she has a sincere interest. Any interview expenses to be reimbursed by the prospective employer must be reported accurately. If more than one employer is visited on an interview trip, expenses should be prorated fairly.

2. The chemist should inform any new employer of previous employment agreements, and should exclude trade secrets or proprietary information of previous employers from new employment agreements. The chemist should not seek or accept employment on the basis of using or divulging any trade secrets or proprietary information.

3. The chemist is obligated to honor an offer of employment once accepted unless formally released after giving adequate notice of intent. All of these obligations should be made in writing.

4. The chemist should not use the funds or facilities of the current employer for the purpose of seeking new employment unless approved by the current employer.


The Employer

1. The conditions of employment should be described fully to the prospective employee. A written statement of these conditions should be supplied to the chemist at the time an employment offer is made.

2. Legal obligations of the chemist to the employer should be clearly set forth in an employment agreement.

3. Employment, advancement and compensation shall be based, without regard to sex, age, race, religion, or political affiliation on professional competence and ability to perform assigned responsibilities, Sound indirect compensation programs should include, among others, retirement benefits, health, disability and life insurance, sick leave, and paid holidays and vacations. Permanent (regular) part-time employees should be provided with adjusted indirect compensation programs that are at least proportional to the programs for full-time employees.

4. The employer is obligated to honor a written and accepted offer of a position. If unable to honor it, the employer should provide the chemist with equitable compensation.

5. The employer should recognize that at times during the chemist's employment, family or professional responsibilities may necessitate special arrangements such as the granting of personal leaves, flexible working schedules, and part-time employment. The chemist should be informed at the time of employment that these considerations are available and negotiable.

6. A statement of termination policy should be made available to the candidate during the interviewing process.


II. Employment Environment


The Chemist

1. The chemist should engage in all assignments diligently and judiciously, employing his or her most creative and resourceful ideas.

2. The chemist should strive to foster a stimulating and productive work atmosphere.

3. The chemist should solicit and actively participate in regular performance reviews.

4. The chemist should use all necessary safety procedures, and should inform the employer of any hazards in the working environment.

5. The chemist, mindful of his or her responsibility to the public, should strive to insure that products and processes are adequately tested, and that potential hazards are properly identified.

6. The chemist should respect and maintain the confidentiality of the employer's trade secrets and proprietary information,

7. The chemist should use the period of an enforced work stoppage occurring on the premises in a constructive and professional manner.


The Employer

1. The employer should provide physical facilities that enable the chemist to work safely and efficiently, New personnel should be instructed in the proper handling of material and equipment in order to minimize risks of personal injury. Continuing environmental studies should be conducted to assure that chemists are asked to function only under safe working conditions.

2. The employer should insure that normal working hours leave the chemist adequate time for personal study, rest, and recreation.

3. Management should periodically review each chemist's aptitude, professional growth, and suitability and, within the framework of job requirements, make assignments to utilize these capabilities. If an arrangement is not beneficial, an appropriate reassignment should be made.

4. The employer should maintain conditions that will enable the chemist to make his or her best contributions.

5. The employer should strive to insure that products and processes are adequately tested, and that potential hazards are properly identified to the public.

6. Performance reviews should be made on a regular basis at least annually. Confidential written records of such reviews should be employee attested and maintained by both the employer and the employee. The employer has the responsibility to discuss fully and promptly with the chemist any unacceptable performance or ineptitude. The chemist should be advised of means to meet the employer's standards.

7. Judgment of the chemist's scientific performance should be rendered by a supervisor who is also a scientific peer. Additionally, the supervisor should consider the evaluation of the chemist's scientific performance by scientific peers.

8. Dual ladders of advancement for chemical supervisors and chemists should be provided and should be realistic. Financial rewards for individuals at the same level should be similar, even though responsibilities are different.

9. Managerial and technical contributions should both be considered as essential to the success of the corporate effort. The chemist should be provided with economic data and appropriate financial and business documents pertaining to his or her effort.

10. Meritorious performance should be rewarded by financial compensation. Increasing levels of skill and responsibility should be rewarded by professional advancement. Extraordinary contributions to patentable inventions, trade secrets or know-how should be compensated by specific rewards commensurate with the value of the contributions to the employer.

11. The chemist should be permitted to consult with other professionals in the field so as to enhance the individual's capabilities. The interchange should be permitted with the understanding that the chemist will not reveal confidential company information in such discussions. In the event of scientific controversy, it is recognized that the chemist will act as an individual and not as a representative of the company.

12. The employer should not inhibit the movement of a chemist from one organization to another, even a competitor, through the use of such practices as covenants not to compete, and claims to subsequently conceived inventions. Competing employers should not assign a relocated chemist to projects which could compromise professional ethics through the use of trade secrets information.

13. The academic employer should observe the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges.

14. The employer should not penalize the chemist who performs only his or her duties during any enforced work stoppage occurring on the premises.


III. Professional Development


The Chemist

1. The chemist is responsible for maintaining technical competence and for self-development through continuing education. Additionally, the chemist should support and participate in the activities of appropriate technical societies to enhance professional growth.

2. The chemist should serve the public by using his or her specialized knowledge while participating in civic and political activities. Such participation, however, should be undertaken solely as a responsibility of the individual without involving the employer.

3. The chemist should give credit to all colleagues who contribute to technical accomplishments.


The Employer

1. The chemist should, as a matter of policy, be encouraged to attend meetings and to take formal courses of study which will enable the individual to maintain scientific competence.

2. The employer should permit reasonable compensated leaves of absence for professional study in order to maintain competence or to improve knowledge in the chemist's field.

3. The chemist should be encouraged and given the opportunity to publish work in scientific journals and to present findings at scientific meetings.

4. The chemist should be given an opportunity to participate in professional and scientific society affairs. The chemist should be allowed sufficient time consistent with the performance of regular duties to carry out responsibilities in such organizations.

5. The chemist should have freedom to participate in political and community activities.


IV. Termination Conditions


The Chemist

1. The chemist who intends to terminate employment should notify the employer in writing and provide a minimum of four weeks' advance notice. The chemist should assist the employer to maintain continuity of function.


The Employer

1. The employer should by appropriate forward planning provide stability of employment and avoid multiple terminations.

2. No chemist should be terminated for inadequate performance or for cause without documented evidence and review by two levels of management, provided such levels of management exist, above the immediate supervisor. The opinion of scientific peers should also be considered.

An academic chemist regardless of tenure status who is dismissed during a contract period or whose contract is not renewed at a contract anniversary should be accorded full academic due process.

3. No chemist having a minimum of 10 years' total service should be terminated except for continuing evidence of previously documented inadequate performance or for cause.

4. Any chemist who is terminated should be notified in writing and be given a minimum of four weeks' advance notice.

For academic chemists, termination notices should be given at least 3 months in advance of the end of the contract for the first year of service, at least 6 months for the second year, and at least 12 months for the third or later years.

5. The chemist should receive severance pay consisting of two weeks' salary for each year of service, beyond the minimum of four weeks' advance notice. Additional notice in lieu of severance pay may be provided by mutual consent of both parties.

6. Every effort should be made to place the individual in another position within the organization, including retraining for a new position if necessary. When it is determined that such relocation is not possible, the chemist should be given assistance in finding employment elsewhere.

7. Any chemist terminated with a minimum of 10 years' total service should have fully vested pension rights with survivor benefits.

8. Any chemist who is involuntarily retired by an employer should be treated at least as well as an employee dismissed for economic reasons (i.e., be given severance pay, notice, vested pension privileges, etc.).

9. The employer should continue life insurance and medical care plans for a minimum of one month, plus two weeks for each year of employee service, at the same rate of contribution as when the terminee was an employee. The employee would have an additional 31 day grace period.

10. The employer should follow a policy of rehiring those terminated in a retrenchment before similarly qualified employees are recruited. Rehire privileges should be carefully explained to terminated employees.


Definition of a Multiple Termination


A multiple termination occurs when the employment of three or more chemists or chemical engineers is terminated within a six-month period for reasons other than: 1) continuing evidence of previously documented inadequate performance, 2) completion of a contract, or 3) cause. The academic chemists or chemical engineers must be tenured or in a tenure-leading position.


Investigation of Unprofessional Conduct


The Chemist

1. The Committee on Professional Relations will investigate instances of conduct by chemists reported to be in violation of the Professional Employment Guidelines.

2. The conclusions of the committee will be communicated to the parties involved.

3. Documented instances of unethical conduct can lead to initiation of proceedings before the Council of the American Chemical Society, in accordance with Article IV, Sec. 3 of the Constitution and Bylaw 1, Sec. 7.


The Employer

1. The Committee on Professional Relations will investigate instances of conduct by employers reported to be in violation of the Professional Employment Guidelines.

2. The committee will extend assistance to chemists whom the committee has deemed to have been treated unprofessionally.

3. Documented unprofessional conduct by an employer can lead to citation before the Council of the American Chemical Society and subsequent publication.

 

*For brevity the term "chemist" in the Guidelines refers to both chemists and chemical engineers.

Professional Employment Guidelines (1988)

Organization: American Chemical Society Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
1988

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Professional Employment Guidelines

Copyright, 1988
American Chemical Society
1155 Sixteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

 

Foreword

This is the fourth edition of the Professional Employment Guidelines of the American Chemical Society. Like previous editions, these Guidelines were prepared by the Council Committee on Professional Relations, approved by the Council, and adopted by the Board of Directors of the ACS.

 

The Guidelines embody a broad spectrum of recommended practices in employment for both professional scientists and their employers. They are divided into four major sections: Terms of Employment, Employment Environment, Professional Development, Termination Conditions. The ACS "Definition of a Chemist" and "The Chemist's Creed" are included for reference at the end.

 

The history of these Guidelines dates back to 1939 when the Committee on Professional Status prepared a report for the Council on employment rights and responsibilities of professional scientists, "Employer-Employee Legal Relationships." Employer treatment of scientists as professionals was dealt with in an article in Chemical & Engineering News in 1945,  "Responsibilities of Employers to Professional Employees." "The Chemists Creed" (1965) provides a guide to ethics for members of the chemical profession.

 

In the early 1970s, the Committee recognized that written standards were needed to assist employers in understanding the interests of scientists. Parallel standards were developed for employees in the chemical profession, leading to the first edition(1) of these Guidelines in 1975. The second edition(2), in 1978, incorporated sections directed to the special needs of chemists employed in academic institutions. The third edition(3), in 1983, added emphasis on professional treatment of employed chemists. In this edition, effort has been made to reorganize the earlier editions and to emphasize the ethical obligations of scientists and employers with reference to hazardous materials and the environment.

 

It is the intention of the Committee to prepare a separate set of Guidelines to deal with the relationships between graduate students and their employers.

 

As with all documents which seek to provide guidance for relationships between individuals and organizations, the Guidelines must change with changing times. The Committee undertakes to carry this out at approximately five-year intervals.

 

The American Chemical Society, as the world's largest association of professional scientists, has the opportunity

to set an example for all. It is the Committee's hope that these Guidelines truly represent a fair and equitable balance between employer and professional employee and that they will be implemented and observed as fully as possible.

 

1. First Edition:

Approved by the Council and adopted by the Board of Directors, April 19, 1975.

2. Second Edition: Approved by the Council, March 15, 1978, and adopted by the Board of Directors, June 10, 1978.

3. Third Edition: Approved by the Council, August 31, 1983, and adopted by the Board of Directors, September 23, 1983.

4. Fourth Edition:

Approved by the Council, September 28, 1988, and adopted by the Board of Directors, December 11, 1988.


Professional Employment Guidelines


Prepared by the Council Committee on Professional Relations
American Chemical Society

 

Preamble

The American Chemical Society seeks to enhance the professional security, productivity, and economic status of chemists*, and the health of institutions that employ them, by the delineation of preferred employment practices. These Guidelines recommend practices for individual chemists and their employers that will foster a more satisfactory working relationship. The Society endorses the application of these Guidelines to all professional employment.

 

I. Terms of Employment


The Chemist

C1. The prospective employee should apply only for positions in which there is a serious interest, a belief that the job qualifications are met, and a willingness to consider acceptance of an employment offer. The prospective employee should forthrightly and accurately provide all appropriate requested background information, including qualifications and interests, so that the employment candidacy may be accurately evaluated.

C2. Any interview expenses to be reimbursed by the prospective employer should be reported accurately. If more than one employer is visited on an interview trip, expenses should be prorated fairly.

C3. The chemist should inform a new employer of previous employment agreements and should exclude trade secrets or proprietary information of previous employers from new employment agreements. The chemist should not seek or accept employment on the basis of using or divulging any trade secrets or proprietary information.

C4. The chemist should disclose in a timely fashion and convey title to all inventions to the employer if: the employer provides space, time, labor, or equipment in pursuit of the invention; or the invention involves a product or process of the employer; or the invention relates directly to the business of the employer. The chemist should submit any material to be published that involves work done as an employee to the employer and where appropriate assign copyright.

C5. The chemist is obligated to honor an offer of employment which has been accepted, unless formally released after giving adequate notice of intent. All of these obligations should be made in writing.

C6. The chemist should not use the funds or facilities of a current employer for the purpose of seeking new employment without approval.


The Employer

El. Employment, compensation, and advancement should be based upon professional competence and performance, without regard to sex, race, religion, age, physical handicap, or any other factor that is not relevant to the job.

E2. An employer should accurately describe an available position with a complete and candid disclosure of the qualifications required and the employment environment.

E3. Conditions of employment should be described fully to the prospective employee. A written statement of these conditions, including a copy of the employment contract or agreement, should be supplied to the chemist at the time an employment offer is made. Special conditions for the continuation of employment, such as temporary funding or outside contracts, should be specified. A written statement of termination policy should also be made available to the candidate at the time the employment offer is made.

E4. The employer has an obligation to respond in a timely fashion to correspondence from the chemist, including acknowledgment of receipt of documents needed for proper consideration of the applicant. The employer is obligated to honor a written and accepted offer of a position. If unable to honor it, the employer should provide the chemist with equitable reparation.

E5. Legal obligations of the chemist to the employer should be set forth clearly in an employment agreement. The employer should not assert title to inventions that: were developed on the employee's own time; and did not involve equipment, facilities, supervision, or trade secrets of the employer; and do not relate directly to the business of the employer. The employer should not assert copyright to an employee's work that is performed outside the scope of the employee's duties. The employer should transfer patent rights to the employee when the employer has no continuing interest in an invention and has received a full disclosure of the invention and a written request for release.

E6. Sound indirect compensation programs should be provided to include, among other items, health, disability, and life insurance, sick leave, paid holidays and vacations, and a retirement plan. Indirect compensation plans should be fully specified in writing when an employment offer is extended.

E7. All professional employees should be vested in the employer's pension plan, including provisions for survivor benefits, after a maximum of five years of employment. The employer should devise a schedule for partial vesting for employees with less than five years' service. All vested funds should be fully portable.

E8. A retirement plan should be offered which has an element of portability and which is structured so that the employer-provided pension, combined with social security and savings by the employee, will permit continuation of the employee's pre-retirement lifestyle. The fund that supports the plan should not revert to the employer until vested employee interests have been met. Employers should regularly adjust pension payments and benefits to retirees to reflect changes in the cost of living.

E9. Regular part-time and temporary employees should be provided with adjusted indirect compensation programs that are at least proportional to the programs for full-time employees.

E10. The employer should notify employees, in writing, of the employer's policy of professional liability.

Ell. The employer should recognize that at times during the chemist's employment, family or professional responsibilities may necessitate special arrangements, such as the granting of personal leaves, flexible working schedules, and part-time employment. The chemist should be informed at the time of employment that these considerations are available and negotiable.

E12. In the event that a company or institution is purchased by or merged with another, an employee's years of service should be calculated from the date employed by the initial company or institution.


II. Employment Environment


The Chemist

C1. The chemist should perform assignments diligently, honestly, and judiciously, utilizing creative and resourceful ideas for the benefit of the employer. The chemist should be responsive to changes in the employer's business and research objectives.

C2. The chemist should strive to foster a stimulating and productive work atmosphere.

C3. The chemist should respect and maintain the confidentiality of the employer's trade secrets and proprietary information.

C4. The chemist should solicit and actively participate in regular performance reviews.

C5. The chemist should use all necessary safety procedures and should inform the employer of any hazards or unnecessary exposures to chemicals in the environment.

C6. The chemist should not use drugs, legal or illegal, in such a way as to endanger others or adversely affect professional performance in the workplace.

C7. The chemist should strive to insure that products and processes are adequately tested and that potential hazards to human health or the environment, including air emissions, water effluents, and discharges to land, are properly identified. The chemist should inform the employer of measures that might reduce environmental risks.

C8. During a period of an enforced work stoppage occurring on the premises, the chemist should perform usual professional duties, if circumstances permit.


The Employer

El. The employer should maintain conditions that will enable the chemist to make the best professional contributions.

E2. The employer should provide physical facilities that enable the chemist to work safely and efficiently. New personnel should be instructed in the proper handling of material and equipment to minimize risks of personal injury. Continuing environmental studies should be conducted to assure the health and safety of both workers and the surrounding community.

E3. The employer should assure that required working hours normally leave the chemist adequate time for study and personal responsibilities.

E4. Management should periodically review each chemist's aptitude and professional growth and, within the framework of job requirements, make assignments to utilize these capabilities. If an arrangement is not mutually beneficial, an appropriate reassignment should be made.

E5. The employer should inform the chemist, insofar as practical, of current and future organizational business and research objectives which will have an impact upon the chemist's work or career.

E6. In the event that the employer requests relocation of a chemist, all relocation costs should be the responsibility of the employer.

E7. The employer should strive to insure that products and processes are adequately tested and that potential hazards to human health or the environment, including air emissions, water effluents, and discharges to land, are properly identified to the public.

