Code of Business Conduct & Ethics
CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT AND ETHICS
August 17, 2016
This Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is designed to deter wrongdoing and to promote:
• honest and ethical conduct, including the ethical handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest between personal and professional relationships;
• full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosure in reports and documents we file with or submit to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and in our other public communications;
• compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations;
• the prompt internal reporting of violations of this Code; and
• accountability for adherence to this Code.
All Company employees are expected to read and understand this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, uphold these standards in day to day activities, comply with all applicable policies and procedures, and ensure that all agents and contractors are aware of, understand and adhere to these standards.
Because the principles described in this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics are general in nature, you should also review all applicable Company policies and procedures for more specific instruction, and contact the Vice President of Human Resources or Chief Financial Officer if you have any questions. Company policies and procedures are available for review on the Company’s Portal.
Nothing in this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, in any Company policies and procedures, or in other related communications (verbal or written) creates or implies an employment contract or term of employment.
We are committed to continuously reviewing and updating our policies and procedures. Therefore, this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is subject to modification. This Code of Business Conduct and Ethics supersedes all other such codes, policies, procedures, instructions, practices, rules or written or verbal representations to the extent they are inconsistent.
Please sign the acknowledgment form at the end of this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and return the form to the Vice President of Human Resources indicating that you have received, read, understand and agree to comply with the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. The signed acknowledgment form will be located in your personnel file.
COMPLIANCE IS EVERYONE'S BUSINESS
Ethical business conduct is critical to our business. As an employee, your responsibility is to respect and adhere to these practices by acting ethically and honestly. Many of these practices reflect legal or regulatory requirements. Violations of these laws and regulations can create significant liability for you, the Company, its directors, officers, and other employees.
Part of your job and ethical responsibility is to help enforce this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. You should be alert to possible violations and you must immediately report any potential or suspected violations to the Vice President of Human Resources or the Chief Financial Officer or alternatively utilize the Compliance Hotline to notify the Company confidentially. You must cooperate in any internal or external investigations of possible violations. Reprisal, threats, retribution or retaliation against any person who has in good faith reported a violation or a suspected violation of law, this Code of Business Conduct or other Company policies, or against any person who is assisting in any investigation or process with respect to such a violation, is prohibited.
Violations of law, this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, or other Company policies or procedures should be reported to the Vice President of Human Resources or the Chief Financial Officer.
Should you wish for any reason to report anonymously, you may use the Company’s Compliance Hotline at 1-800-826-6762.
Reports related to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer, controller, or employees in similar functions (our “Senior Financial Officers”) of violations of this Code of Business Conduct should be made directly to the Audit Committee of the Company. You may contact the Audit Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Violations of law, this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics or other Company policies or procedures by Company employees can lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
In trying to determine whether any given action is appropriate, use the following test. Imagine that the words you are using or the action you are taking is going to be fully disclosed in the media with all the details, including your photo. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of this information being made public, perhaps you should think again about your words or your course of action.
In all cases, if you are unsure about the appropriateness of an event or action, please seek assistance in interpreting the requirements of these practices by contacting the Vice President of Human Resources or the Chief Financial Officer.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE COMPANY AND ITS STOCKHOLDERS
General Standards of Conduct
The Company expects all employees, agents and contractors to exercise good judgment to ensure the safety and welfare of employees, agents and contractors and to maintain a cooperative, efficient, positive, harmonious and productive work environment and business organization. These standards apply while working on our premises, at offsite locations where our business is being conducted, at Company sponsored business and social events, or at any other place where you are a representative of the Company. Employees, agents or contractors who engage in misconduct or whose performance is unsatisfactory may be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination. For further details, refer to the Company Portal at http://portal/Pages/Default.aspx.
All Company employees, agents and contractors must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, rules and regulatory orders. Company employees located outside of the United States must comply with laws, regulations, rules and regulatory orders of the United States, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.S. Export Control Act, in addition to applicable local laws. Each employee, agent and contractor must acquire appropriate knowledge of the requirements relating to his or her duties sufficient to enable him or her to recognize potential dangers and to know when to seek advice from the Chief Financial Officer on specific Company policies and procedures. Violations of laws, regulations, rules and orders may subject the employee, agent or contractor to individual criminal or civil liability, as well as to discipline by the Company. Such individual violations may also subject the Company to civil or criminal liability or the loss of business.
No Discrimination or Harassment
The Company is committed to providing a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. The Company is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit and business needs. In addition, the Company strictly prohibits harassment of any kind, including harassment on the basis of race, color, veteran status, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, age, mental or physical disability, medical condition, national origin, marital status or any other characteristics protected under federal or state law or local ordinance.
Health and Safety
You are responsible for using good judgment to help ensure a safe and healthy workplace for all employees.
