Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to respecting human rights in our own operations and our supply base is evident in our policies and statements, which are available on our website:
- Code of Business Conduct
- Conducting Clinical Trials Statement
- Statement on Human Rights
- Global Labor & Employment Guidelines
- Harassment- and Bullying-Free Workplace Policy
- Policy on Employment of Young Persons
- Responsibility Standards for Suppliers
- Human Trafficking Policy
- California Transparency in Supply Chains Act & UK Modern Slavery Act Statement
- Human Right to Water
We updated our Statement on Human Rights in 2018 following a rigorous internal cross-functional review process. We also reviewed and updated our governance structure for managing human rights across our value chain. The Enterprise Governance Council (EGC), a global, cross-functional team of senior leaders representing functional groups and business segments, oversees this work. Quarterly EGC meetings provide a forum for updates on human rights topics, with an established process for elevating issues to the Johnson & Johnson Executive Committee, our Board of Directors and Board Committees if warranted.
As part of our effort toward continuous improvement, throughout 2018 we evaluated different approaches to assess our actual and potential human rights impacts across our value chain. In 2019, we will be engaging with Shift, the leading center of expertise on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to help us in our process to identify salient human rights issues—a key step in our holistic approach to ongoing human rights due diligence.
As outlined below, we also provide grievance mechanisms that can be accessed if stakeholders feel that their human rights have been adversely impacted.
Our Own Operations
Our Global Labor & Employment Guidelines articulate our expectations for labor and employment practices at our sites, including preventing forced labor and child labor, and non-discrimination, among other matters. In 2018, we also evaluated various approaches to a systematic assessment of compliance with the Global Labor & Employment Guidelines in our operations, and expect to deploy a plan starting in late 2019.
Johnson & Johnson provides the freedom to establish a formal employee organization or representation structure across the Enterprise, including in our operating companies; company sites can establish an employee representation structure or framework except where prohibited by law.
Minimum notice periods, the management of reorganizations and layoffs, and the policies associated with such actions vary depending on the location, nature, size and scale of the action and applicable law. Local operating leaders endeavor to communicate significant plans of operational changes to employees and their representatives, where they are present, in a timely and practical manner in advance of actions being taken. Many of our collective bargaining agreements contain negotiated provisions covering severance or separation pay and benefits. Where there is no legal minimum notice period, Johnson & Johnson operating companies typically provide 30 days of notice.
Our approach to talent management puts a strong focus on diversity and inclusion principles. We promote diversity and equal opportunity in recruiting, development and promotion as well as all other aspects of employee careers.
The Johnson & Johnson Responsibility Standards for Suppliers outline our expectations of supplier business conduct. The Standards align closely with relevant provisions of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Consumer Goods Forum Forced Labor Resolution and Priority Industry Principles. In 2018, we updated and launched our online training on Human Rights. The training is mandatory for all Global Procurement employees, and is available to other relevant functions.
We continue to reinforce our management approach to human rights issues in the supply base. Our cross-functional Human Rights Working Group—comprised of Global Procurement, Law Department, Environmental Health, Safety & Sustainability, and Corporate Governance functional groups—meets regularly, and rolled out the social audit program in 2018. For more information, see the Supplier Assessments & Audits section.
completed human rights training
We firmly believe that identifying and understanding environmental, safety and employee issues, including potential human rights concerns, are critical components of our acquisition and other business development activities. We conduct thorough due diligence investigations prior to acquiring businesses, and apply a commensurately higher level of scrutiny to businesses with operations or suppliers in countries where there are traditionally higher risks of compliance violations and/or human rights abuses. We continue to be mindful of these concerns as we transition newly acquired businesses into the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, and are prepared to escalate and appropriately remediate any issues uncovered.
We are committed to providing effective resolution where we have caused or contributed to adverse human rights impacts. Where we find impacts directly linked to our business relationships, we will use our influence to work with our suppliers or business partners to prevent, mitigate and address adverse impacts on human rights. The Johnson & Johnson Credo Hotline—a grievance mechanism available to all employees, suppliers and other business partners—offers a secure mechanism for anonymous reporting of suspected concerns or potential violations of our policies or the law. We communicate the hotline access broadly, and the visibility of this access and hotline functionality are in scope for enterprise-wide audit procedures. Concerns raised through the hotline are reported at an enterprise level. More information on the Credo Hotline is available in our Commitment to Ethics & Compliance section.
In addition to the Credo Hotline, our employees can anonymously report potential violations to the Human Resources function within each operating company locally, as follows:
- In all countries in our Asia Pacific region, we have a grievance resolution policy that explains how employees can raise complaints, and details manager responsibilities to take action.
- In the Americas and the Asia Pacific region, Employee Relations staff independently investigates non-compliance in employee relations matters, and verified non-compliant situations are addressed by the respective business unit.
- In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, investigations are the responsibility of local Human Resources, and are overseen by regional employee relations teams.
- In North America, employees can use the Open Door and Common Ground processes, as stipulated in our Guide for Resolving Employee Disagreements - North America statement.
- In all other operating regions outside North America, an appeal process to re-open grievances exists under certain conditions.