E8. Performance reviews should be made on a regular basis, at least annually. Confidential written records of such reviews should be employee-attested and maintained by both the employer and the employee. The employer has the responsibility to discuss fully and promptly with the chemist any unacceptable performance or ineptitude, and to document the results of this review. The chemist should be advised of means to meet the employer's standards and should be given reasonable time and assistance to meet those standards.

E9. The performance review should be a thorough, objective evaluation of performance, without regard to sex, race, religion, age, physical handicap, or any factor which is not relevant to the job.

E10. Judgment of the chemist's professional performance should be rendered by a supervisor who is also a professional peer. Additionally, the supervisor should consider the evaluation of the chemist's professional performance by other professional peers.

Ell. Meritorious performance should be rewarded by financial compensation. Increasing levels of skill and responsibility should be rewarded by professional advancement. The employer should establish recognition programs for employed inventors. Extraordinary contributions to patentable inventions, trade secrets, or know-how should be compensated by specific rewards commensurate with the value of the contributions to the employer.

E12. Dual ladders of advancement for chemical supervisors and chemists should be provided and should be realistic. Financial rewards for individuals at the same level should be comparable.

E13. Both managerial and technical contributions should be considered as essential to the success of the organizational effort. Appropriate economic data and financial and business documents pertinent to the chemist's technical effort should be provided.

E14. The chemist should be permitted to interact with other professionals in the field so as to enhance the individual chemist's capabilities. In the event of scientific controversy, it is recognized that the chemist should act as an individual scientist and not necessarily as a representative of the employer.

E15. The employer should not inhibit the movement of a chemist from one organization to another, even a competitor, through the use of contractual obligations not to compete, or claims to subsequently conceived inventions. Competing employers should not hire chemists for assignments to projects that could compromise professional ethics through the use of trade secrets or information.

E16. The academic employer should observe the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges.

E17. The employer should not require the chemist to perform involuntarily other than professional duties during any enforced work stoppage occurring on the premises.


III. Professional Development


The Chemist

C1. The chemist is responsible for maintaining technical competence and for self-development through continuing education. The chemist should support and participate in the activities of appropriate technical societies to enhance professional growth.

C2. The chemist should serve the public by using professional specialized knowledge while participating in civic and political activities. Such participation, however, should be undertaken solely as a responsibility of the individual, without involving the employer.

C3. The chemist should give proper credit to all colleagues who contribute to technical accomplishments.

C4. It is the responsibility of the chemist to obtain appropriate approvals from the employer before submitting work for publication or presenting findings at scientific meetings.


The Employer

El. The chemist should, as a matter of policy, be encouraged to attend meetings and to undertake formal courses of study that will enable the individual to maintain scientific competence.

E2. The chemist should be encouraged and given the opportunity to publish work in scientific journals and to present findings at scientific meetings.

E3. The chemist should be given an opportunity to participate in professional and scientific society affairs. The chemist should be allowed sufficient time, consistent with the performance of regular duties, to carry out responsibilities in such organizations.

E4. The employer should permit reasonable leaves of absence, preferably compensated, for professional study to maintain or improve scientific knowledge throughout a chemist's career.

E5. The employer should encourage self-development by providing reasonable financial assistance to employees who wish to further their education related to present or potential organizational assignments or to obtain an academic degree related to such assignments.

E6. The employer should respect the right of the chemist to participate as an individual in political and community activities.


IV. Termination Conditions


The Chemist

C1. The chemist who intends to terminate employment should notify the employer in writing and provide a minimum advance notice of four weeks.

C2. The terminating chemist should assist the employer to maintain a continuity of function.

C3. The terminating chemist should provide the employer with adequate records of technical work that has been done, including publications, invention disclosures, and other related documentation, and also arrange for disposition of chemicals and other materials which will no longer be required.


The Employer

El. The employer should, by appropriate planning, provide stability of employment and avoid multiple terminations.

E2. If, despite the above Guideline, an employer reorganizes operations involving chemists, every effort should be made to transfer affected chemists to other suitable positions within the organization. Appropriate additional training and education should be provided to facilitate such transfer. If no other positions are available, the chemist should be given assistance in finding employment elsewhere, including offering training and education in new areas of chemistry.

E3. If terminations are necessitated, the provisions of these Guidelines should apply to all chemists, including those whose employment is contingent on the continuation of contracts.

E4. No chemist having a minimum of 10 years' total service should be terminated except for continuing evidence of previously documented inadequate performance or for cause.

E5. No chemist should be terminated for inadequate performance or for cause without documented evidence. This evidence should be reviewed by two levels of management above the immediate supervisor, provided such levels exist. In the case of alleged inadequate performance, the opinion of appropriate professional peers should also be sought and considered.

E6. An academic chemist, regardless of tenure status, who is dismissed during a contract period or whose contract is not renewed at a contract anniversary, should be accorded full academic due process.

E7. Any chemist who is terminated for reasons other than cause should be notified in writing and be given a minimum of four weeks' advance notice. The written termination notice should contain the specific date of termination.

E8. For academic chemists, termination notices should be given at least three months in advance of the end of the contract for the first year of service, at least six months for the second year, and at least 12 months for the third or later years.

E9. The chemist should receive severance pay consisting of at least two weeks' salary for each year of service, beyond the minimum of four weeks' advance notice and beyond any accrued vacation pay. Additional notice in lieu of severance pay may be provided by mutual consent of both parties. The written advance notice should include details of the status and options for insurance plans and an itemized accounting of monies to be paid.

E10. The employer should value the experience and expertise of the older employee. If the employer seeks to encourage the employee to retire, this should be done without coercion and solely by means of offering an adequate financial incentive. A chemist who is involuntarily forced into retirement should be treated at least as well, with respect to severance pay, notice, etc., as one who has been terminated for economic reasons.

Ell. The employer should continue benefit plans, such as life and disability insurance, medical and dental care plans, for a minimum of one month beyond the termination date, plus accrued vacation time, plus two weeks for each year of employee service, at the same rate of contribution as when the terminee was an employee. The employer should provide an additional 31 grace period.

E12. The employer should follow a policy of offering to rehire those terminated in a retrenchment before similarly qualified employees are recruited.

E13. When an employer rehires a chemist, the employee's years of service and seniority that preceded the interruption should be restored for the purpose of determining service-related benefits.

E14. The employer should notify a terminated employee of rights and status with respect to pertinent patents, planned patent applications, and publications, and provide assurance that the employee's rights in these matters will be protected in the future.


Definition of Multiple Termination

A multiple termination occurs when the employment of three or more chemists or chemical engineers is terminated within a six-month period for reasons other than: 1) continuing evidence of previously documented inadequate performance; 2) completion of a contract, or 3) cause. The academic chemists or chemical engineers must be tenured or in a tenure-leading positions.


Investigation of Unprofessional Conduct


The Chemist

C1. The Committee on Professional Relations will investigate instances of conduct by chemists reported to be in violation of the Professional Employment Guidelines.

C2. The conclusions of the committee will be communicated to the parties involved.

C3. Documented instances of unethical conduct can lead to initiation of proceedings before the Council of the American Chemical Society, in accordance with Article IV, Sec. 3 of the Constitution and Bylaw 1, Sec. 7.


The Employer

El. The Committee on Professional Relations will investigate instances of conduct by employers reported to be in violation of the Professional Employment Guidelines.

E2. The committee will extend assistance to chemists whom the committee has deemed to have been treated unprofessionally.

E3. Documented unprofessional conduct by an employer can lead to citation before the Council of the American Chemical Society and subsequent publication.


Status of Chemists in Special Categories

A chemist who is in a special employment situation, such as graduate student, postdoctoral, contract, temporary, part-time, or consulting, and who fulfills the ACS "Definition of a Chemist" (below) is to be considered a professional and a "chemist" in applying these Guidelines.


Definition of a Chemist*

A chemist is a professional who possesses an earned bachelor's or higher degree with a major in a chemical science from an accredited institution and who develops, applies, or communicates the principles of chemistry and exercises independent judgment and discretion in conceiving, planning, coordinating, or executing chemical projects or who has experience in so doing.

 

The chemical sciences deal with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the transformation they undergo.

 

This statement was formulated for those who need a definition of a chemist for legislative, judicial, or regulatory purposes. It is not related to membership eligibility in any particular scientific or professional society.

Approved by the Council of the American Chemical Society, March 15, 1978, and endorsed by the Board of Directors on June 10, 1978.

 

The American Chemical Society's Council Committee on Professional Relations uses these Guidelines in conducting programs that include assistance to individual members experiencing professional problems and investigation of multiple terminations involving chemical professionals.

 

For questions concerning these programs or the Guidelines, contact

American Chemical Society
Office of Professional Services
1155 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 872-4432

 

*For brevity the term "chemist" in the Guidelines refers to both chemists and chemical engineers.

Code of Business Conduct (2006)

Organization: Coca-Cola Company Visit Organization Page
Source: The Coca-Cola Company Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
June 2006

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Code of Business Conduct

The most valuable asset of The Coca-Cola Company is our trademark. Among the important things this trademark represents is our Company's reputation for honesty and integrity. That reputation endures because of our shared values and especially our commitment to conduct business in the right way.

 

This Code of Business Conduct is designed to give you a broad and clear understanding of the conduct expected of all our employees everywhere we do business. The Code of Business Conduct applies to all directors, officers andemployees of the Company and its subsidiaries, who, unless otherwise specified,will be referred to jointly as "employees."

 

What you will see in the pages that follow are a series of conduct and ethical guidelines, including examples of real-life dilemmas faced by Company employees.Most of what you will read probably won't surprise you, for the overarching theme of these guidelines can be summed up this way: As a representative of the Company, you must act with honesty and integrity in all matters.

 

Some Highlights of the Code

  • Employees must follow the law wherever they are around the world.
  • Employees must avoid conflicts of interest. Be aware of appearances.
  • Financial records, both for internal activities and external transactions, must be timely and accurate.
  • Company assets, including computers, materials and work time, must not be used for personal benefit.
  • Customers and suppliers must be dealt with fairly and at arm's length.
  • Employees must never attempt to bribe or improperly influence a government official.
  • Employees must safeguard the Company's nonpublic information.
  • Violations of the Code include asking other employees to violate the Code, not reporting a Code violation, or failing to cooperate in a Code investigation.
  • Violating the Code will result in discipline. Discipline will vary depending on the circumstances and may include, alone or in combination, a letter of reprimand, demotion, loss of merit increase, bonus or stock options, suspension or even termination.
  • Under the Code, certain actions require written approval by your Principal Manager. The Principal Manager is your Division President, Group President, Corporate function head, or the General Manager of your operating unit.
  • For those who are themselves Principal Managers, written approvals must come from the General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer. Written approvals for executive officers and directors must come from the Board of Directors or its designated committee.
  • If you have questions about any situation, ask. Always ask.

 

This Code should help guide your conduct. But the Code cannot address every circumstance and isn't meant to; this is not a catalogue of workplace rules.You should be aware that the Company has policies in such areas as fair competition, securities trading, workplace conduct and environmental protection. Employees should consult the policies of The Coca-Cola Company in specific areas as they apply.

 

Your Responsibilities

  • It is your responsibility to read and understand the Code of Business Conduct.You must comply with the Code in both letter and spirit. Ignorance of the Code will not excuse you from its requirements.
  • Follow the law wherever you are and in all circumstances.
  • Never engage in behavior that harms the reputation of the Company. If you wouldn't want to tell your parents or your children about your action or wouldn't want to read about it in a newspaper, don't do it.
  • Some situations may seem ambiguous. Exercise caution when you hear yourself or someone else say, "Everybody does it," "Maybe just this once," "No one will ever know" or "It won't matter in the end." These are signs to stop, think through the situation and seek guidance. Most importantly, don't ignore your instincts. Ultimately, you are responsible for your actions.
  • Employees are obliged to report violations, and suspected violations, of the Code. This includes situations where a manager or colleague asks you to violate the Code. In all cases, there will be no reprisals for making any reports, and every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality.
  • You can seek guidance from, or report violations to, your management, or responsible employees in Finance, Legal, Strategic Security or the Ethics & Compliance Office.
  • You also can ask a question about the Code of Business Conduct or other ethics or compliance matter, or report a possible violation, through the Ethics Line secured Internet website at www.KOethics.com or by calling 866-790-5579 toll-free. Calls from outside the United States and Canada are toll-free if you use the international access codes located on the Ethics Line website. Translators are available, but you must speak the name of your preferred language in English to initiate the translation process.
  • Employees are obliged to cooperate with investigations into Code violations and must always be truthful and forthcoming in the course of these investigations.
  • Managers have important responsibilities under the Code. Managers must understand the Code, seek guidance when necessary, and report suspected Code violations. If a manager knows that an employee is contemplating a prohibited action and does nothing, the manager will be responsible along with the employee.
  • The most important message is this: When you are uncertain about any situation, ask for guidance.


Conflicts of Interest

Overview

Your personal activities and relationships must not conflict, or appear to conflict, with the interests of the Company. Keep in mind, the Code can't specifically address every potential conflict, so use your conscience and common sense. When questions arise, seek guidance.


General Principles

      • Avoid situations where your personal interests conflict, or appear to conflict, with those of the Company.
      • You may own up to 1% of the stock in a competitor, customer or supplier without seeking prior approval from your Principal Manager so long as the stock is in a public company and you do not have discretionary authority in dealing with that company. If you want to purchase more than 1% of the stock in a customer, competitor or supplier, or the company is nonpublic, or you have discretionary authority in dealing with the company, then the stock may be purchased only with prior approval of your Principal Manager.
      • Directors may own the stock of suppliers, customers and competitors. However, a director must remove himself or herself from any Board activity that directly impacts the relationship between the Company and any supplier, customer or competitor in which the director has a financial interest.
      • If you have a financial interest in a transaction between the Company and a third party, even an indirect interest through, for example, a family member, that interest must be approved by your Principal Manager prior to the transaction. However, if you have a financial interest in a supplier or customer only because someone in your family works there, then you do not need to seek prior approval unless you deal with the supplier or customer or your family member deals with the Company.
      • For any transaction that would require reporting under SEC rules, directors of The Coca-Cola Company must obtain written confirmation from the Board of Directors or its designated committee that the proposed transaction is fair to the Company.
      • If you'd like to serve as an officer or director or consultant to an outside business on your own time, you must receive prior approval in writing from your Principal Manager. If the circumstances of the outside business change substantially, you must seek re-approval. (Employees are permitted, however, to serve on charity boards or in family businesses that have no relationship to the Company.) This rule does not apply to non-employee directors of the Company.
      • Any potential conflict of interest that involves an officer of the Company, of a division or of a subsidiary must be approved in advance by the General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer. Any potential conflict of interest that involves a director or executive officer of the Company must be approved by the Board of Directors or its designated committee.
      • Loans from the Company to directors and executive officers are prohibited. Loans from the Company to other officers and employees must be approved in advance by the Board of Directors or its designated committee.


The Code in Real Life

The Action : An administrative assistant's husband owns an office supply firm with lower prices than anyone else. The assistant's duties at the Company included ordering office supplies, so she ordered them from her husband's firm. But she didn't ask her Principal Manager for prior approval of the transaction with a family member.

The Decision : The employee violated the Code of Business Conduct. A Principal Manager must approve in advance any transaction in which an employee has a financial interest. The employee was disciplined.


The Action : An account executive considered buying stock in a regional pizza chain, which was one of his customers. He asked his manager whether it was a violation of the Code.

The Decision : His manager investigated the matter and advised that it would be a violation of the Code to invest in the customer's business without Principal Manager approval. That's because the account executive had discretionary authority in dealing with that customer. It may be difficult to deal with customers at arm's length when an employee has a personal financial interest.


The Action : A route salesperson services a restaurant chain owned by his cousin. The sales person wonders if that relationship requires special action.

The Decision : Yes, it does require special action. All customers must be treated fairly and honestly. Even if the cousin's restaurant is not receiving preferential treatment, the relationship could give the appearance of such treatment. The salesperson should tell his manager about the relationship, and the sales manager may decide to put a different salesperson on that account.


The Action : A Company chemist's wife is employed by a large utility that is a supplier to the Company. The wife has no business dealings with the Company, and the chemist has no business dealings with the utility. Is the chemist obliged to disclose the relationship?

The Decision : No. But the chemist must seek his Principal Manager's approval if his job changes so that he deals with the utility, or his wife's job changes so that she deals with the Company.


Financial Records

Overview

Every Company financial record, including time sheets, sales records and expense reports, must be accurate, timely and in accordance with the law. These records are the basis for managing the Company's business and for fulfilling its obligations to share owners, employees, customers, suppliers and regulatory authorities.

 

If you know of violations by others, take note: You must report those instances, or you are in violation of the Code. Accurate records are everyone's responsibility. It's always a good idea to double-check them.

 

General Principles

      • Always record and classify transactions in the proper accounting period and in the appropriate account and department. It is a violation of the Code to delay or prepay invoices, or to delay or accelerate the recording of expenses, to meet budget goals.
      • Never falsify any document or distort the true nature of any transaction.
      • All transactions must be supported by accurate documentation.
      • All reports made to regulatory authorities must be full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable.
      • Employees must cooperate with investigations into the accuracy and timeliness of financial records.
      • To the extent estimates and accruals are necessary in Company reports and records, they must be supported by appropriate documentation and based on good faith judgment.
      • Payments can only be made to the person or the firm that actually provided the goods or services, and must be made in the supplier's home country, where it does business, or where the goods were sold or services provided, unless approved in advance by the Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel.


The Code in Real Life

The Action : As the year was coming to a close, a plant manager realized that his operation already had exceeded the profit target in its annual business plan. The plant manager asked Division Finance if he should hold any further income received that year off the books in order to get a head start on the next year.

The Decision : "Don't even think about it!" he was told. All income and expenses must be recorded in the period they are actually realized.


