To define the policies concerning employee responsibility for maintaining high standards of honesty, ethics, integrity, and confidentiality and to ensure that all business transactions are conducted professionally and in the best interest of the company.
As used in this policy, the term “employee” includes members of the employees’ families; the term “company” includes Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems, Inc. (SVCHS), its subsidiaries, and all related companies; and the term “confidential information” means all business information not generally available to the public concerning the company.
It is the policy of the company to observe the highest standards of ethics, honesty, and integrity. Employees are required to uphold these standards. They must not have any personal interest that conflicts in any way with the interest of the company. They must not act to cause conflicts for others with whom the company does business. They must obey all applicable laws. All Staff must conduct themselves in such a manner as to not bring discredit to persons served, SVCHS, or themselves.
Each staff person and each new staff person will read the Code of Ethics in full and sign the Code of Ethical behavior on its implementation and/or before he/she commences employment. Annually, at the time of the annual performance review the employee will initial in acknowledgement of such review. The original signed copy of this will be kept in the employee’s HR file. The Code of Ethics shall be posted on the SVCHS website.
Not every instance of a violation of this standard can be anticipated. Listed here are specific examples of conflicts with this standard. When in doubt about whether a particular matter violates this standard, seek guidance from Human Resources.
- To give or to receive gifts in connection with company business relationships. This is not intended to restrict gifts of token value or routine business meals and entertainment that do not exceed $25.
- To own, directly or indirectly, a financial interest in suppliers, customers, or competitors. Financial interest includes loans, contracts, joint ventures, and the like.
- To derive personal gain, directly or indirectly, from purchases or sales made by the company, other transactions to which the company is a party, use of company assets, use of company facilities, or use of company personnel.
- To borrow money from or lend money to a supplier, customer, company employee, or competitor. Normal personal and mortgage loans from banks and other financial institutions are permitted.
- To be a director, officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of a supplier, customer, or competitor or to receive income from these sources. Outside directorships may be permitted in limited circumstances, but only with the written approval of the CEO of the company.
- To indicate, directly or indirectly, that any supplier or customer must purchase anything from or give anything to the company or any company employee in order to remain a supplier or customer.
- To violate applicable law pursuant to the instructions or direction of any one, including a company employee.
- To accept outside compensation for work that is already being paid for by the company, or to accept outside employment that interferes in any way with the employee’s position with the company.
- To recruit, solicit, or hire (or to assist others to do so), any company employee to work for a non-related entity except as part of an approved written outplacement plan.
- To sell, utilize, or disclose confidential information of the company except in the pursuit of the best interests of the company.
- To compete with the company.
- To maintain an attitude that is positive and proactive striving to seek mutually beneficial working relationships and positively contribute to the work environment.
- To not discuss salary information externally nor internally, except as it is appropriate in the functioning of one’s job duties.
- To protect staff and clients from potential abuse, exploitation, or complications resulting from a power differential, which may interfere with a staff person’s ability to carry out her/his duties due to inappropriate exercise of her/his influence.
- To not exploit relationships for personal or professional gain by establishing social relationships with persons served, their family members, and/or significant others beyond the expectation of one’s job to the degree that such relationships could compromise services rendered or undermine objectivity.
- To participate in sexual relationships with anyone within one’s supervisory chain of command is strictly prohibited. Business relationships within one’s supervisory chain of command are strongly discouraged due to the potential for abuse, exploitation or interpersonal conflict.
- To understand that if social relationships with staff within one’s supervisory chain of command occur, it is understood that the staff member with the greater authority must be alert and responsive to the issues of equal access for all supervisees and fairness in treatment of supervisees. The professional relationship supersedes the social relationship.
Serious problems can be caused for the company and the employee by unauthorized disclosure of internal information about the company. Company employees should not discuss internal matters with anyone outside the company, except as required in the performance of regular duties. It is important that all such communications on behalf of the company be through an appropriately designated officer under carefully controlled circumstances.
Because of the size and complexity of the company, it is impossible to list every circumstance in which the interests of employees and the interest of the company may conflict. Employees are required to observe the spirit as well as the letter of this policy and to report in writing any conflict situation, however minor, to the Director of Human Resources, without exception. This obligation extends not only to the potential conflicts personal to the employee but also to all conflicts known or suspected by him or her. No exceptions or modifications to the conflict of interest policy will be made unless approved in writing by the general counsel and the chief financial officer.
Whenever an employee leaves, the company expects the employee to continue to comply with those obligations that continue, such as the duty of loyalty.
The company expects the strictest compliance with these procedures by all personnel at every level. Failure to observe them may result in serious legal difficulties for the employee, as well as for the company. A failure to follow their letter and spirit will be considered a matter of extreme seriousness and may result in immediate termination of employment.