Johnson & Johnson is committed to respecting human rights of individuals throughout our value chain as evident in our policies and positions available on our website:
Governance: The Enterprise Governance Council (EGC), a global, cross-functional team of senior leaders representing functional groups and three business segments, oversees enterprise-wide human rights due diligence 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.
In 2019, we reviewed and updated our governance structure for human rights due diligence across our value chain by establishing the Enterprise Human Rights Governance Council (EHRGC) that reports directly to the EGC. The EHRGC is a team of experts representing main enterprise functions responsible for various aspects of human rights due diligence and management across our own operations and the supply base, including Supply Chain, Human Resources, Global Procurement, Law Department, Corporate Governance, Government Affairs & Policy, and Environmental Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S). In 2019, the EHRGC engaged with Shift, the leading center of expertise on the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, to help us identify and prioritize salient human rights issues at the enterprise level in a two-day workshop involving about 40 leaders across the Company. The outcomes of the workshop have informed the EHRGC’s 2020 workplan and activities to continue strengthening our human rights due diligence approach. Johnson & Johnson also joined Shift’s Business Learning Program to continue and deepen our engagement with Shift and be part of a cross-industry network of companies working to develop sustainable approaches to implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Our own operations: Our Position on Employment and Labor Rights articulates our expectations for labor and employment practices at our sites, including preventing forced labor and child labor, and non-discrimination, among other matters.
In 2019, we continued developing a risk-based approach to assessing compliance with our internal standards related to the human rights of our employees. Our operating companies are required to respect each employee’s right to make an informed decision, free of coercion, about membership in associations and/or labor unions. Employees have the right to organize or join associations, and bargain collectively, if they so choose. The Company and its operating companies are required to bargain in good faith with these associations.
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' 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. To read more, please see our Diversity and Inclusion Policy. As outlined in our Position on Providing a Safe and Harassment-Free Workplace, we do not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bullying, and provide various training courses on this policy, including within our Code of Business Conduct training.
Supply base: The Johnson & Johnson Responsibility Standards for Suppliers outline our expectations of supplier business conduct. The Standards align closely with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Consumer Goods Forum Forced Labor Resolution and Priority Industry Principles. We continue to strengthen our due diligence approach to human rights issues in the supply base. Our cross-functional Human Rights Working Group—comprised of Global Procurement, Law Department, EHS&S, and Corporate Governance functional groups—meets regularly, and continued to make progress on expanding our social audit program in 2019. This Human Rights Working Group reports up through to the newly established EHRGC. To read more, see our Position on Responsible Supply Base and Engaging Suppliers section of this Report.
Training: Our human rights training covering all aspects of our Johnson & Johnson Position on Human Rights is mandatory for all Global Procurement employees and is also assigned to other relevant functions as needed.
Acquisitions: 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.
Grievance mechanisms: 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, where permitted, 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 is 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. To read more, see our Position on Resolving Employee Grievances.