The Action : An employee submitted a time report for weekend overtime. Her supervisor was skeptical that she had worked the extra hours and checked weekend logs of entries into the building.

The Decision : Put on notice that there was no record of her being in the building, the employee confessed to falsifying her time report. She was disciplined.


The Action : Two employees on a business trip ate dinner at a restaurant. One of them paid for the meal and was reimbursed by the Company for the expense. The other employee took a duplicate receipt and submitted an expense report for money he didn't spend.

The Decision : The second employee was fired. He didn't pay for the meal, and so was stealing from the Company.


The Action : A plant manager asked some suppliers to delay sending invoices until the following year for goods already received. He did not record the expense when the goods were received. He did this to stay within his annual budget.

The Decision : A plant employee knew of the request and that it was a Code violation. The employee reported it to the Ethics & Compliance Office. That was the right thing to do.


The Action : A customer demanded that a salesperson alter an invoice. The customer wanted the invoice to show a higher price than he actually paid and delivery to a different country than was actually the case. The customer asserted that he would no longer buy from the Company unless the salesperson agreed to the falsified invoice.

The Decision : The salesperson knew that the demand was a violation of the Code and refused to play along with the customer. The salesperson then informed his supervisor of the circumstances. That was the right thing to do.


Use of Company Assets

Overview

Company assets are meant for Company, not personal, use. Company assets include your time at work and work product, as well as the Company's equipment and vehicles, computers and software, Company information, and trademarks and name.

 

Common sense should prevail, of course. The occasional personal phone call from your workplace, for example, is inevitable. Substantial personal phone calls, however, represent misuse. The point is to recognize that theft or deliberate misuse of Company assets is a violation of the Code.


General Principles

      • You may not use the Company's assets for your personal benefit or the benefit of anyone other than the Company.
      • You may not take for yourself any opportunity for financial gain that you find out about because of your position at the Company or through the use of Company property or information.
      • Misuse of Company assets may be considered theft and result in termination or criminal prosecution.
      • You must have permission from your Principal Manager before you use any Company asset, including information, work product or trademark, outside of your Company responsibilities.
      • Before accepting payment for speeches or presentations related to the Company or your work at the Company, always get your Principal Manager's approval.
      • Company computer systems and equipment are meant for Company use only. For example, they should never be used for outside businesses, illegal activities, gambling or pornography.


The Code in Real Life

The Action : A Company employee's responsibilities included brand management. On his own time, he began marketing that expertise, using materials prepared as part of his work at the Company and giving talks on the topic to other companies for a fee.

The Decision : He never sought his Principal Manager's approval. When his outside work came to light, he was disciplined.


The Action : A plant operations manager used her Company phone and cell phone for personal calls excessively.

The Decision : It may not sound like much, but the Company's losses in work time and phone charges totaled thousands of dollars. She was disciplined.


The Action : An administrative assistant used his computer at work on a regular basis to create party invitations and personal announcements for other employees to use. He wasn't paid for the work, so he saw no harm.

The Decision : Use of the Company's computers for such large-scale personal projects is a violation of the Code. The employee was disciplined.


The Action : An account executive had a friend who wanted to borrow a list of Company e-mail addresses. The friend wanted to send e-mail solicitations for his business to Company employees.

The Decision : The account executive knew that would be a misuse of Company assets. He explained that to his friend, and declined the request. That was the right thing to do.


The Action : A manager persistently asked his administrative assistant to take care of the manager's personal business on Company time, such as picking up dry cleaning, balancing his checkbook and shopping for personal gifts, and thereby consistently kept the assistant from completing her work duties.

The Decision : A worker's time is a Company asset. The manager was disciplined for persistent misuse of assets.


Working with Customers and Suppliers

Overview

It often is customary to exchange gifts and entertainment with customers and suppliers. The key is to keep an arm's length relationship. Avoid excessive or lavish gifts that may give the appearance of undue influence. Avoid personal financial transactions with customers and suppliers that may influence your ability to perform your job.

You should know that special restrictions apply when dealing with government employees. For more information, see the next section on Working With Governments. In all cases, when in doubt, seek guidance.


General Principles

      • The Code prohibits employees from accepting lavish gifts or entertainment. This is an area in which your judgment is critical. For instance, modest holiday gifts are usually fine, but an expensive weekend trip probably would not be. If you are uncertain, seek prior written approval from your Principal Manager.
      • Gifts and entertainment for customers, potential customers and suppliers must support the legitimate business interests of the Company and should be reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances. Always be sensitive to our customers' and suppliers' own rules on receiving gifts and entertainment.
      • Company stock cannot be given as a gift on behalf of the Company under any circumstances.
      • Consistent with the obligation we all have to act with integrity and honesty at all times, you should deal fairly with the Company's customers, suppliers, competitors and employees. No director, officer or employee should take unfair advantage of anyone through misrepresentation or any unfair business practice.


The Code in Real Life

The Action : A purchasing coordinator received a diamond watch from a supplier who does a lot of business with the Company. The purchasing coordinator and the supplier are friends. The purchasing coordinator graciously returned the watch, explaining that the Company doesn't allow lavish gifts, and reported the incident to her supervisor.

The Decision : The employee made the right call. She knew that the watch could influence her buying decisions, or that it might appear that way to others.

The Action : A senior member of management sought and received a $150,000 personal loan from a Company supplier. He didn't seek prior approval.

The Decision : The loan was never repaid, and after the supplier contacted Company officials, the executive was fired.

The Action :An account executive played in a business-related golf tournament. He won the tournament, and accepted the prize, a Caribbean cruise. He checked with his manager for approval.

The Decision : Keeping the prize was fine. It was a legitimate test of skill or luck, and a large number of people participated in the tournament.

The Action : A facilities manager supervised a contractor doing renovation work at the Company.The contractor suggested that since he had extra time, he could do some work on the manager's home at a deep discount. The manager declined and reported the incident to her supervisor.

The Decision : The employee made the correct decision. She knew that this was a favor beyond common courtesy, available only because she had hired the contractor for a Company project.

Working With Governments

Overview

Conducting business with governments is not the same as conducting business with private parties. These transactions often are covered by special legal rules. You should consult Company legal counsel to be certain that you are aware of any such rules, and you must have approval of Company legal counsel before providing anything of value to a government official.

 

The Company prohibits the payment of bribes to government officials. 'Government officials' are employees of any government anywhere in the world, even low-ranking employees or employees of government-controlled entities. The term 'government officials' also includes political parties and candidates for political office. It is your obligation to understand whether someone you deal with is a government official. When in doubt, consult Company legal counsel.

 

In some countries it may be customary at times to pay government employees for performing their required duties. These facilitating payments, as they are known, are small sums paid to facilitate or expedite routine, non-discretionary government actions, such as obtaining phone service or an ordinary license. In contrast, a bribe, which is never permissible, is giving or offering to give anything of value to a government official to influence a discretionary decision.

 

Understanding the difference between a bribe and a facilitating payment is critically important. Consult Company legal counsel before acting.

 

Our Company and its subsidiaries must comply with all applicable trade restrictions and boycotts imposed by the U.S. government. (A boycott is a restriction on a company's ability to ship goods into a specific country or do business there.) Moreover, our Company and its subsidiaries also must abide by U.S. anti-boycott laws that prohibit companies from participating in any international boycott not sanctioned by the U.S. government. If questions arise, contact Company legal counsel.

 

General Principles

      • The ban on bribes applies to third parties acting on behalf of the Company, including all contractors and consultants. Employees must not engage a contractor or consultant if the employee has reason to believe that the contractor or consultant may attempt to bribe a government official.
      • The Company may hire government officials or employees to perform services that have a legitimate business purpose, with the prior approval of the Principal Manager. For example,an off-duty police officer might provide security. Government officials should never be hired to perform services that conflict with their official duties.
      • All facilitating payments must be approved in advance by Company legal counsel and recorded appropriately.
      • Employees must comply with all U.S. boycott and anti-boycott restrictions.
      • The Company may operate and fund through its employees one or more political action committees.
      • Political contributions by the Company must be in accordance with local law. They must be approved by both your Principal Manager and the General Counsel, and they must be properly recorded.
      • Employees will not be reimbursed for political contributions. Your job will not be affected by your choices in personal political contributions.


The Code in Real Life

The Action : A finance manager paid $20 to an employee of a government-owned telephone company to ensure a telephone line was installed at a Company office on time. Even for that small amount, she sought approval from Company legal counsel and recorded the transaction as a "facilitating payment."

The Decision : That was smart. If the payment had been large, say $600, that might be an indication that this was not a routine governmental action and might constitute a bribe. In every case, employees must seek approval for facilitating payments, and must record these actions appropriately.


The Action : An account executive was traveling in a country experiencing civil unrest. A soldier stopped him at a bridge and demanded payment.

The Decision : When personal safety is at risk, the employee should, of course, make the payment. Still, the fee must be reported to Company legal counsel and recorded appropriately.


The Action : A general manager entertained a government official in charge of issuing special permits to allow route trucks in a restricted area. During the meeting, the general manager gave a television and DVD player to the official as "a token of respect for the esteemed minister."

The Decision : That was a bribe. It was a violation of both the Code and the law.


Protecting Information

Overview

It is your obligation to safeguard the Company's nonpublic information. You should not share this information with anyone outside the Company unless it is necessary as part of your work responsibilities.

 

Nonpublic information is any information that has not been disclosed or made available to the general public. Trading in stocks or securities based on nonpublic information, or providing nonpublic information to others so that they may trade, is illegal and may result in prosecution.

 

Nonpublic information includes items such as financial or technical data, plans for acquisitions or divestitures, new products, inventions or marketing campaigns, personal information about employees, major contracts, expansion plans, financing transactions, major management changes and other corporate developments.


General Principles

      • Do not disclose nonpublic information to anyone outside the Company, except when disclosure is required for business purposes and appropriate steps have been taken to prevent misuse of the information.
      • Employees may not buy or sell stocks or securities based on nonpublic information obtained from their work at the Company.
      • Disclosing nonpublic information to others, including family and friends, is a violation of the Code and may violate the law.
      • Just as the Company values and protects its own nonpublic information, we respect the nonpublic information of other companies. If you have any questions about obtaining or using nonpublic information of other companies, contact Company legal counsel for guidance.
      • Records should be retained or discarded in accordance with the Company's record retention policies. Consult Company legal counsel regarding retention of records in the case of actual or threatened litigation or governmental investigation.


The Code in Real Life

The Action : A marketing manager was preparing a presentation on a new Company promotion.She was excited about the plan and wanted to discuss it with a friend outside the Company. She wasn't sure if that would be a Code violation, so she checked with her manager.

The Decision : It's a good thing she checked. Sharing nonpublic information is a Code violation, even if the recipient doesn't work for a competitor, customer or supplier.


The Action : An administrative assistant heard an office rumor that the Company was considering acquiring a small, publicly traded beverage firm. She wondered if it was OK to acquire some of the stock of the other beverage company. She asked her manager.

The Decision : "Don't buy the stock," the manager said, after seeking advice from Company legal counsel. It's a violation of the Code and a violation of securities laws on insider trading. She didn't buy the stock, it wasn't worth going to jail or losing her job.


The Action : A manager was seeking a supplier to provide construction work for the Company and received three sealed bids for the job. The manager gave his favorite firm the details of the competing bids so that firm could win the business.

The Decision : That was wrong. The manager disclosed nonpublic Company information and circumvented the bidding process. He was disciplined.


The Action : A Company attorney was traveling with a colleague on a plane to work on a legal case. They began to discuss the particulars of the case when one of them noticed a man across the aisle listening intently and taking notes.

The Decision : They quickly decided it was time to drop the subject. It's never a good idea to discuss Company matters in public where others might hear and take advantage of the information.

The Action : After an important competitor held a meeting at a hotel, a hotel security guard offered a tape recording of the meeting to a Company employee. The Company employee wasn't sure what to do, so he took the tape to his manager.

The Decision : The Company employee should never have taken possession of the tape. It was wrong. No one listened to the tape, and the employee's manager promptly returned it. But even so, the competitor learned of the situation and brought a claim against the Company.


Administration of the Code

Distribution

All Company directors, officers and employees will receive a copy of this Code at the time they join the Company and will receive periodic updates. Also, any agent, consultant, government official or government employee who is retained by the Company should receive this Code and understand the obligations under it.


Approvals

The appropriate Principal Managers must review and approve in writing any circumstance requiring special permission, as described in the Code. Copies of these approvals should be maintained by the Company and made available to auditors or investigators.

Waivers of any provision of this Code for officers or directors must be approved by the Board of Directors or its designated committee and promptly will be disclosed to the extent required by law or regulation.


Monitoring Compliance

Employees should take all responsible steps to prevent a Code violation.

You can report suspected Code violations to your management, to responsible employees in Finance, Legal, Strategic Security or the Ethics & Compliance Office, or through the Ethics Line secured Internet website at www.KOethics.com or by calling 866-790-5579 toll-free. Calls from outside the United States and Canada are toll-free if you use the international access codes located on the Ethics Line website.Translators are available, but you must speak the name of your preferred language in English to initiate the translation process. All reports will be treated confidentially.

 

In all cases, employees will be subject to no retaliation or other adverse consequence for making a good faith report of a potential Code violation.


Investigations

The responsibility for administering the Code rests with the Ethics & Compliance Committee, with oversight by the General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, and Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. The Ethics & Compliance Committee is comprised of senior leaders representing corporate governance functions.

 

The Company's Audit, Finance, Legal and Strategic Security personnel may conduct or manage Code investigations. For more information on the procedures that generally will be followed in the case of potential Code violations, please refer to The Code of Business Conduct Procedural Guidelines, which can be found on the Company's intranet. The Company will follow local grievance procedures in countries where such procedures apply.

 

The Chief Financial Officer and the General Counsel will periodically report Code violations and the corrective actions taken to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.


Disciplinary Actions

The Company strives to impose discipline for each Code violation that fits the nature and particular facts of the violation. The Company uses a system of progressive discipline.The Company generally will issue warnings or letters of reprimand for less significant, first-time offenses. Violations of a more serious nature may result in suspension without pay, demotion, loss or reduction of bonus or option awards, or any combination. Termination of employment generally is reserved for conduct such as theft or other violations amounting to a breach of trust, or for cases where a person has engaged in multiple violations.

 

Violations of this Code are not the only basis for disciplinary action. The Company has additional policies and procedures governing conduct.


Signature and Acknowledgement

All new employees must sign an acknowledgment form confirming that they have read the Code and understand its provisions. All employees will be required to make similar acknowledgments on a periodic basis. Failure to read the Code or to sign an acknowledgment form, however, does not excuse an employee from the terms of this Code.


It's Up To You

Administration of the Code is everyone's responsibility. There are colleagues to help you do the right thing. If you act with integrity and seek guidance when you are uncertain, you'll be doing the right thing.

Center for Global Ethics (1993)

Organization: Center for Global Ethics Visit Organization Page
Source: A Code of Ethics on International Business for Christians, Muslims, and Jews Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
October 1993

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Center for Global Ethics

International Business for Christians, Muslims and Jews - Code of Ethics

INTRODUCTION

A series of Interfaith consultations began in 1984 under the patronage of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and HRH Crown Prince E1 Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan. Followers of the three monotheistic faiths Christianity, Islam and Judaism took part, under the auspices of St. George's House, Windsor and the Al Albait Foundation and the Arab Thought Forum in Amman. More recently Sir Evelyn de Rothschild has joined Their Royal Highnesses as a patron in this endeavour.

 

A group of distinguished members of the three religions convened periodically to deliberate on topics of common interest. Theologians, academics and prominent figures active in business and government were all involved. Conscious of and concerned about the effects of violent expressions of religious extremism not only in European and Muslim countries but throughout the world, the participants sought to highlight the importance of the shared moral, ethical and spiritual values inherent in the common Abrahamic tradition. Aware of the implicit danger of religious bigotry and the threats to the essential fabric of contemporary society, they placed a strong emphasis on the benefit of dialogue, forsaking stereotypical portrayal of each other. Constructive dialogue, difficult to conduct at the outset, developed as mutual confidence between the participants improved. A sense of purpose emerged as they recognized the need to overcome prevailing misconceptions and dispel longstanding misrepresentation. The consultations eventually culminated into consensus about a variety of topics including business ethics.

 

Recent consultations discussed an Interfaith code of ethics for international business, formulated in the light of the religious traditions of the three monotheistic faiths. Discussions of the terms of the code began in 1988, and were concluded at a meeting held in October 1993 in Amman. The provisions of the guidelines reflect the ethical basis indicated in the teaching of the three religions. The Declaration has been drawn up by a group of eminent scholars, clerics, and business people from the three religions following a comprehensive review of the teachings of their respective religions with regard to ethical issues in the conduct of business. They concluded that the Declaration should be based on the shared concern for justice, mutual respect, steward-ship and honesty.

 

The Declaration illustrates, in a practical way, that people of very different cultures or beliefs often have more in common than is sometimes apparent. It is hoped that the sense of the Declaration will be incorporated into Statements of Purpose or Codes of Conduct. It is offered on the understanding that it will help to facilitate expanding international economic activity, which is beneficial for harmonious international relations and prosperity.

Although the code does not attempt to cover all aspects of business behavior, it incorporates the best of contemporary business practice, as well as indicating the modes of good practice as enjoined by divine injunctions. It is recommended to adherents of the three faiths; and commended to leaders of international business, as well as teachers of business management; whether followers of the three monotheistic faiths or not. Special thanks go to Mr Simon Webley of the British-North American Research Association, for his work on the text.

 

I. BACKGROUND

A. ORIGIN AND PURPOSE OF THE DECLARATION

The globalization of business is well underway and growing. For instance:

  • The volume of world trade is accelerating again. In 1992 it increased by 4.5% over 1991.
  • Cross border investment for productive purposes is expanding even faster than trade. As a result, cross cultural business relationships are expanding rapidly.
  • Stocks and shares of many of the world's largest enterprises are quoted on a variety of stock exchanges and their directors and staff come from many different countries.