Conflicts of Interest
Each of us has a responsibility to the Company, our stockholders and each other. Although this duty does not prevent us from engaging in personal transactions and investments, it does demand that we avoid situations where a conflict of interest might occur or appear to occur. The Company is subject to scrutiny from many different individuals and organizations. We should always strive to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
What constitutes conflict of interest? A conflict of interest exists where the interests or benefits of one person or entity conflict with the interests or benefits of the Company. Examples include:
In consideration of your employment with the Company, you are expected to devote your full attention to the business interests of the Company. You are prohibited from engaging in any activity that interferes with your performance or responsibilities to the Company or is otherwise in conflict with or prejudicial to the Company. Our policies prohibit any employee from accepting simultaneous employment or a similar relationship, such as acting as an agent or contractor, with a Company supplier, customer, developer or competitor, or from taking part in any activity that enhances or supports a competitor's position. Additionally, you must disclose to the Company any interest that you have that may conflict with the business of the Company. If you have any questions on this requirement, you should contact your supervisor or the Vice President of Human Resources.
It is a conflict of interest to serve as a director of any company that competes with the Company. Although you may serve as a director of a Company supplier, customer, developer, or other business partner, our policy requires that you first obtain approval from the Company's Chairman of the Board of Directors before accepting a directorship. Any compensation you receive should be commensurate to your responsibilities. Such approval may be conditioned upon the completion of specified actions.
You should not have a financial interest—including an indirect interest through, for example, a relative or significant other—in any organization if that interest would give you or would appear to give you a conflict of interest with the Company. You should be particularly sensitive to financial interests in competitors, suppliers, customers, distributors and strategic partners.
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.
As a general rule, you should avoid conducting Company business with a relative or significant other, or with a business in which a relative or significant other is associated in any significant role. Relatives include spouse, sister, brother, daughter, son, mother, father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, step relationships, and in laws. Significant others include persons living in a spousal (including same sex) or familial fashion with an employee.
If such a related party transaction is unavoidable, you must fully disclose the nature of the related party transaction to the Company's Chief Financial Officer. If determined to be material to the Company by the Chief Financial Officer, the Company's Audit Committee must review and approve in writing in advance such related party transactions. The most significant related party transactions, particularly those involving the Company's directors or executive officers, must be reviewed and approved in writing in advance by the Company's Board of Directors. The Company must report all such material related party transactions under applicable accounting rules, Federal securities laws, SEC rules and regulations, and securities market rules. Any dealings with a related party must be conducted in such a way that no preferential treatment is given to this business.
The Company discourages the employment of relatives and significant others in positions or assignments within the same department and prohibits the employment of such individuals in positions that have a financial dependence or influence (e.g., an auditing or control relationship, or a supervisor/subordinate relationship). The purpose of this policy is to prevent the organizational impairment and conflicts that are a likely outcome of the employment of relatives or significant others, especially in a supervisor/subordinate relationship. If a question arises about whether a relationship is covered by this policy, the Vice President of Human Resources is responsible for determining whether an applicant's or transferee's acknowledged relationship is covered by this policy. The Vice President of Human Resources shall advise all affected applicants and transferees of this policy. Willful withholding of information regarding a prohibited relationship/reporting arrangement may be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination. If a prohibited relationship exists or develops between two employees, the employee in the senior position must bring this to the attention of his/her supervisor. The Company retains the prerogative to separate the individuals at the earliest possible time, either by reassignment or by termination, if necessary.
Because other conflicts of interest may arise, it would be impractical to attempt to list all possible situations. If a proposed transaction or situation raises any questions or doubts in your mind you should consult the Chief Financial Officer.
Employees, officers and directors may not exploit for their own personal gain opportunities that are discovered through the use of corporate property, information or position unless the opportunity is disclosed fully in writing to the Company’s Board of Directors and the Board of Directors declines to pursue such opportunity.
PROTECTING THE COMPANY'S PROPRIETARY INFORMATION
The Company's proprietary information is a valuable asset. The Company’s proprietary information includes product architectures; source codes; product plans and road maps; names and lists of customers, dealers, and employees; and financial information. This information is the property of the Company and may be protected by patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws. All proprietary information must be used for Company business purposes only. Every employee, agent and contractor must safeguard it. This responsibility includes not disclosing the company proprietary information over the Internet. You are also responsible for properly labeling any and all documentation shared with outside counsel as "Attorney Client Privileged". This responsibility includes the safeguarding, securing and proper disposal of proprietary information in accordance with the Company's policy on Maintaining and Managing Records set forth in this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. This obligation extends to proprietary information of third parties, which the Company has rightfully received under Non Disclosure Agreements. See the Company's policy dealing with Handling Proprietary Information of Others set forth in this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
Proprietary Information and Invention Agreement
When you joined the Company, you signed an agreement to protect the Company's proprietary information. This agreement remains in effect for as long as you work for the Company and after you leave the Company. Under this agreement, you may not disclose the Company's proprietary information to anyone or use it to benefit anyone other than the Company without the prior written consent of an authorized Company officer.
