Global employment standards

At IBM, we have always set high standards for the way we conduct business – in areas from corporate and social responsibility to sound business ethics, including compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

These Conduct Principles apply to all IBM employees. However, they are not meant to describe the full scope of IBM human resource policies or practices. More detailed statements of policies, procedures and practices are contained in documents such as the IBM Business Conduct Guidelines. Employees are required to comply with all IBM policies, procedures and practices at all times and are responsible for consulting their management if they have any questions.

Our goal is to ensure full compliance with these principles by IBM managers and employees. A companion to this document, the IBM Supplier Conduct Principles, governs our relationships with and standards for IBM suppliers.

Forced or involuntary labor
IBM will not use forced or involuntary labor of any type (e.g., forced, bonded, indentured or involuntary prison labor); employment is voluntary.

Child labor
IBM will not use child labor. The term "child" refers to any employed person under the age of 16, or under the age for completing compulsory education, or under the minimum age for employment in the country, whichever is greatest. We support the use of legitimate workplace apprenticeship, internship and other similar programs that comply with all laws and regulations applicable to such programs.

Wages and benefits
IBM will, at a minimum, comply with all applicable wage and hour laws and regulations, including those relating to minimum wages, overtime hours, piece rates, nonexempt or exemption classification and other elements of compensation, and provide legally mandated benefits.

Working hours
IBM will not exceed maximum hours of work prescribed by law and will appropriately compensate overtime. Employees will not be required to work more than 60 hours per week, including overtime, except in extraordinary business circumstances with their consent or where the nature of the position requires such work, as for exempt employees and employees in executive, managerial or professional positions. In countries where the maximum work week is shorter, that standard shall apply. Employees should be allowed at least one day off per seven-day week.

Nondiscrimination and harassment
IBM will not discriminate in hiring, promotion, compensation of employees and employment practices on grounds of race, color, religion, age, nationality, social or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, political affiliation, disability or veteran status. IBM will create a work environment free of discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or veteran status.

Respect and dignity
IBM will treat all employees with respect and dignity and will not use corporal punishment, threats of violence or other forms of physical coercion or harassment.

Freedom of association
IBM will respect the legal rights of its employees to join or to refrain from joining worker organizations, including labor organizations or trade unions. IBM complies with legal requirements worldwide regarding employee and third-party involvement. IBM respects the rights of employees to organize, and makes managers at all levels aware of those rights. The company's long-standing belief is that the interests of IBM and its employees are best served through a favorable, collaborative work environment with direct communication between employees and management. IBM endeavors to establish such favorable employment conditions, to promote positive relationships between employees and managers, to facilitate employee communications, and to support employee development.

Health and safety
IBM will provide its employees with a safe and healthy workplace in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Consistent with these obligations, IBM will have and will implement effective programs that encompass things such as life safety, incident investigation, chemical safety, ergonomics, and will provide safe standards of health and safety in any housing and transportation provided for our employees by the company.

Protection of the environment
IBM is committed to worldwide leadership in environmental protection. In addition to complying with applicable environmental laws and regulations, every employee must comply with IBM's environmental policy and the corporate directives and requirements that support that policy. Employees are expected to report any environmental concern or violation of environmental law or IBM requirements to their management. Managers are expected to take prompt action.

Laws, including regulations and other legal requirements
IBM will comply with all applicable laws, regulations and other legal requirements in all locations where it conducts business.

Ethical dealings
IBM expects its employees to conduct business in accordance with the highest ethical standards, and maintains Business Conduct Guidelines that employees are required to follow. IBM strictly complies with all laws and regulations on bribery, corruption and prohibited business practices.

Communications
IBM makes available to all employees open communications channels for suggestions and complaints to management. IBM maintains channels for direct contact with the corporate office for employee complaints, including any form of harassment including sexual harassment.

Monitoring/record keeping
IBM will perform business audits to ensure adherence to our policies, practices and procedures. We will keep records in accordance with local laws and regulations.

Privacy
IBM is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of information about its employees. IBM recognizes that under the laws of some countries certain information about employees – such as information regarding racial or ethnic origin, political opinions or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, and health or sex life – should be considered "sensitive." Whenever possible, such sensitive information should be processed in aggregate or anonymous form so that a particular individual is not identifiable. Where this is not feasible, IBM will process the information only in accordance with applicable local law (and any designated safeguards provided therein); and with employee consent where required; or where necessary for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims.

Support for employees and community involvement
IBM provides numerous programs for employees to encourage and enhance the positive impact of their community involvement. These global programs include: On Demand Community, a suite of online tools and resources to support employee volunteerism; Community Grants, a program that awards long-term volunteer commitments with grants of cash or IBM equipment, and Matching Grants, a program through which IBM matches employee grants to schools and nonprofit organizations.

In effect since February 8, 2005.