 

This international expansion of economic activity is revealing some serious differences in approach to business operations among some of the major participants.

 

It was these differences, and the conviction that insights of the scriptures of Christians, Muslims and Jews had an important contribution to make to their resolution, that prompted HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Crown Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild to invite a group of distinguished Christians, Muslims and Jews to attempt to draw up a number of principles which might serve as guidelines for international business behavior. The group met four times over a period of a few years and explored in some depth the different approaches to behavioral problems arising in business relationships.

 

Early in their discussions the participants realized that they had more in common than they originally thought and that the issues they were addressing were timely and important. Drawing on the rich traditions and values inherent in their respective faiths, a common approach was agreed which is set out in the Declaration. Its purpose is to set out an ethical basis for international businesses. It includes some principles and guidelines for practice to help business people, traders and investors identify the role they, and their organizations perform in the communities in which they operate. It also gives guidance in resolving genuine dilemmas which arise in the course of day-to-day business.

The group was particularly pleased that it could agree to issue and endorse the Declaration as it was conscious that the wide spread reporting of the rhetoric and activities by extremist adherents (at least in name) of their three religions had produced in the mind of the general public the idea that only disunity and conflict characterized relationships, including business relation ships, between those of different religious beliefs. The meetings of the group and the resultant Declaration indicate that whatever: their particular insight of the truth may be and it is acknowledged that there are differences they nevertheless all share a common heritage with a high degree of shared values. They also share a common moral basis derived from the Scriptures, which is as relevant today as it has been in the past. The need to relate this relevance to contemporary business issues was felt to be particularly important.

The participants were also conscious that, along with the growth in material prosperity in the industrial world, there is emerging in some quarters a value system which they believe is detrimental to the wholesome development of human beings: selfishness and dishonesty are tending to supplant generosity and integrity. As a result, there is evidence that morality and ethical standards are declining in their respective societies as exemplified by the wide reporting of dishonest and corrupt practices. Part of the; problem is an ambivalence concerning what is considered right and wrong and economic relationships have not escaped this influence. It seemed to the group, therefore, that a reiteration of shared ethical precepts in the form of this Declaration would help to sustain and improve the standards of international business behavior.

 

It was realized that the application of these principles may be more difficult to apply in some countries than in others because of the different degree of influence that religion has within a given society. Both Muslims and, to a lesser extent, Jews, generally operate within a social atmosphere that is conducive to the influence of their religious precepts being heeded, and where it is normal for moral and ethical concerns to be discussed within a religious ethos.

 

Christians generally do not enjoy this type of support and guidance. They are more dependent upon personal convictions which often have to be stated in a secular social atmosphere that has little sympathy with them. While the influence of Islamic institutions is more open and obvious, and that of Judaism still strong, the influence of Christianity has come to be personal and subsumed.

 

All agreed that, in the final analysis, the application of ethical principles is a maser of personal judgment rather than rules; a code can only set standards. It follows that the Declaration (or indeed any code of ethics) is not a substitute for corporate or individual morality, it is a set of guidelines for good practice. It is hoped that it will contribute to maintaining high standards of business behavior. as well as a better public understanding of the role of business in society. Some suggestions on how it can be used are contained in an Appendix.

 

B. METHOD

It is necessary to explain something of the method that has been adopted in producing the Declaration. It draws on the experience of group members and on a number of existing guidelines and codes of conduct which have been used by international organizations such as the International Chamber of Commerce. Individual company codes of ethics, too, have been used where appropriate.

 

Ethical issues in business can be classified under three general headings:

  • The morality of the economic system in which business activity takes place.
  • The policies and strategies of organizations which engage in business.
  • The behavior. of individual employees in the context of their work.

 

In the Declaration, the distinction between these categories is recognized, and there may indeed be other levels and sub-categories, but the three selected are those where moral issues most commonly arise.

A second distinction which needs recognition is that while some ethical issues affect all types of industrial and commercial activity, there are others which are distinctive to a particular sector. The outstanding example is that of the provision of financial services (e.g. banking).

 

A third distinction must also be acknowledged. The legal frame work in which business is conducted is not the same in all countries. For instance, the duties of company directors vary considerably and employment law e.g. legal notice of dismissal or redundancy is hardly ever the same in any two countries. While recognizing that national law applies to a company registered in that country (irrespective of the nationality of its owners and managers), and that it should be scrupulously followed, the laws on the same matter may be less demanding in, say, the country of the parent company. Some areas of business practice which are covered by law in one country may be the subject of self administered regulation or of voluntary codes of behavior. in another. Therefore, some subjects covered by the Declaration I may, in practice, already have the force of law in some countries.


II. THE DECLARATION

A. PRINCIPLES

The Declaration on International Business Ethics is built on the precepts of the three religions represented at the dialogues. Christians, Muslims and Jews have a common basis of religious; and moral teaching: they are the People of the Book. Four key concepts recur in the literature of the faiths and form the basis of any human interaction. They are: justice (fairness), mutual respect (love and consideration), stewardship (trusteeship) and honesty (truthfulness).

1. Justice: The first principle is justice which can be defined as just conduct, fairness, exercise of authority in maintenance of right. All three faiths agree that God created the world and that justice must characterize the relationship between its inhabitants. Fair dealings between each other and between believers and others is constantly reiterated in the Scriptures as are God's justice and mercy in his dealings with mankind.

 

2. Mutual Respect: The second principle mutual respect or love and consideration for others is also inherent in the moral teachings of each religion. The word love has many meanings in most languages. But, as is clear from the reading of Scripture, the God of justice and mercy is also the God of love. What Scripture expresses as love is here rendered as mutual respect or reciprocal regard "love thy neighbor as thyself" that exists between two individuals. The application of this has come to mean that self interest only has a place in the community in as much as it takes into account the interests of others. My neighbor in the business context can be defined as any person (individual or corporate) with whom the organization comes into contact in the course of business life. Of paramount importance in this respect is the employee.

 

3. Stewardship: A third principle shared by all three faiths is that of stewardship (trusteeship) of God's creation and all that is in it. It is a richly diverse universe: "...and it was good". The Scriptures testify to the beauties and wonders of nature as signs of God's goodness and providence. Man is set over it all with delegated responsibility a steward charged with its care and proper use for which he will have to give account. The Scriptures know nothing of absolute ownership: man is God's trustee.

 

4. Honesty: The fourth principle inherent to the value system of each of the three faiths is honesty. It incorporates the concepts of truthfulness and reliability and covers all aspects of relation ships in human life thought, word and action. It is more than just accuracy, it is an attitude which is well summed up in the word "integrity". In precepts and parables, Scripture urges truth and honesty in all dealings between human beings. It is stressed that dishonesty is an abomination and bearing false witness breaches the basic laws of God. In business dealings, "true scales, true weights, true measures" are to be used. Speaking the truth is a requirement for everyone.

 

B. GUIDELINES

The following guidelines are classified under the three general headings referred to earlier.

 

1. Business and Political Economy

 

All business activity takes place within the context of a social, political and economic system. It is recognized that:

  1. Business is part of the social order. Its primary purpose is to meet human and material needs by producing and distributing goods and services in an efficient manner. How this role is carried out the means as well as the ends is important to the whole of society.
  2. Competition between businesses has generally been shown to be the most effective way to ensure that resources are not wasted, costs are minimized and prices fair. The State has a duty to see that markets operate effectively, competition is maintained and natural monopolies are regulated. Business will not seek to frustrate this.
  3. All economic systems have flaws; that based on free and open markets is morally neutral and has great potential for good. Private enterprise, sometimes in partnership with the State, has the potential to make efficient and sustainable use of resources, thereby creating wealth which can be used for the benefit of everyone.
  4. There is no basic conflict between good business practice and profit making. Profit is one measure of efficiency and is of paramount importance in the functioning of the system. It provides for the maintenance and growth of business, thus expanding employment opportunities, and is the means of a rising living standard for all concerned. It also acts as an incentive to work and be enterprising. It is from the profit of companies that society can reasonably levy taxes to finance its wider needs.
  5. Because the free market system, like any other, is open to abuse, it can be used for selfish or sectional interests, or it can be used for good. The State has an obligation to provide a framework of law in which business can operate honestly and fairly and business will obey and respect the law of the State a in which it operates.
  6. As business is a partnership of people of varying gifts they should never be considered as merely a factor of production. The terms of their employment will be consistent with the highest standards of human dignity.
  7. The efficient use of scarce resources will be ensured by the business. Resources employed by corporations include finance (savings), technology (machinery) and land and natural renewable resources. All are important and most are scarce.
  8. Business has a responsibility to future generations to improve the quality of goods and services, not to degrade the natural environment in which it operates, and seek to enrich the lives of those who work within it. Short-term profitability should not be pursued at the expense of long term viability of the business. Neither should business operations disadvantage the wider community.

 

2. The Policies of a Business

 

Business activity involves human relationships. It is the question of balancing the reasonable interests of those involved in the process: i.e. the stakeholders, that produces moral and ethical problems.

The policies of the business will therefore be based on the principles set out in the paragraphs above and in particular:

  1. The board of directors will be responsible for seeing that the business operates within the letter and spirit of the laws of the nations in which it works. If these laws are rather less rigorous in some parts of the world where the business operates than in others, the higher standards will normally be applied everywhere.
  2. The board will issue a written statement concerning the objectives and operating policies of the organization, and their application. It will set out clearly the obligations of the company towards the different stakeholders involved with a business [employees, shareholders, lenders, customers, suppliers and the community (local and national government)].
  3. The basis of the relationship with the principal stakeholders shall be honesty and fairness, by which is meant integrity, in all relationships, as well as reliability in all commitments made on behalf of the organization
  4. The business shall maintain a continuing relationship with each of the groups with which it is involved. It will provide effective means to communicate information affecting the stakeholders. This relationship is based on trust.
  5. The best practice to be adopted in dealings with particular stakeholders can be summarized as follows:
  • Consider the social consequences of company decisions e.g. plant closures, choice of any new sites or expansion of existing ones, and the effects on smaller businesses.
  • Not tolerate any form of bribery, extortion or other corrupt or corrupting practices in business dealings.

 

3. Owners (Shareholders)

 

The shareholders undertake the risks of ownership. The elected directors

shall:

  • Protect the interests of shareholders.
  • See that the company's accounting statements are true and timely.
  • See that shareholders are kept informed of all major happenings affecting the company.

 

4. Conduct of Individuals at Work

 

The following are based on best ethical practice for employees in a

business. Employees of an organization shall:

  1. Implement the decisions of those to whom he or she is responsible which are lawful and in accordance with the company's policies in cooperation with colleagues.
  2. Avoid all abuse of power for personal gain, advantage or prestige and in particular refuse bribes or other inducements of any sort intended to encourage dishonesty or to break the law.
  3. Not use any information acquired in the business for personal gain or for the benefit of relatives or outside associates.
  4. Reveal the facts to his superiors whenever his personal business or financial interests become involved with those of the company.
  5. Be actively concerned with the difficulties and problems of subordinates, treat them fairly and lead them effectively, assuring them a right of reasonable access and appeal to those to whom their immediate superior is responsible. Bring to the attention of superiors the likely effects on employees of the company's plans for the future so that such effects can be fully taken into account.


APPENDIX

THE USES OF THE DECLARATION

This Declaration is offered to business people, business organizations and those who advise companies as a basis for sound ethical business practice.

Relevant sectors of it can be adopted by corporations as an international standard of business ethics and be acknowledged as such in corporate Annual Reports.

To be effective, it needs endorsement at the highest level of business management and a means will need to be devised to make employees at all levels aware of its existence. Some ways of doing this are:

  • Reproduce it as a simple booklet with a foreword from the Chairman.
  • Include it in literature given to all new employees.
  • Make it a subject in all internal training courses.

See that the topics contained in the Declaration are included in business training courses offered in colleges and universities. It also requires a method of seeing that its precepts are carried out.

Code of Conduct (2005)

Organization: Merck Visit Organization Page
Source: Merck Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
November 2005

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Code of Conduct

Introduction


Purpose

At Merck, our values and standards have always formed the basis of our success. They inspire trust and confidence on the part of the medical community, government officials, regulatory agencies, financial markets, our customers and patients all of whom are essential to our success. Even more important, these values inspire the trust and confidence of Merck employees- creating a sense of pride and a desire in each of us to achieve great things at Merck.Yes, we care a lot about the results we achieve. But we care just as much about how we achieve them.

The comment by George W. Merck in 1950 that "Medicine is for the people" embodies our values and our aspirations. But sometimes it's not clear what this means in our day-to-day activities and decision-making as members of the Merck community. This booklet illustrates how our values are applied through standards of conduct with each of our key stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers and communities.


Applicability

This Code of Conduct and all relevant corporate policies apply to everyone who conducts business on behalf of Merck-including employees, executive officers (e.g., chief executive officer, chief financial officer, controller, etc.), members of the Board of Directors, agents,consultants, contract labor, or others, when handling Merck matters. Should exceptional employee situations warrant a waiver of the Company's standards any such waiver must be handled by a manager with the appropriate authority. Executive officers or members of the Board of Directors may be granted waivers only by the Board of Directors or a Board Committee. Any such waiver must itself be legal and promptly disclosed to our shareholders.


Accountability

Each of us is responsible for adhering to the values and standards set forth in this Code and for raising questions if we are uncertain as to whether or not the standards are being met. Violations of the Code may result in a variety of corrective actions, and in some cases, may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.


Availability

We believe that all of our stakeholders are entitled to know about our business practices. The Our Values and Standards booklet is available to the public and cam be accessed via our Web site at: www.Merck.com.


Our Customers

Our business is preserving and improving human life and animal hearth. All of our clients must be measured by our success in achieving this goal. Above all, we value our ability to serve patients who can benefit from the appropriate use of our products and services. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of professional excellence and health delivery systems. We strive to identify the most critical needs of health care professional and consumers, and we devote our resources to meeting those needs.


Our Suppliers

We believe in developing mutually beneficial relationships with our supplies. We recognize that they are important partners in our success, and we treat them with honesty, fairness and respect. We also expect that they will conduct business activities for or on behalf of the Company in accordance with business standards and values that align with our own.


Our Community and Society

Being a good corporate citizen means that we comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Also we serve our society, from the local communities in which we operate to the national and international levels, by supporting programs that advance knowledge and education and improve health care. In addition to these priorities, we support programs to protect the environment; promote art and cultural activities; and foster civic institutions.


Our Fellow Employees

Our ability to succeed depends on the integrity, knowledge, imagination, skill, diversity, flexibility and teamwork of Merck employees. To this end, we strive to create an environment of mutual respect, encouragement and teamwork- a working environment that rewards commitment and performance and seeks to be responsive to the needs of employees.

We seek to provide a workplace atmosphere that attracts highly talented people and helps them achieve their full potential. Each of us is responsible for creating a climate of trust and respect, and for promoting a productive work environment. These responsibilities are embodied in out leadership principles:

      • Know and develop yourself
      • Know and develop our business
      • Know,support and develop our people
      • Communicate


Our Shareholders

We recognize that our ability to meet our goals depends on maintaining financial reform that encourages investment in leading-edge research and development.This in turn enables us to deliver effective products and innovative services. We strive to provide honest, accurate and timely information to our shareholders about our performance and to make clear disclosures in all public reports and communications.


Resources

No guidelines, no matter how detailed, can possibly anticipate all of the challenges we may face on the job. That is why there are additional resources we can use when we have questions about business conduct.

This booklet serves as a guide to our standards, including frequently asked questions, and is not intended to be an exhaustive description of the Company's policies and standards. Throughout this booklet you will find responses to real questions that Merck employees have raised. Supplementary information on a number of issues maybe found by referring to the relevant corporate policies, which you will find referenced throughout these guidelines. These policies may be accessed via the Intranet or you may contact the Human Resources Department.

If your questions are not fully addressed by these resources, your next step should be to discuss your questions with your manager. Other resources are also available-including specialists in the Legal, Finance, Corporate Audit, Human Resources Departments, the Office of Ethics and the Advice Line. You can use any of these resources when you need clarification of policies,assistance in dealing with "gray areas," or when you are concerned about possible violations of our standards, laws or regulations.

Q:Many of the topics don't seems to apply to me. Why should I be concerned with this booklet?

A:As a Company-wide, document, some sections and topics may be more relevant to certain functions or departments than to others. However, it maybe helpful to be aware of how business is conducted in different areas of the Company.

Q:Why does Merck have one standards booklet? Why don't we have regional booklets that address issues that are more relevant to particular locations?

A: Our values and standards are universal. We strive to do business by embracing the same high ethical standards wherever we operate. At the same time we recognize that the actual application of these standards as well as laws and regulations may vary by location. The Company has provided resources to help address the specific issues within a particular region. In addition to Company-wide resources like the Office of Ethics and Advice Line, you can also turn to your manager, human resources representative, divisional lawyer, your regional finance director and other members of your divisional compliance committee.


Relationships with Our Customers

Product and Service Quality

We are committed to meeting or exceeding customer and regulatory requirements regarding the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of our products. Quality means consistently satisfying requirements and expectations by delivering products and services of the highest value in a timely manner. Our customers include patients, health care professionals, health care organizations, government agencies, wholesalers and distributors.

Quality improvement in all areas of our business, fro product research in our laboratories to patient use of our products and services, is imperative in providing innovative products and services that improve the quality of life. The achievement of our quality goals and objectives depends on our ability to listen to and respect customer needs in every business activity.

Q: We are behind schedule and under a great d al of pressure. May we modify a few manufacturing steps to speed up production?

A: Probably Not. While we strive to streamline manufacturing processes to make them as efficient as possible, we must always go through proper channels to receive approval to modify existing manufacturing procedures. Some steps may be required by government regulatory agencies. Others may be required to meet our own quality standards. I, is possible that while the steps seem unnecessary, they could serve a critical quality function. If you have further questions-or to make suggestions as to how a process might be improved-consult with your manager or the head of Quality Operations a your site before taking any action.


Honest Communication

Lives depend not only on the quality of our product, and services, but also on the quality of the information e provide to the medical community and general public. Information furnished to our customers about our products and services, including availability and delivery, must be useful, accurate, supported by scientific evidence where relevant, and presented honestly, fairly and by proper means. This means that promotional communication that include a description of uses or dosage recommendations must also include (unless otherwise required by law r regulation) a summary of side effects, precautions, warnings and contraindications, as well as effectiveness for the described indicated uses. Lives depend not only on the quality of our product, and services, but also on the quality of the information e provide to the medical community and general public. Information furnished to our customers about our products and services, including availability and delivery, must be useful, accurate, supported by scientific evidence where relevant, and presented honestly, fairly and by proper means. This means that promotional communication that include a description of uses or dosage recommendations must also include (unless otherwise required by law or regulation) a summary of side effects, precautions, warnings and contraindications, as well as effectiveness for the described indicated uses.

We do not communicate publicly with the intent of promoting products for use before the product is approved for such use. This does not, however, restrict a full and proper exchange of scientific information concerning a product, including dissemination of research findings in scientific and other communications media.

Q: I am a sales representative and I know that I'm not supposed to encourage or promote any use of our products that is inconsistent with product labeling. But if a physician starts asking questions about such use, may I refer him to studies and to other doctors who are also prescribing such use?

A: Generally, Merck sales representatives must not provide directly to physicians information that is inconsistent with that contained in the product label. You should advise the physician that Merck does not recommend use of the product for purposes other than those specified in the product label. However, if the physician desires additional information on this topic, you can refer his request to our Medical Services Department. This Department is authorized, under certain limited circumstances, to provide such information directly to physicians.

Q: How should we handle requests for samples that seem inappropriate, (e.g., ZOCOR ® requested by an orthopedist)?

A: If you have a reason to believe that the physician's use of samples is inappropriate under Company policy, you are encouraged to clarify the reason for the physician's request. If you determine that the request is inappropriate (e.g., the samples will not be used by the physician with his or her patients to evaluate the product in actual practice) you may not provide the samples. Inappropriate use of pharmaceutical samples violates Company policy and may be illegal. You should clarify the Company's sample policy for the physician and communicate the physician's request to your manager for further investigation.


Clinical Trials

Clinical trials determine the safety and efficacy of our products in people who volunteer to participate in our studies. It is, therefore, crucial that we conduct these trials with the utmost regard for the health and safety of participants while furthering the interests of science and society. Detailed standards and guidelines are available concerning clinical trials and product protocols.

Q: I'm in sales and marketing, and a physician has asked us if he can use our samples to conduct a small clinical trial with a group of patients. Is this acceptable?

A: No. Samples are not used for clinical trials. Detailed standards and guidelines are available concerning clinical trials and protocols. While the Company typically does provide product to study sites in accordance with the clinical trial protocol in Company-sponsored trials, this product is generally supplied via the Merck group managing the study (e.g., MRL, CDP or CDSP) and not via the sale and marketing area. You may contact the Medical Department or your area compliance committee for additional information.


Post-Marketing Clinical Trials

Post-marketing clinical trials help us learn more about the safety and efficacy of our products. They provide important information to practicing physicians, third-party payers, and key decision-makers to foster appropriate use of Merck products.

Q: A physician has advised me that a competitor is providing him with a payment for each prescription he writes for their products. Is it acceptable for me to do so?

A: No, this is not an acceptable practice. However, what may be happening is that the doctor is participating in a bona fide post-marketing clinical study. In that case, it may be appropriate to compensate the physician for his additional workload while participating in the study, but this is unrelated to the prescriptions that the physician writes.

Q: I believe I might be able to convince a key physician customer to switch from a competitor's product to prescribing one of our products if I encourage him to conduct an "observational study" to gain experience with our product. Is this an acceptable practice?

A: No. Observational programs involving Merck products may not be used for the purpose of inducing physicians to switch patients to Merck products, or maintaining patients on prescriptions of Merck products. Similarly, observational programs may not be used if they would create the appearance of doing so. Observational programs may be used only to obtain data that will help Merck and physicians improve patient care through direct observation of product use in a clinical setting. There must be a contract with the physician and written protocols that identify the need for the data and that detail how program results will be used.


Gifts and Hospitality

We believe in competing on the merits of our products and services and wish to avoid even the appearance of improper conduct with our customers. The giving of gifts whether in cash or non-cash, including services, to customers is prohibited unless it complies with the specific exceptions described below. We recognize that in certain cultures there may be an occasion when gift-giving is customary and expected. Decisions about these situations must be carefully weighed, and prior written approval must be obtained from your manager before proceeding.

To Physician Customers: Because we wish to safeguard the public's confidence in physicians to make decisions solely on the basis of patient health, we do not provide gifts or other incentives to our physician customers. As part of informing physicians about our products, we may provide occasional educational and practice-related items, as long as they are of nominal value and medically relevant (e.g., medical textbooks and other items that serve a genuine educational function). Additionally, promotional items of nominal value are also permissible (e.g., pens, notepads, calendars, etc.), provided that they are related to a physician's practice. Remember that some localities have more restrictive policies based on local laws or industry codes regarding gifts to physicians. Please consult your local/regional lawyer for additional guidance.

Q: I have been invited to the wedding of an important customer. In my culture, it is expected that guests will bring cash gifts to the wedding. What should I do? Are non-cash gifts acceptable?

A: Cash and non-cash gifts are prohibited. You should consult with your manager if you believe an exception to our Company policy is warranted .

Q: The chief cardiologist at a major hospital has requested a donation of equipment for the hospital has new cardiac-care unit. Would such a donations be a violation of our business standards?

A: It may be appropriate and desirable for the Company to make a contribution to improve the quality of local health care facilities. However, this question must be considered with regard to the following:

      • Would the donation conflict with local laws?
      • Who will be the ultimate beneficiary of the donation? the physician? the hospital?
      • Is the recipient a government institution or an individual employed by the government?
      • Is the cardiologist or the recipient in a position to influence the Company's business? For example, is the hospital considering adding a Merck product to its formulary? Would the donation affect or be perceived to affect the decision-making process?

Consult your manager to explore whether and how such a donation may be made in your region.

To other Health Care Customers: In addition to physicians, we also interact with other important customers, including wholesalers and distributors. With respect to these customers, only business related items of nominal value are permissible. Gift giving to these customers must comply with local laws, Company policies, and relevant industry codes.

Q: One of my customers is a very close friend and we regularly exchange valuable gifts during the gift-giving season. Is it all right for me to continue this practice?

A: The Company does not discourage friendships with business partners but does require discretion and good judgment in such situations. In some situations, the gift may be appropriate if the gift is "personal," is not paid for by Merck, and the exchange of gifts would not be perceived as a conflict of interest. You must disclose the relationship to your manager. Your manager will assess the situation and determine how to manage any potential conflict of interest in a manner consistent with the conflict of interest policy. It may become necessary to assign the customer to another Company employee.


Receiving Gifts

(While the receipt of gifts may be more common in the context of supplier relationships, these guidelines are included here for ease of reference and convenience.) As a common business courtesy, we may receive occasional gifts, provided that:

      • The gift is of nominal value (e.g., pens, notepads, calendars, etc.);
      • Doing so is legal; and
      • The gift is neither intended nor likely to be perceived by others to improperly influence our business decisions.

Occasionally, there may be times when refusing a gift would be impractical or embarrassing. In those rare instances where the gift is of substantial value, accept the gift on behalf of the Company, report it to your manager, and turn the gift over to your local/regional finance director, who will handle its disposition.

Q: In my region, it is both typical and expected for suppliers to provide their clients with fairly expensive gifts. Because of this custom, it is difficult to discourage our suppliers from providing us with these gifts.

A: If suppliers offer expensive gifts regularly, you should politely advise these suppliers that Company standards do not permit Merck employees to accept these gifts. Department managers should look for opportunities to notify suppliers of these standards before problems arise (e.g., prior to a holiday gift giving period). You may wish to contact all suppliers to explain the Company's standards and send a copy of the Our Values and Standards booklet. If you have questions or concerns, you should consult your manager or the Office of Ethics.

Q: I recently attended a business conference at Merck's expense, where my name was automatically entered into a raffle, along with all other attendees' names. I won a trip to the Caribbean. Can I keep the prize?

A: Employees may be able to keep prizes from raffles provided that:

      • A Merck supplier or customer is not a sponsor of the raffle (i.e., it is sponsored by a professional or trade association); and,
      • The employee is not placed under any obligation for having entered or won the raffle (e. g., an obligation to use a specific company's services, to provide the sponsoring company with the employee's business attention).

      You should speak with your manager, who will help you decide what would be the best course of action in this instance.

 

Providing and Accepting Meals and Other Hospitality

We may provide or accept occasional meals or hospitality, provided that it is:

      • In the course of a bona fide business relationship ;
      • An accompaniment to an educational or business event/function;
      • Legal;
      • Consistent with Company policies and procedures;
      • Not likely to be perceived as an attempt to improperly influence business decisions; and
      • Not embarrassing to the Company if it were to receive public scrutiny;

Q: It is customary in my country to take a physician to a restaurant to discuss our products. Is this acceptable under the policy?

A: The preferred location for discussing Merck pr ducts is in the physician's office, or in a hospital or other clinical setting. In certain instances, it may be appropriate to have a product discussion outside of such settings. If you feel that such an exception is warranted, you must first obtain the prior approval of your manager and such approval should specify the special circumstances that exist so that appropriate control and oversight procedures can be employed.

Q: A potential supplier has invited me to attend a professional sporting event with him. May ! attend?

A: If the sporting event is appropriate and not excessive, and the supplier will be attending with you and thus, available to discuss business, then it may be acceptable to attend. It is important, however, that accepting an invitation is neither intended nor likely to be perceived as an attempt to improperly influence a business decision. As an example,

      • Occasional unsolicited tickets to regular season sporting events would be acceptable;
      • Playoffs, quarterfinals and semifinals require more scrutiny; and
      • Tickets to finals or championship events (e.g., the World Cup, Olympics and Wimbledon) would be considered excessive.


Invitations to Conferences/Symposia

We are committed to conducting and participating in educational programs that share medical and scientific information. We recognize the importance of ensuring that these activities are undertaken in an appropriate an professional manner, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care. However, our standards do not necessarily take into account all local legal requirements. Where more restrictive local laws exist, those take precedence.

Our purpose in supporting scientific/educational meetings is to improve patient care. Accordingly, the meeting agenda must be appropriate for participants and support the meeting's scientific purpose. The location should be selected on the basis of participant travel convenience, cost arid appropriateness for the type of meeting and audience . Sponsorship decisions must comply with local laws, local/ regional Company policies and guidance documents, and industry codes; we must also consider whether or no any of the participants are government employees or officials.

We do not fund travel for spouses or companions of attendees.

Q: We are funding the travel expenses of an important opinion leader who is speaking at a Merck-sponsored conference. She would like to bring her spouse, at her own expense. Is this permitted?

A: A spouse or companion may travel to a conference provided that it is not at the Company's expense. This means that any travel, lodging, meals an costs associated with the spouse's presence are not borne by the Company. However, it is inconsistent with the purposes of these events to allow spouses or companions to attend sessions or meetings where official business is discussed.

Q: Can we honor a physician's request to issue two economy-class tickets in place of one business class ticket to attend a conference?

A: No, this may not be done. An invitation is extended to the physician, and the Company will only cover expenses directly associated with the invitee's attendance.

Q: Can we pay the travel expenses for a physician involved in the approval process for new drugs to attend a meeting?

A: The laws and regulations governing such activities are complex and will vary depending on a variety of factors, including:

      • Is the physician a government employee?
      • Is the physician a decision-maker in the regulatory approval process?
      • Is a Merck product registration pending or anticipated?
      • Is there a perception of inappropriate influence?

Generally, the answer would be no, but there may be situations that are permissible. If you believe there are circumstances that justify an exception consult your manager and the Legal Department.

Q: From time to time, physicians whom Merck invites to symposia do not show up or do not participate as fully in the events as they are expected to do.How should/ handle these situations?

A: Upon inviting a physician to a symposium, you should discuss Merck's expectations regarding participation in particular events. If a physician's attendance becomes a problem, you should first discuss the event's value with the physician to ensure that he or she realizes what they are missing by not fully attending the event. Remember, however, that we cannot control the participation of physicians at such events. If the physician's attendance continues to be a problem, you should discuss the matter with your manager to determine whether the physician should be invited to future events


Fair Compensation

We believe that customers and society as a whole benefit from fair, free and open markets. Therefore, we compete on the merits of our products and services and do not make agreements with competitors to "fix" prices or to otherwise restrain trade. Our principles of fair competition require that:

      • We do not share or exchange price or bid information with competitors. This includes pricing policies, discounts, promotions, royalties, warranties and terms and conditions of sale. If a competitor volunteers such information, whether in a trade association meeting or in a physician's waiting room, we should terminate the conversation immediately and bring the situation to the attention of the Legal Department. While the exchange may be intended innocently, it could create the appearance of price-fixing or bid-rigging.
      • We compete aggressively in every market for eve customer. We make no agreements-or general understandings-with competitors concerning customer distributors or territories.
      • We do not mischaracterized or distort the product or services of a competitor.

Our standards of fair competition are also a matter in virtually every country in which we operate, and there are additional legal requirements with which we must comply. Every manager must ensure that employees involved in marketing, sales and purchasing are aware of the letter and spirit of our standards and the applicable competition laws.

Q: I am attending a trade association meeting a several members are discussing pricing strategy What should I do?

A: If issues such as pricing strategy are discussed among competitors, there is the possibility that price-fixing or collusion could occur or be perceived to have occurred. Many countries prohibit the discussing pricing among competitors for this reason. If you yourself in this situation, you must excuse your from the meeting immediately. Promptly advise Legal Department of what you have observed.


Gathering Competitive Information

We compete fairly and honestly. We do not gather information through misrepresentation, theft, invasion of privacy or coercion.

You can obtain information about competitors from such acceptable sources as customers, consultants and even competitors themselves under appropriate circumstances. For example, you can gather information on competitors (i) from the news and other public resources, such as financial statements filed with the relevant regulatory bodies, examining our competitors' products and publicly available marketing materials, (iii) from competitors' customers (unless they are prohibited from disclosing the competitors' information), or (iv) from competitors` displays at conferences and trade shows.

      • You should not encourage Merck employees who previously worked for our customers or competitors to breach a contract or non-disclosure obligation respect to a competitor's nonpublic information. Since it is difficult to know exactly what non-disclosure obligations may have been agreed to, we strongly discourage practice of asking Merck employees who previously worked for a competitor to provide information about their former employer.
      • You should not permit Merck employees, such as subordinates or marketing consultants, to misrepresent themselves or their work in gathering competitive information. The Merck relationship should be disclosed if it is reasonable to assume that the source would not be likely to share such information, had he or she known of the Merck relationship.
      • You should not receive pricing or other sensitive information directly from a competitor.

Additional rules regarding information-gathering may apply to government bids. Please contact your manager or the Legal Department for more information.

Q: We have just hired an employee from a competitor. How much information is he allowed to volunteer about his former employer?

A: We must not allow the employee to volunteer, nor should we ask for, any proprietary or confidential information about his former employer. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable if a former Merck employee shared such information with a competitor. Additionally, there are legal implications relating to the disclosure of confidential information of other companies. For further clarification, consult your manager or the Legal Department.

Q: A long-time customer, who is also a friend, recently told me about the release date of a competitor's newest drug, which is not yet public information. Can I communicate this information to others in my district? What if I knew the information was obtained by the physician from a consultant's meeting?

A: If you know, or it is apparent from the circumstances, that the information being volunteered by the customer has been provided to them on a confidential basis, such as during a consultants' meeting, you should discontinue discussion of the subject with the customer. You may not communicate the information to others in your district, but should bring the conversation to the attention of your manager who will discuss it with the Legal Department, as necessary. If it is public information, there is no problem in discussing it openly in a manner consistent with all applicable policy regarding product discussions.


Relationships with Fellow Employees

Our Work Environment

We seek to provide a work environment that will at and retain highly talented people and help them ac their full potential. Each of us is responsible for create climate of trust and respect, and for promoting a productive work environment. These responsibilities described in our Leadership Principles, serve as the foundation for all our human resources practices and processes. The Leadership Principles sp specific behaviors that are expected of us.

We encourage open communication by being receptive to the ideas and concerns of others, and we offer and feedback constructively.


Employee Privacy

We respect the privacy and dignity of our fellow employees and safeguard the confidentiality of employee records The Company collects and retains personal information needed to support functions such as benefits, compensation and payroll, as well as for other purposes as required We will protect private employee information and u only for legitimate business purposes, in accordance with all relevant laws.

The privacy of employee communications, including and Intranet/internet usage, is subject to the Company's appropriate business and operating needs, as well a local laws. We have the responsibility to monitor Co owned technology used for e-mail, Internet, and other communications and to investigate inappropriate us accordance with local laws.

Q: Does the Company actively monitor Internet or our e-mail? If so, under what circumstances?

A: The Company accesses its communications systems for a variety of business reasons. For example Company operations and network staff may e-mail in the course of normal system maintenance network administration or problem resolution addition, management may authorize the monitoring of e-mail usage to investigate inappropriate theft of Merck intellectual property or for other business purposes in accordance with local laws. Depending upon the circumstances, this may the reading or disclosure of e-mail messages. Similarly, as part of standard computer system administration, the Company maintains logs Internet usage activity which authorized person may use to investigate performance concerns, security incidents (e.g., network/system intrusion, inappropriate use or virus attacks) or for other business purposes.

Q: We traditionally post employee birthdays on the office bulletin board. Is this okay?

A: By posting employee birthdays, you are divulging personal information that some employees may not want known. Before adding an employee's private information to the list you should obtain their permission.

Q: Can the Office of Ethics provide advice on how to handle difficult situations with colleagues?

A: The Office of Ethics can provide advice in a confidential environment and recommend language to handle difficult situations with colleagues. If you feel comfortable doing so, you may also discuss the situation with your manager or with the Human Resources Department.


Fair Treatment

To meet our long-term growth and efficiency requirements, we must build an organization that responds quickly to change, and one in which all employees can achieve their full potential. Differences in backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and talents are a fundamental strength of our global Company.

We treat each individual fairly, and recruit, select, train and pay based on merit, experience and other work-related criteria. For further information, contact your Human Resources representative or the Corporate Human Resources Diversity Department.

Q: Is it acceptable to stipulate gender and age for an open position?

A: There is no business justification for advertising positions based on gender or age. Treating people fairly by hiring based solely on job-related criteria is not only the right thing to do, it's smart business.


Health and Safety

We conduct our operations with the highest regard or the safety and health of employees and the protection of the general public. Each of us is responsible for complying with safety rules and regulations and for taking the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our colleagues. We must report all accidents and take action to correct unsafe practices or conditions, with a goal of continuously improving our performance. Central Safety and the Environment can answer specific questions about Merck safety standards; or you can check the Safety and Environment Web site at mmd.merck.com/S&E/.

Q: Is it really necessary to report a minor accident? I don't want to jeopardize our plants safety record.

A: To maintain safety performance excellence and to strive for an accident-free environment, you must report all accidents, no matter how minor, an work to eliminate unsafe practices and conditions. Reporting even minor accidents is important as it helps us to identify hazards and take correcting the action before serious injuries can occur.

Q: Our plant has safety guidelines that require the removal of all jewelry. How will the Company respond if an employee declines to remove a piece of jewelry for religious reasons?

A: The Company wishes to make reasonable accommodations for employee religious beliefs. It is possible that an alternative may be found (e.g., if the item can be secured, this may be permissible). However, if there is no satisfactory alternative then safety concerns must take precedence. If you have additional questions about what is acceptable you should consult your manager or the additional resources referenced in this booklet.


Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Use of illegal drugs and alcohol abuse create serious health and safety risks in the workplace. The possession, sale or use of illegal drugs or being under the influence of such rugs, on Company time or property, or at Company-sponsored events, is prohibited. Similarly, impairment from alcohol when conducting Merck business or at Company-sponsored events is also prohibited.

It is important that cases of drug and alcohol abuse e brought to management's attention immediately. For information on resources at your location that deal with substance abuse, please see the Additional Assistance Page.


Workplace Harassment

We strive to maintain an environment free of harassment, where all employees are respected. Workplace harassment is defined as any action that inappropriately or unreasonably creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Examples include, but are not limited to, disparaging comments based on race, gender, religion or nationality.

Q: Is it acceptable to display political posters in one's own personal work area? What about religious symbols and imagery?

A: Employees should not use the workplace to demonstrate their personal support for a particular political issue, party or candidate. Other employees may find this type of conduct intimidating or offensive. Regarding personal displays of religious symbols and imagery, we respect employees' desire to express religious beliefs. However, we should also bear in mind that excessive personal displays and religious-oriented displays at Company functions or on Company premises may be perceived as intimidating or hostile to colleagues who have different beliefs.


Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of workplace harassment of a sexual nature that affects the dignity of men and women at work. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, demanding sexual considerations in exchange for job benefits, threatening or taking adverse employment actions if sexual favors are not granted, or unwelcome physical contact.

If you feel you have been harassed, inform the offender that the action is unwelcome. If you are not comfortable with a direct approach or if it fails to correct the problem, discuss the matter with your supervisor or with Human Resources, or refer to the resources listed on the Additional Assistance Page.

Q: Is it permissible to date a subordinate if it is a consensual relationship?

A: There is an inherent conflict of interest in managing someone with whom you have a romantic relationship. Even if you are acting impartially, your relationship will likely be perceived to inappropriately influence your judgment. Such relationships may damage morale and disrupt workplace productivity. Therefore, it is unacceptable to begin or maintain a romantic relationship with one of your direct or indirect reports -someone in your reporting chain whose performance reviews, compensation, and promotions you may influence. You must immediately disclose the relationship to your manager or Human Resources. Dating a colleague where there is no direct or indirect reporting relationship is acceptable If you find yourself in a reporting relationship after a romantic relationship has begun or ended, you should disclose this relationship to your manager or to Human Resources.

Q: Occasionally physician-customers behave in a sexually provocative manner toward me during sales visits, behavior that I think borders on sexual harassment. My job depends on maintaining good relation with these physicians, but I'm uncomfortable with their behavior What should I do?

A: No employee should tolerate sexual harassment or any other form of workplace harassment. If you are comfortable talking to the customer about the behavior, calmly express your discomfort with their actions. If the behavior persists, or you are uncomfortable confronting the physician, you should discuss this concern with your manager, Human Resources, or any of the other resource listed on the Additional Assistance Page.


Hiring Relatives and Friends

We seek to hire employees who can contribute to the Company's success. We will hire relatives and friends of current employees and we encourage their referral. However, we will not show favoritism to candidates who are family members or friends of Merck employees. We will hire each candidate based on his or her qualifications for the open position. Senior managers should be especially aware that their referral of family members or friends may be perceived as exercising undue influence on the hiring process and should take appropriate steps to avoid the appearance of "sponsoring" a friend or relative as a candidate, and to avoid interfering with the hiring process.

To ensure objectivity and prevent conflicts of interest, family members may not have direct or indirect reporting relationships to other family members. In rare instances where unique circumstances may warrant an exception to this policy, prior approval must be obtained from your divisional vice president.

Q: Will Merck sometimes take a less-appealing candidate as part of a "package" to get a very desirable candidate?

A: The Company's policy is to hire applicants who are qualified for the job in question. In rare instances, such as when a husband and wife both apply for positions with the Company, we have considered both applications in concert. The Company does this because we recognize that hiring one spouse without the other could be particularly problematic, it for example, relocation is required. Yet, if either spouse fails to meet the criteria for his/her position, we would not extend a job offer to that individual.


Relationships With the Shareholders

Conflicts of Interest

We have a responsibility to our shareholders to make decisions strictly on the basis of Merck's best interests without regard to personal concerns. A potential conflict of interest arises when we become involved, directly indirectly, in outside activities that could impair, or be perceived to impair, our business judgment. Example actual or potential conflicts of interest include:

      • Having a personal financial interest in a supplier, customer, competitor or distributor;
      • Having a close family member (e.g., spouse, parent, sibling, child or in-law), or anyone you treat like a member (e.g., finance, domestic partner or domestic partner of a family member), work for a supplier, customer, competitor or distributor;
      • Receiving any form of compensation from a supplier, customer, competitor or distributor;
      • Having a personal interest or potential for gain in Company transactions;
      • Serving on an Advisory Board and/or Board of Directors of an association or company which is in a similar market/industry as Merck;
      • Having a close family member work at an agency that approves our drugs;
      • Hiring an employee/consultant due to their family relationship with government decision-makers.

The key to addressing conflicts of interest is full disclosure. Often, just disclosing the potential conflict to the Company is the only action required. If you believe you may have a potential conflict of interest, you discuss the situation with your manager. Certain employees, including directors, officers, executives other designated employees, must file annual conflict of interest certifications describing any actual or potential conflicts of interest. Company loans to employees particularly sensitive and are subject to specific scrutiny. Company loans to executive officers or members of Board of Directors are prohibited unless they were already in existence on July 30, 2002.

Q: I own a few shares of stock in British Telecom. Since BT provides phone services to Merck, must I report this as a conflict of interest?

A: An investment representing less than 1 percent outstanding shares of a publicly owned comp such as British Telecom, would not be considered potential conflict of interest under our policy.

Q: Are there any guidelines to help us avoid potential conflicts of interest with physician customers who are also personal friends?

A: Since there is a potential conflict of interest -or the appearance of a conflict-to have a personal friendship with a customer with whom you conduct business, you must disclose these personal relationships to your manager. Your manager will review the situation and determine what steps, if any, should be taken to manage the potential conflict. You should also consider the following questions to determine whether your relationship with a customer could present a conflict of interest:

      • Is this a personal friendship or a friendly professional relationship?
      • Do you socialize with the physician customer? On weekends? On holidays?
      • Would your personal loyalty override or appear to compromise your ability to make decisions that are in the Company's best interests?
      • Do you discuss business in non-work settings?
      • Are you disclosing information to the customer that the Company would consider confidential or proprietary?
      • Does your relationship compromise - or appear to compromise -the objectivity of the customer's decision-making (in the case of a physician, the physician's prescribing habits)?

It is important to use good judgment in managing your personal relationships with customers. If you are unsure how to proceed, it is always prudent to discuss the situation with your manager.


Use of Corporate Assets

Our shareholders have a right to expect that the Company's assets are properly maintained and used in an economical and efficient manner. As a general rule, we should not use Company equipment or resources (excluding communications tools-see next page), for personal use. However, there may be times when personal use of corporate resources is acceptable. If you have questions about such situations, discuss them with your manager.

Q: With the support of the Company, I am working on an advanced chemistry degree. May I use Company laboratory equipment over the weekend to further my studies?

A: Due to health, safety and other risks, personal use of Company laboratory equipment is not permitted. If you believe extraordinary circumstances war exception, discuss the situation with your manager.


Personal Use of Communication Tools

The Company encourages us to make efficient and effective use of communication tools such as e-mail, the Intranet and Internet, voicemail, telephones, photocopiers and fax machines to accomplish business objectives. These tools also allow us to efficiently accomplish personal activities and such use is generally permitted provided there id no undue cost to the Company or adverse effect on productivity or the work environment. Usage also must conform to all other existing standards and policies regarding communication tools. General guidelines for the various communication tools include:

Telephones: Use common sense and good judgment when using Company telephones for personal business. A quick call home is acceptable- lengthy overseas calls are not acceptable.

Faxes and Photocopiers: Personal use is acceptable provided it is infrequent and insubstantial. Photocopying your tax return is acceptable-copying 200 announcements for your sports club is not acceptable.

Internet and E-mail: Our personal use should not interfere with work productivity and not exceed a nominal cost to the Company. Again, use common sense and good judgment. Internet shopping during your lunch hour is acceptable-spending the afternoon "surfing the web" is not acceptable.

PLease note that the following are some examples of inappropriate use of the Internet and E-mail Systems and are strictly forbidden at all times:

      • Disclosing confidential or proprietary information.
      • Downloading or transmitting pornographic, sexiest, racially or ethnically insensitive material.
      • Posting your opinions or views with regard to the Company or the Company's business in Internet newsgroups, chat rooms, bulletin boards, etc., unless you are specifically authorized by the Company to do so.
      • Conducting private commercial business on the Internet or E-mail Systems.

Your particular division or location may have adopted more restrictive guidelines concerning personal use of communication tools. In all cases, personal use of communication tools is subject to the discretion of your manager. For more information, contact your local Information Systems professional, the Information Services Department Help Desk, or Human Resources representative.

Q: May I load my own personal software onto my Merck computer or personal digital assistant(PDA)?

A: Generally, this is not an acceptable practice. To reduce the likelihood of introducing code capable of destroying data, only software provided by the Company may be used on Company Computers. Exceptions require prior approval from your manager and Information Services; however, it should be noted that Information Services cannot dedicate its resources to support your use of personal software.

Q: Occasionally, some of my colleagues visit Internet chat rooms while at work. Is this appropriate?

A: Unless specifically authorized as part of your job responsibilities, it is inappropriate to visit Internet chat rooms using Company computers. If you wish to chat on the Internet, you should do so using your own personal computer on your own time.

Q: Would it be acceptable for me to do Internet banking on a Company computer?

A: Yes, Employees can use the Internet for appropriate personal tasks after hours,as well as during business hours as long as the activity is infrequent and insubstantial and does not interfere with an employees' job performance. However, if this activity involves installing any additional software on your computer, you would need to obtain approval from your manager and Information Services before proceeding.

Q: If the Company has sanctioned and/or paid an employee's online study coursework, what guidelines apply for his/her internet use?

A: The Company recognizes that greater latitude with regard to Internet use may be appropriate and warranted under certain circumstances. You should discuss your specific situation with your manager.


Protection of Company Information

Information is an important Company asset that must be protected. The loss of confidential information can b extremely damaging to our competitive position. Examples of confidential information include, but are not limited to, pricing, formulations, research results, manufacturing methods, financial data and marketing and sales strategies and plans.

We do not disclose any confidential Company information without a valid business purpose and proper authorization by management. Each of us is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of Company information. General guidelines for protecting confidential Company information include:

      • Not discussing sensitive Company business in public ;
      • Using password protection on computer files (and not sharing your password with other employees);
      • Securing sensitive information in locked files and cabinets;
      • Securing sensitive information on laptop computers while traveling;
      • Exercising caution when using speakerphones and cellular phones.

Even after we leave the employment of Merck, we are obligated to maintain the confidentiality of Merck information and return all documents and files (inducing electronically-stored information).

Q: I overheard Merck employees discussing Company business on an airplane. What if anything, should I do?

A: If you believe the information that is being discussed is sensitive or confidential, advise the parties that they can be overheard. Every Merck employee has a responsibility to ensure that confidential and proprietary information is not disclosed in public.

Q: I was using my home computer and came across a chat room where sensitive Merck information was being divulged. What should I do?

A: Such disclosure of confidential Company information is strictly forbidden, as it seriously harms the Company in trying to achieve its business objectives. Discuss your observation with your manager. You may also call the Advice Line or contact the Office of Ethics, advising them of your observations.

Q:As a Merck researcher, I see a conflict between the Company's desire to protect its confidential and proprietary information and the open exchange of knowledge in the scientific community. What are my responsibilities?

A:The Company respects and shares researchers' desire to share scientific knowledge. To this end, we actively encourage the publication of scientific findings. However, since funding for our research comes only from product sales, it is essential that we have the opportunity to protect our discoveries through the patent process before making them known to the public and to competing pharmaceutical firms. As a Merck researcher, before you consider releasing any scientific result or information that is based on work conducted at Merck, you are required to first seek the approval of your divisional vice president, or have the information reviewed by the office of Scientific and Technical Information Clearance (OSTIC) process for approval.


Accuracy of Book/Records

We make decisions based on information recorded at every level of the Company. Incomplete or inaccurate information may lead to poor decisions and negative consequences, for example:

      • Improper recording of revenues and expenses leads to misrepresentation of the Company's financial position, and is illegal;
      • Incomplete or inaccurate manufacturing documents could jeopardize the supply of a product and violate regulations.

We must record all information honestly and accurately. This includes, but is not limited to, expenses, revenues, research test results, production and quality data and any other corporate information. All financial transactions and payments must be authorized and recorded. Strict compliance with corporate accounting methods is required, as is cooperation with internal and external auditors. Contact your divisional controller or corporate audit group client director with any questions concerning the proper recording of financial transactions.


Accuracy of Public Disclosures

We have a responsibility to ensure that we provide the investing public with information that reflects the true value of our operations. Therefore, all of our public disclosures that are filed with government agencies or communicated to the public must be full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable. This obligation applies to all employees, including all financial executives, with any responsibility for preparing such reports, including drafting, reviewing, and signing or certifying the information they contain. We must communicate openly about our operations, without compromising proprietary and confidential information.

If you have concerns about any aspect of our financial disclosures, you should discuss them with your manager, the Finance organization, the Legal Department, the Office of Ethics or the Advice Line. Any employee who is contacted by another employee who is raising questions or concerns about questionable accounting or auditing matters must immediately report those concerns to the Office of Ethics.

Q: It is December and there is money left in our annual budget. Is it acceptable to pre-pay for next year's activities using this year's budget?

A: No. Activities and payments must be matched to the same period. If an event occurs this year then payment should be recorded as taking place this year. If an activity is set for next year then the payment must be charged to the next year's budget and accounts.

Q: I am concerned that Company employees may be inclined to release only study data that puts our research in the best light. What should I do?

A: You are right to be concerned. This may be a serious issue and should be reported to your manager or the Legal Department immediately. Selective release of data may adversely affect Merck's reputation for quality research and may violate government regulations.

Q: A sales order came in and will be confirmed two days after the books are closed. Is it acceptable to include unconfirmed sales in an earlier period?

A: No. The sale has not officially taken place until it is confirmed and the goods have been shipped. It is a misrepresentation to include unconfirmed sales in an earlier period.

Q: Can I delay processing sales orders until the next period to help us attain our income targets in that period?

A: No. Sales orders received must be processed in accordance with standard operating procedures for the transaction. It is inappropriate to manipulate sales orders for processing during the next financial period.


Insider Trading

Merck strives to preserve fair and open markets for the buying and selling of the Company's securities. We may not buy or sell Merck securities, on the basis of nonpublic, material information. Material ("inside") information is any information that a reasonable investor would consider important in making investment decisions. Examples may include knowledge about acquisitions, divestitures, new products or processes, and financial information such as corporate earnings. These same restrictions apply to nonpublic material information about other companies that we learn through our capacity as Merck employees.

We are also prohibited from disclosing non-public material information to others - both inside and outside Merck - without a legitimate business reason and proper management authorization.

If we have inside information, we must refrain from trading in the affected securities until the beginning of the second full trading day after public disclosure of the information. If you are in doubt as to whether the purchase or sale of securities would violate our insider trading standards, please consult with the Legal Department.


Relationship with Suppliers

Selection of Suppliers

We select goods and services that best contribute to the long term well being of Merck. We choose our suppliers based on price, quality, delivery, service, diversity and reputation. Other factors, including environmental and business practices, also may be taken into consideration. Merck condemns the use of forced labor and exploitative child labor and expects its suppliers to respect this principle as well.

Q: I suspect that one of our suppliers is using child labor. What should I do?

A: Discuss your observation with your manager. You may also contact the Advice Line or, if you prefer, you may contact the Office of Ethics, advising them of your observations.

Q: Due to a recent promotion, I am now assigned to purchase office equipment. How should I evaluate suppliers?

A: In addition to the factors mentioned above, there may be a global supply agreement in place that includes a "preferred supplier" in your region. For further information, you should seek assistance from your local procurement representative or finance director.


Treatment of Suppliers

We treat our suppliers and subcontractors with fairness and integrity. We respect the terms and conditions of agreements with suppliers and we honor our commitments. We strive to pay on time and are careful to protect the confidential and proprietary information of our suppliers.

To ensure that all suppliers are given an opportunity to compete for our business, we obtain competitive bids where it is feasible to do so.

Q: Is it acceptable to copy Company software to my home computer if it would only be used for Company business?

A: Generally, this is not acceptable. We must respect the intellectual property of others and the terms of software-licensing agreements, which may limit the number of machines on which the software may be installed. To determine whether it would be acceptable for your particular software, consult Information Services.

Q: Can I solicit our suppliers and consultants for donations to causes that Merck supports? What about causes I personally support?

A: It may be appropriate for the Company to solicit donations from suppliers and consultants. However, the decision to make such a solicitation would be one that senior management needs to make. It would not be appropriate for you to solicit the Company's suppliers and consultants for a cause that you, personally, support. Using the Company's vendor list for any other purpose than a business purpose would violate our standards and policies.


Relationship with Our Communities and Society

Corporate Responsibility

Merck believes that an essential component of its corporate responsibility is to provide support to charitable or philanthropic organizations that benefit society, from the local plant community to the international level. Merck makes cash contributions both directly and through The Merck Company Foundation, and donates products and other in-kind services to qualified organizations and programs that address the needs of society and support Merck's overall business mission to enhance health.

The philanthropic outreach of Merck is guided by two strategic priorities worldwide: to advance scientific knowledge and education, and to improve health care. Merck supports initiatives to address selected health care issues with funding, donates MECTIZAN® to treat river blindness and has joined a public/private sector cooperation to accelerate access to HIV/AIDs care and treatment in countries such as Botswana. Other Merck medicines are also donated to address health care needs in developing countries. In addition to these priorities, funding is also provided to support programs to protect our environment, promote art and cultural activities, and foster civic institutions. When appropriate, Merck provides assistance in response to major disasters and medical emergencies.

For more information, contact the Corporate Office of Contributions at White house Station.


Human Rights

We believe in the fundamental dignity of every human being and in respecting individual rights. In all of our operations:

      • We condemn the use of forced labor and exploitative child labor and expect our suppliers to respect this principle as well;
      • We respect employees' lawful freedom of association;
      • We compensate our employees to ensure that basic needs are met and provide our employees with the opportunity to improve their skills and capabilities;
      • We do not discriminate at any level of the organization on the basis of race, gender, age, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or religious beliefs;
      • We provide a safe and healthy work environment.

We have the opportunity to set an example (for our business partners and other organizations) by upholding our standards. These standards demand respect for all individuals and consideration of the interests of all of those affected by and involved in our business. We also create work environments where free discussion can take root that respects the opinions of all employees, as well as reward creativity and innovation. For more information about the Company's policy on human rights, please contact the Office of Ethics.


Public Communications

All communications with the news media are potentially important and reflect upon the Company's image and business. It is vital that communications from the Company are consistent and that all regulatory and legal obligations be fulfilled. All communications must be accurate, responsible and in keeping with Merck's medical and legal policies. Media or public requests for information should be referred to and coordinated with Public Affairs.

Q: I will make a presentation at a conference where press coverage is likely. How should I respond if I'm approached by the media following my presentation?

A: Journalists often approach scientists and executives who make presentations at professional forums. When press coverage is likely to result, Public Affairs should be advised in advance and questions and answers should be prepared. But you should feel free to clarify for the reporter anything that was formally presented at the meeting. Questions that go beyond what was formally presented should be referred to Public Affairs. Copies of slides should not be given out without prior clearance from the Merck Research Laboratories and Public Affairs because this could jeopardize the scientific publication process.


Environmental Stewardship

Our responsibility to protect the environment is among our highest priorities. We comply with the letter and spirit of all environmental laws and regulations and respect the environment in every country where we operate. We provide consumers with information to help them handle our products in an environmentally responsible way. Central Safety and the Environment can answer specific questions about Merck's environmental standards; or you can check the Safety and Environment Web site at mmd.merck.com/S&E/.

Q: The laws in my country do not prohibit dumping waste on-site. Can I dispose of Merck waste in this way?

A: No. The disposal method must be in accordance with Merck's own environmental standards, and specific practices vary, depending on the type of waste. Merck has developed "best practice" global environmental standards for all of its facilities.In some cases, these standards require actions that exceed what laws in individual countries would allow.

Q: I am a site services manager and have the responsibility for buying replacements for everything from light bulbs to equipment. Does Merck's goal of continuous improvement mean that I should always select the most environmentally-beneficial option?

A: Not necessarily. Sometimes the cost of the most environmentally-beneficial option is disproportionate to the benefit to be obtained. Generally, however, where the cost differential between options is not significant and a real environmental benefit will result, the more environmentally beneficial option should be selected. Consult your Procurement representative to help determine the most appropriate purchases.


Improper Payments

To promote good government and fair, impartial administration of laws, we may not promise, offer or make payment in money or anything of value to any government official or political party with the intent to obtain or maintain business, or any unfair competitive advantage, or to improperly affect government decisions.

Our standards do not necessarily take into account all local legal requirements. Where more restrictive local laws exist, those take precedence. Seek the advice of the Legal Department if there is any uncertainty about the propriety or legality of an action. For additional information, refer to the Gifts and Hospitality section on page 9.

Q: I was told I have to pay a "gratuity" to a minor official to clear our vaccine products through customs. These vaccines are perishable, and will spoil if they are not cleared within the next few days. What should I do?

A: The Company does not provide gratuities to officials to ensure execution of official duties. Seek the advice of your manager or the Legal Department to determine if there are legally acceptable alternatives to secure the release of the vaccines.


Use and Selection of Agents

We will engage only reputable, qualified individuals or firms as consultants, agents, representatives or distributors under compensation arrangements that are reasonable in relation to the services performed.

Integrity of performance is a Merck standard for employees and agents alike wherever we do business, and ignorance of that standard is never an acceptable excuse for improper behavior, nor is it acceptable for improper behavior to be rationalized as being in the Company's best interest. No act of impropriety advances the interests of the Company.

Q: How does the Company ensure that its agents comply with Merck's standards?

A: The employee recommending use of an agent must conduct sufficient due diligence research to ensure that the agent is reputable. At a minimum, this should include research on, and reference checking with other parties and multinational companies for whom the agent has worked in the past. This information should be reflected in the approval memorandum submitted to management. In addition, once an external agent has been selected, it is important to monitor that agent's activities and expenditures, to ensure they are reasonable and in compliance with Company policies as well as local and international law.


Compliance With Laws, Rules and Regulations

Being a good corporate citizen means that we comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Managers are responsible for communicating relevant rules and regulations to their employees. For further assistance, contact the Legal Department.


Boycotts

As a U.S.-based Company, all Merck operations, including foreign subsidiaries, must comply with U.S. laws pertaining to foreign boycotts. These laws primarily refer to the Arab boycott of Israel. However, from time to time, other boycott issues may arise. A variety of activities are prohibited under anti-boycott laws, including:

      • Furnishing information about Merck's or any person's past, present or prospective relationship with boycotted countries or blacklisted companies; and,
      • Paying, honoring or confirming letters of credit containing boycott provisions.

The laws also requires that certain requests for boycott information be reported to the U.S. Government. Because anti-boycott legislation is complex, all such requests should be directed immediately to the Legal Department.


Economic Sanctions and Other Import/Export Regulations

We may not export or sell drugs without proper approvals by the Merck Research Laboratories and the Clinical and Regulatory Development Review Committee. In addition, the drugs must meet the legal requirements of the producing country and the countries to which the drugs would be exported, as well as U.S. legal requirements. Further, we may not import from or export to countries against which there is a U.S. embargo (e.g., Sudan or Cuba). We may not import from or export to certain individuals or organizations with which contact is prohibited by U.S. government agencies.

Q: How can we justify not sending medicine to people in need who live in places that are out of political favor with the United States?

A: In return for the right to operate in the United States, we are obligated to comply with all applicable United States laws that apply to our operations-whether or not we agree with such laws. Please note that some U.S. laws, such as those pertaining to export controls, do apply to Merck operations outside of the U.S. In some situations, approvals may be obtained from the relevant U.S. government agencies for supplying medicines to restricted countries and entities.

Q: In the country where I operate, it is illegal to comply with the U.S., trade embargo regulations with certain countries. How do I handle this situation?

A: Transnational compliance with embargo regulations is a complex issue that varies from country to country. All such concerns must be directed to the Legal Department.


Political Activities

Good corporate citizenship requires that we do not unfairly or illegally influence the political process in the communities in which we operate. Due to the complexity and diversity of laws and regulations governing corporate political activities, political contributions and other related activities may only be undertaken with the prior approval of the Chief Executive Officer.

As private citizens, we may participate in the political process, including contributing to candidates or parties of our choice. However, we may not use Company time, property or resources for our personal political activities.


Raising Concerns

We hire employees with sound character and judgment, who we trust will act responsibly. However, there may be times when we need to raise concerns about behavior which we believe violates Merck's values and standards. If you observe such behavior, you have an obligation to discuss it with the appropriate parties. Doing so will provide the Company with the opportunity to correct the problem. The reporting process is flexible, allowing you to raise concerns through a variety of channels. For the appropriate resources in your location, please refer to the Additional Assistance Page found on the inside cover of this booklet.

Q: What is the difference between the Ombudsman Program, the Office of Ethics and the Advice Line? How do I know which resource I should use?

A: Your primary source of guidance is your supervisor or your manager. However, in those instances when you may wish to speak with someone outside your division or location, the Company provides alternative resources such as the Office of Ethics, the Advice Line and the Ombudsman Program.

    • The Office of Ethics provides services to Merck employees, worldwide, with ethical questions or concerns. The Office of Ethics is responsible for both the Ombudsman Program and the Advice Line.
    • The Advice Line, available to employees around the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is staffed by an outside organization and employees can remain anonymous when they call. The operator will not directly provide advice to the employee, but rather, will relay the information to the Merck Office of Ethics, providing the employee with a case number and a call-back date. While questions and concerns raised to the Advice Line will be forwarded to the Office of Ethics for review, no identifying information will be forwarded without the caller's consent.
    • The Ombudsman Program promotes the positive and fair treatment of employees by providing an alternative channel for use by employees to address work-related concerns, including conduct inconsistent with the Company's policies, practices, values and standards. The program is designed to provide a "safe haven" where these issues can be addressed in confidence and without fear of retaliation.

You may call either the Office of Ethics or the Ombudsman Office to discuss matters in a confidential environment. The Advice Line offers complete anonymity, as it is operated by an external vendor.

Q: I cannot make collect calls to the United States from my country. Does this mean that t am unable to contact the Advice tine?

A: The Office of Ethics has established a variety of ways for all employees to get assistance. If you cannot call the Advice Line collect, you can contact the Advice Line by dialing direct to the U.S. at (770) 5825253, or the Office of Ethics at (908) 423-4478. In addition, you can reach the toll-free telephone number - (877) 3I9-0273 - by contacting your local telephone operator and requesting the access code for USA Direct or AT&T. Alternatively, the access codes are also available on the AT&T Web site at www.att.com.

Q: Is the Company encouraging employees to report on one another?

A: The Company encourages employees to address and resolve work-related concerns themselves before they become real problems, and certainly before they rise to the level of violations of law or risk to health and safety. At times, it may be appropriate to approach the person directly with your concerns, providing them an opportunity to clarify their behavior. In the event that employees are uncomfortable handling the situation on their own, they are encouraged to consult their managers or supervisors, or any of the resources listed in this booklet. If employees are unable to resolve concerns by using these channels, then the Company also has an "Advice Line" which is completely anonymous and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Investigation of Reported Misconduct

The Company takes all reports of misconduct seriously. We will confidentially investigate all alleged misconduct to determine if any law, regulation, policy or procedure has been violated.

Q: I don't know of anyone who has contacted the Office of Ethics or Advice Line. How many employees really contact the Office of Ethics? What kinds of issues are brought forward?

A: The Office of Ethics handles 1,000 to 1,200 cases per year regarding ethics questions, concerns or allegations of inappropriate actions. Most of the issues revolve around interactions between employees and their managers, potential conflicts of interest, and inconsistent application of Company policy.

The fact that you do not hear much about reports of alleged misconduct reflects how well confidentiality is maintained during the ethics reporting and investigation process.

Q: In each of Merck's operating countries, numerous country-specific ethics challenges can arise. How will Merck ensure it has local expertise to address these issues?

A: The Office of Ethics is working with divisional compliance committees to enhance regional and country-specific resources. Currently, if you have an ethics question, consult your manager, local lawyer, or the Office of Ethics.


Anonymity and Confidentiality

When you contact the Office of Ethics to raise an issue, you may remain anonymous, although you are encouraged to identify yourself, since doing so will facilitate communication. Should you choose to identify yourself, the Office of Ethics will make every reasonable effort to keep your identity confidential in a manner consistent with conducting a thorough and fair investigation as may be required under the law. To assist the Office of Ethics in maintaining confidentiality, however, it is imperative that you practice discretion and refrain from discussing your Office of Ethics consultation with colleagues or co-workers.

Employees can also report concerns anonymously by using the Advice Line, a line answered by a third-party vendor. Anonymous callers are provided with a case number and instructed to call back within a certain timeframe to receive an update or to provide additional information which may be necessary to properly investigate their concern. To learn more about the Advice Line, please access the Office of Ethics Web site at: http://ethics.merck.com

Q: If I raise a concern with the Office of Ethics or Ombudsman, is it automatically considered anonymous?

A: Some employees confuse confidentiality with anonymity. You may raise concerns without identifying yourself, thus ensuring anonymity. However if you identify yourself, we will make every effort to keep your identity confidential. Matters raised with the Office of Ethics will be kept confidential unless they raise issues of potential harm to an individual or to the Company, or unless some disclosure is necessary due to an investigation. Our fax is located in a secure area and procedures are in place to safeguard your confidentiality. In those circumstances where you have presented an issue that may involve potential harm to an individual or to the Company, the Office of Ethics will advise you that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Disclosure will be made on a need-to know basis and only to the extent necessary.


Retaliation

Employees who raise concerns help the Company to correct problems before they grow. We will not tolerate retaliation against any employee for raising a business practices issue in good faith. Raising a concern in "good faith" means that you have made a genuine attempt to provide honest and accurate information even if you are later proven to be mistaken. The fact that an employee has raised concerns in good faith, or has provided information in an investigation, cannot be a basis for denial of benefits, termination, demotion, suspension, threats, harassment or discrimination. Similarly employees who work with those who raise concerns should continue to treat them in a courteous and respectful manner and should not engage in behavior that might alienate or intimidate colleagues. This protection extends to anyone giving information in relation to an investigation. If you or others have been retaliated against, you should report this behavior to your supervisor or the Office of Ethics.

Please note that Merck reserves the right to discipline anyone who knowingly makes a false accusation, provides false information to the Company or has acted improperly.


Guidelines for Raising Concerns

It is never easy to raise concerns about possible misconduct. It requires courage and integrity. Listed below are some general ideas on how to discuss your concern with your management:

      1. Schedule a specific time with your manager or another Company resource to discuss your issue.
      2. Discuss your issues calmly and professionally.
      3. Highlight the risks to the Company and the potential impact of the particular misconduct.
      4. Acknowledge (when appropriate) that you may not have all of the information or facts relevant to the issue.
      5. State any concerns that you may have about the confidentiality of your report. (If you are concerned about confidentiality, be careful when sharing information with other colleagues who might inadvertently disclose information.)
      6. Thank the individual for their time and their attention to the issue.


Guidelines for Receiving Concerns

Your reaction when an employee brings forward a concern is extremely important. It will either encourage an open communications environment where employees feel safe to discuss important issues or it will have a chilling effect on future communications and workplace morale. Listed below are some general ideas on how to respond when an employee raises a concern:

      1. Ensure you have enough time to adequately discuss their concern. If not, schedule an alternate time and communicate to the employee that your desire to do so is to ensure that they and their issue have your full attention.
      2. Listen as much as possible. Try to avoid becoming defensive or attempting to cut off the discussion.
      3. Remain calm and professional.
      4. Ask for clarification and additional information, but do so in a way that the employee does not feel intimidated or defensive.
      5. Do not feel that you must give an immediate response. Many times it is better to reflect on the employee's concerns and respond later with your thoughts on the issue.
      6. Thank the individual for bringing the issue to your attention.

Bear in mind that many employees may be particularly sensitive to perceived slights or perceived retaliation following a report of misconduct. It is imperative that you continue to treat employees with dignity and respect including the following:

    • Evaluate based on actual performance.
    • Provide meaningful assignments.
    • Share information needed to get work done.
    • Involve in social functions.
    • Treat with courtesy.

Professional Employment Guidelines (1983)

Organization: American Chemical Society Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
1983

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Professional Employment Guidelines

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
1155 SIXTEENTH ST., N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036

Copyright © 1983 American Chemical Society,
Washington, D.C.

 

FOREWORD

This third edition' of the Professional Employment Guidelines is, like its predecessors, the product of arduous debate by the Council Committee on Professional Relations. It retains those guidelines by which the actions of employers and employees alike have been judged since 1975, and it adds several that were perceived by the Committee (or called to the Committee's attention by other interested committees of the Society) as necessary responses to documented examples of unprofessional treatment and/or conduct. It also incorporates new guidelines that may prevent adversarial relations in those areas where workplace rights are not yet universally recognized. In addition, the Definition of a Chemist, approved at the spring Council meeting in 1978, is appended for reference.

 

The history of the guidelines can be traced to 1939, when the Committee on Professional Status brought the subject of professional scientists' employment rights and responsibilities to the attention of the Council in the form of a report, "Employer-Employee Legal Relationships." Employer treatment of scientists as professionals was dealt with in a 1945 Chemical & Engineering News article: "Responsibilities of Employers to Professional Employees." "The Chemist's Creed,"which was developed by the Committee on Professional Relations in 1965, provided a guide to ethics for members of the chemical profession.

 

Major terminations of professionals in the early 1970's induced the Committee to recognize the need for standards to assist employers in understanding the interests of scientists. Accordingly, minimum guidelines for employers were prepared in 1973. Subsequently, parallel standards for employees in the chemical profession were developed, and thus the first edition 2 of Professional Employment Guidelines for both employees and employers was adopted in 1975. The second edition3, in 1978, incorporated guidelines directed towards the special needs of chemists employed in academic institutions.

 

1 3rd edition-approved by the Council August 31, 1983 (Washington, D.C.) and adopted by the Board of Directors September 23, 1983.

 

2 1st edition-approved by the Council and adopted by the Board of Directors April 9, 1975.

3 2nd edition-approved by the Council March 15, 1978 (Anaheim) and adopted by the Board of Directors June 10, 1978.

The Committee on Professional Relations takes great pride in the acceptance and approval of these guidelines by the Council, the largest member-elected body in the American Chemical Society The Council may justifiably feel a sense of achievement in obtaining a consensus on the guidelines and in the Board's prompt adoption of them.

While the Committee has the prime responsibility for overseeing the implementation and observance of the Professional Employment Guidelines, all members of the Society have a duty to know and observe them, as well as to bring departures from their spirit and content to the Committee's attention.

 

The Committee also recognizes its duty to modify the guidelines as changing times and conditions dictate; however, it is neither prudent nor practical to revise them more frequently than about every five years.

 

Professional Employment Guidelines


Prepared by the Council Committee on Professional Relations
American Chemical Society

 

Preamble

The American Chemical Society seeks to enhance the productivity and economic welfare of both chemists* and the employers of chemists by the delineation of employment practices that collectively foster the mutual confidence and mutual security of employers and employed chemists and by the review of the practices of individual chemists and employers. The Society endorses the application of these Guidelines to all professional employment.


1. Terms of Employment


The Chemist

1. The prospective employee should apply only for those positions in which he or she has a sincere interest. Any interview expenses to be reimbursed by the prospective employer must be reported accurately. If more than one employer is visited on an interview trip, expenses should be prorated fairly.

2. The chemist should inform any new employer of previous employment agreements, and should exclude trade secrets or proprietary information of previous employers from new employment agreements. The chemist should not seek or accept employment on the basis of using or divulging any trade secrets or proprietary information. The chemist should disclose all of his/her inventions to the employer in a timely fashion. The chemist should convey title to all inventions to the employer if: the employer provides space, time, labor, or equipment in pursuit of the invention; or the invention involves a product or process of the employer; or the invention relates directly to the business of the employer.

3. The chemist is obligated to honor an offer of employment once accepted unless formally released after giving adequate notice of intent. All of these obligations should be made in writing.

4. The chemist should not use the funds or facilities of the current employer for the purpose of seeking new employment unless approved by the current employer.


The Employer

1. The conditions of employment should be described fully to the prospective employee. Conditions for the continuation of employment such as temporary funding or outside contracts should be specified. A written statement of these conditions should be supplied to the chemist at the time an employment offer is made. A statement of termination policy, including procedures in effect during periods of defined financial exigency, should also be made available to the candidate at the time the employment offer is made.

2. Legal obligations of the chemist to the employer should be clearly set forth in an employment agreement. The employer should not assert title to inventions that: were developed on the employee's own time; and did not involve equipment, facilities, supervision, or trade secrets of the employer; and do not relate directly to the business of the employer. The employer should transfer patent rights to the employee when the employer has no continuing interest in the invention, and has received a full disclosure of the invention and a written request for release.

3. Employment, advancement and compensation will be based on professional competence and performance without regard to sex, age, race, religion, physical handicap, or any stipulation irrelevant to the job.

4. Sound indirect compensation programs should include, among others, adequate retirement benefits, health, disability and life insurance, sick leave, and paid holidays and vacations. Employers should regularly adjust pension payments and benefits to retirees to reflect changes in the cost of living. Permanent (regular) part-time employees should be provided with adjusted indirect compensation programs that are at least proportional to the programs for full-time employees.

5. The employer is obligated to honor a written and accepted offer of a position. If unable to honor it, the employer should provide the chemist with equitable reparation.

6. The employer should recognize that at times during the chemist's employment, family or professional responsibilities may necessitate special arrangements such as the granting of personal leaves, flexible working schedules, and part-time employment. The chemist should be informed at the time of employment that these considerations are available and negotiable.

7. In the event that a company or institution is purchased by or merged with another, an employee's years of service should be calculated from the date employed by the initial company or institution.


II. Employment Environment


The Chemist

1. The chemist should perform all assignments diligently and judiciously, using his or her most creative and resourceful ideas for the benefit of the employer. The chemist should be responsive to changing corporate business and research objectives.

2. The chemist should strive to foster a stimulating and productive work atmosphere.

3. The chemist should solicit and actively participate in regular performance reviews.

4. The chemist should use all necessary safety procedures, and should inform the employer of any hazards in the working environment.

5. The chemist, mindful of his or her responsibility to the public, should strive to insure that products and processes are adequately tested, and that potential hazards are properly identified.

6. The chemist should respect and maintain the confidentiality of the employer's trade secrets and proprietary information.

7. The chemist should use the period of an enforced work stoppage occurring on the premises in a constructive and professional manner.


The Employer

1. The employer should provide physical facilities that enable the chemist to work safely and efficiently New personnel should be instructed in the proper handling of material and equipment in order to minimize risks of personal injury Continuing environmental studies should be conducted to assure that chemists are asked to function only under safe working conditions.

2. The employer should insure that normal working hours leave the chemist adequate time for personal study, rest, and recreation.

3. Management should periodically review each chemist's aptitude, professional growth, and suitability and, within the framework of job requirements, make assignments to utilize these capabilities. If an arrangement is not mutually beneficial, an appropriate reassignment should be made.

4. The employer should maintain conditions that will enable the chemist to make his or her best contributions. The employer should inform the employee of current and future corporate business and research objectives insofar as they influence the performance and career of the employee.

5. In the event that the employer requests relocation of a chemist, relocation costs should be borne by the employer.

6. The employer should strive to insure that products and processes are adequately tested, and that potential hazards are properly identified to the public.

7. Performance reviews should be made on a regular basis, at least annually. Confidential written records of such reviews should be employee-attested and maintained by both the employer and the employee. The employer has the responsibility to discuss fully and promptly with the chemist any unacceptable performance or ineptitude, with the results of this review documented. The chemist should be advised of means to meet the employer's standards and should be given reasonable time to meet those standards.

8. Judgment of the chemist's scientific performance should be rendered by a supervisor who is also a scientific peer. Additionally, the supervisor should consider the evaluation of the chemist's scientific performance by scientific peers.

9. Dual ladders of advancement for chemical supervisors and chemists should be provided and should be realistic. Financial rewards for individuals at the same level should be similar, even though responsibilities are different.

10. Managerial and technical contributions should both be considered as essential to the success of the corporate effort. The chemist should be provided with economic data and appropriate financial and business documents pertaining to his or her effort.

11. Meritorious performance should be rewarded by financial compensation. Increasing levels of skill and responsibility should be rewarded by professional advancement. The employer should establish recognition programs for employed inventors. Extraordinary contributions to patentable inventions, trade secrets, or know-how should be compensated by specific rewards commensurate with the value of the contributions to the employer.

12. The chemist should be permitted to consult with other professionals in the field so as to enhance the individual's capabilities. The interchange should be permitted with the understanding that the chemist will not reveal confidential company information in such discussions. In the event of scientific controversy, it is recognized that the chemist will act as an individual and not as a representative of the company.

13. The employer should not inhibit the movement of a chemist from one organization to another, even a competitor, through the use of such practices as covenants not to compete, and claims to subsequently conceived inventions. Competing employers should not assign a relocated chemist to projects that could compromise professional ethics through the use of trade secrets information.

14. The academic employer should observe the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges.

15. The employer should not penalize the chemist who performs only his or her duties during any enforced work stoppage occurring on the premises.


III. Professional Development


The Chemist

1. The chemist is responsible for maintaining technical competence and for self -development through continuing education. Additionally, the chemist should support and participate in the activities of appropriate technical societies to enhance professional growth.

2. The chemist should serve the public by using his or her specialized knowledge while participating in civic and political activities, Such participation, however, should be undertaken solely as a responsibility of the individual without involving the employer.

3. The chemist should give credit to all colleagues who contribute to technical accomplishments.


The Employer

1. The chemist should, as a matter of policy be encouraged to attend meetings and to take formal courses of study that will enable the individual to maintain scientific competence.

2. The employer should permit reasonable compensated leaves of absence for professional study in order to maintain competence or to improve knowledge in the chemist's field.

3. The chemist should be encouraged and given the opportunity to publish work in scientific journals, and to present findings at scientific meetings.

4. The chemist should be given an opportunity to participate in professional and scientific society affairs. The chemist should be allowed sufficient time consistent with the performance of regular duties to carry out responsibilities in such organizations.

5. The employer should respect the right of the chemist to participate in political and community activities.

6. The employer should encourage self-development by providing reasonable financial assistance to employees who wish to further their education that is related to present or potential company assignments, or that leads to a degree related to such assignments.


IV. Termination Conditions


The Chemist

1. The chemist who intends to terminate employment should notify the employer in writing and provide a minimum of four weeks' advance notice. The chemist should assist the employer to maintain a continuity of function.


The Employer

1. The employer should, by appropriate forward planning, provide stability of employment and avoid multiple terminations. If termination is necessitated, the provisions of these Guidelines apply to all chemists including those whose employment is contingent on maintaining contracts.

2. No chemist should be terminated for inadequate performance or for cause without documented evidence and review by two levels of management, provided such levels of management exist, above the immediate supervisor. The opinion of scientific peers should also be considered.

An academic chemist, regardless of tenure status, who is dismissed during a contract period or whose contract is not renewed at a contract anniversary should be accorded full academic due process.

3. No chemist having a minimum of 10 years' total service should be terminated except for continuing evidence of previously documented inadequate performance or for cause.

4. Any chemist who is terminated for reasons other than cause should be notified in writing and be given a minimum of four weeks' advance notice. The written termination notice should contain the specific date of termination.

For academic chemists, termination notices should be given at least 3 months in advance of the end of the contract for the first year of service, at least 6 months for the second year, and at least 12 months for the third or later years.

5. The chemist should receive severance pay consisting of two weeks' salary for each year of service, beyond the minimum of four weeks' advance notice and beyond any accrued vacation pay Additional notice in lieu of severance pay may be provided by mutual consent of both parties. The written advance notice should include status and options for insurance plans (specific dates when cost of plans should be assumed by the employee) and a detailed accounting of monies to be paid (regular pay, vacation pay, severance pay, and pay in lieu of advance notice).

6. Every effort should be made to place the individual in another position within the organization, including retraining for a new position if necessary When it is determined that such relocation is not possible, the chemist should be given assistance in finding employment elsewhere.

7. Any chemist terminated with a minimum of 10 years' total service should have fully vested pension rights with survivor benefits.

8. If the employer encourages the employee to retire early, the employer should provide an attractive and adequate income, e.g., increased pension. Any chemist who is involuntarily placed on early retirement should be treated at least as well as an employee dismissed for economic reasons, i.e., be given severance pay, advance notice, etc.

9. The employer should continue life insurance and medical care plans for a minimum of one month beyond the severance date, plus accrued vacation time, plus two weeks for each year of employee service, at the same rate of contribution as when the terminee was an employee. The employer should provide an additional 31 day grace period.

10. The employer should follow a policy of rehiring those terminated in a retrenchment before similarly qualified employees are recruited. Rehire privileges should be carefully explained to employees terminated during a retrenchment.

11. When an employer hires a chemist previously terminated by the employer, the employee's years of service should include the initial service preceding any interruption.


Definition of a Multiple Termination


A multiple termination occurs when the employment of three or more chemists or chemical engineers is terminated within a six-month period for reasons other than: 1) continuing evidence of previously documented inadequate performance, 2) completion of a contract, or 3) cause. The academic chemists or chemical engineers must be tenured or in a tenure-leading position.


Investigation of Unprofessional Conduct


The Chemist

1. The Committee on Professional Relations will investigate instances of conduct by chemists reported to be in violation of the Professional Employment Guidelines.

2. The conclusions of the committee will be communicated to the parties involved.

3. Documented instances of unethical conduct can lead to initiation of proceedings before the Council of the American Chemical Society, in accordance with Article IV, Sec. 3 of the Constitution and Bylaw 1, Sec. 7.


The Employer

1. The Committee on Professional Relations will investigate instances of conduct by employers reported to be in violation of the Professional Employment Guidelines.

2. The committee will extend assistance to chemists whom the committee has deemed to have been treated unprofessionally.

3. Documented unprofessional conduct by an employer can lead to citation before the the Council of the American Chemical Society and subsequent publication.


Definition of a Chemist*

A chemist is a professional who possesses an earned bachelor's or higher degree with a major in a chemical science from an accredited institution and who develops, applies, or communicates the principles of chemistry and exercises independent judgment and discretion in conceiving, planning, coordinating, or executing chemical projects or who has experience in so doing.

The chemical sciences deal with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the transformations they undergo.

This statement was formulated for those who need a definition of a chemist for legislative, judicial, or regulatory purposes. It is not related to membership eligibility in any particular scientific or professional society.

*For brevity the term "chemist" in the Guidelines refers to both chemists and chemical engineers.

 

Approved by the Council of the American Chemical Society, March 15, 1978 and endorsed by the Board of Directors on June 10, 1978.

Code of Ethics (1963)

Organization: American Institute of Chemical Engineers Visit Organization Page
Source: CSEP Library Visit Source Page
Date Approved: 
September 30, 1963

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

CODE OF ETHICS

The Institute adopts as its own Code of Ethics, to which it expects that the professional conduct of its members shall conform, the Canons of Ethics of Engineers approved by the Engineers' Council for Professional Development, September 30, 1963, as set forth below.


Fundamental Principles of Professional Engineering Ethics

 

The Engineer, to uphold and advance the honor and dignity of the engineering profession and in keeping with high standards of ethical conduct:

 

1. Will be honest and impartial, and will serve with devotion his employer, his clients, and the public;

 

Il. Will strive to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession;

 

III. Will use his knowledge and skill for the ad vancement of human welfare.


Relations with the Public

 

1. 1 The Engineer will have proper regard for the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of his professional duties.

 

1.2 He will endeavor to extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and its achievements, -and will oppose any untrue, unsupported, or exaggerated statements regarding engineering.

 

1.3 He will be dignified and modest in explaining his work and merit, will ever uphold the honor and dignity of his profession, and will refrain from self-laudatory advertising.

 

1.4 He will express an opinion on an engineering subject only when it is founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction.

 

1.5 He will preface any ex parte statements, criticisms, or arguments that he may issue by clearly indicating on whose behalf they are made.


Relations with Employers and Clients

 

2.1 The Engineer will act in professional matters as a faithful agent or trustee for each employer or client.

 

2.2 He will act fairly and justly toward vendors and contractors, and will not accept from vendors or contractors, any commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly.

 

2.3 He will inform his employer or client if he is financially interested in any vendor or contractor, or in any invention, machine, or apparatus, which is involved in a project or work of his employer or client. He will not allow such interest to affect his decisions regarding engineering services which he may be called upon to perform.

 

2.4 He will indicate to his employer or client the adverse consequences to be expected if his engineering judgment is over-ruled.

 

2.5 He will undertake only those engineering assignments for which he is qualified. He will engage or advise his employer or client to engage specialists and will cooperate with them whenever his employer's or client's interests are served best by such an arrangement.

 

2.6 He will not disclose information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former employer or client without his consent.

 

2.7 He will not accept compensation-financial or otherwise-from more than one party for the same service, or for other services pertaining to the same work, without the consent of all interested parties.

 

2.8 The employed engineer will engage in supplementary employment or consulting practice only with the consent of his employer.


Relations with Engineers

 

3.1 The Engineer will take care that credit for engineering work is given to those to whom credit is properly due.

 

3.2 He will provide a prospective engineering employee with complete information on working conditions and his proposed status of employment, and after employment will keep him informed of any changes in them.

 

3.3 He will uphold the principle of appropriate and adequate compensation for those engaged in engineering work, including those in subordinate capacities.

 

3.4 He will endeavor to provide opportunity for the professional development and advancement of engineers in his employ or under his supervision.

 

3.5 He will not injure maliciously the professional reputation, prospects, or practice of another engineer. However, if he has proof that another engineer has been unethical, illegal, or unfair in his practice, he should so advise the proper authority.

 

3.6 He will not compete unfairly with another engineer.

 

3.7 He will not invite or submit price proposals for professional services, which require creative intellectual effort, on a basis that constitutes competition on price alone. Due regard should be given to all professional aspects of the engagement.

 

3.8 He will cooperate in advancing the engineering profession by interchanging information and experience with other engineers and students, and by contributing to public communication media, to the efforts of engineering and scientific societies and schools.