Disclosure of Company Proprietary Information
To further the Company's business, from time to time our proprietary information may be disclosed to potential business partners. However, such disclosure should never be done without carefully considering its potential benefits and risks. If you determine in consultation with your manager and other appropriate Company management that disclosure of proprietary information is necessary, you must then contact the Corporate Contracts Manager to ensure that an appropriate written nondisclosure agreement is signed prior to the disclosure. The Company has standard nondisclosure agreements suitable for most disclosures. You must not sign a third party's nondisclosure agreement or accept changes to the Company's standard nondisclosure agreements without review and approval by the Company's Chief Financial Officer. Furthermore, any employee publication or publicly made statement that might be perceived or construed as attributable to the Company, made outside the scope of his or her employment with the Company, must be reviewed and approved in writing in advance by the Company's Chief Financial Officer and must include the Company's standard disclaimer that the publication or statement represents the views of the specific author and not of the Company.
Requests by Regulatory Authorities
The Company and its employees, agents and contractors must cooperate with appropriate government inquiries and investigations. In this context, however, it is important to protect the legal rights of the Company with respect to its proprietary information. All government requests for information, documents or investigative interviews must be referred to the Company's Chief Financial Officer. No financial information may be disclosed without the prior approval of the Chief Financial Officer. This policy should not be construed to prevent an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of, or noncompliance with, a state or federal statute or regulation.
Specific policies have been established regarding who may communicate information to the press and the financial analyst community. All inquiries or calls from the press and financial analysts should be referred to the Chief Financial Officer or Investor Relations Department. The Company has designated its CEO, Chief Financial Officer and Investor Relations Department as official Company spokespeople for financial matters. The Company has designated its Marketing Departments as official Company spokespeople for marketing, technical and other such information. These designees are the only people who may communicate with the press on behalf of the Company.
OBLIGATIONS UNDER SECURITIES LAWS — "INSIDER" TRADING
Obligations under the U.S. securities laws apply to everyone. In the normal course of business, officers, directors, employees, agents, contractors and consultants of the Company may come into possession of significant, sensitive information. This information is the property of the Company -- you have been entrusted with it. You may not profit from it by buying or selling securities yourself, or passing on the information to others to enable them to profit or for them to profit on your behalf. The purpose of this policy is both to inform you of your legal responsibilities and to make clear to you that the misuse of sensitive information is contrary to Company policy and U.S. securities laws.
Insider trading is a crime, penalized by fines of up to $5,000,000 and 20 years in jail for individuals
Thus, it is important both to you and the Company that insider-trading violations not occur. You should be aware that stock market surveillance techniques are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and the chance that U.S. federal or other regulatory authorities will detect and prosecute even small level trading is significant. Insider trading rules are strictly enforced, even in instances when the financial transactions seem small. You should contact the Chief Financial Officer or the Corporate Controller if you are unsure as to whether or not you are free to trade.
The Company has imposed a trading blackout period on members of the Board of Directors, executive officers and certain designated employees who, as a consequence of their position with the Company, are more likely to be exposed to material nonpublic information about the Company. These directors, executive officers and employees generally may not trade in Company securities during the blackout period. In addition, no Company director, officer or other employee, agent or contractor may engage in short sales.
For more details, and to determine if you are restricted from trading during trading blackout periods, you should review the Company’s Insider Trading Compliance Policy, located on the Company’s portal. You should take a few minutes to read the Insider Trading Compliance Program carefully, paying particular attention to the specific policies and the potential criminal and civil liability and/or disciplinary action for insider trading violations. Employees, agents and contractors of the Company who violate this Policy are also subject to disciplinary action by the Company, which may include termination of employment or of business relationship. All questions regarding the Company's Insider Trading Compliance Program should be directed to the Company's Chief Financial Officer.
As a public company, we are required to follow strict accounting principles and standards, to report financial information accurately and completely in accordance with these principles and standards, and to have appropriate internal controls and procedures to ensure that our accounting and financial reporting complies with law. The integrity of our financial transactions and records is critical to the operation of our business and is a key factor in maintaining the confidence and trust of our employees, security holders and other stakeholders.
Compliance with Rules, Controls and Procedures
It is important that all transactions are properly recorded, classified and summarized in our financial statements, books and records in accordance with our policies, controls and procedures, as well as all generally accepted accounting principles, standards, laws, rules and regulations for accounting and financial reporting. If you have responsibility for or any involvement in financial reporting or accounting, you should have an appropriate understanding of, and you should seek in good faith to adhere to, relevant accounting and financial reporting principles, standards, laws, rules and regulations and the Company’s financial and accounting policies, controls and procedures. If you are a senior officer, you should seek to ensure that the internal controls and procedures in your business area are in place, understood and followed.
Accuracy of Records and Reports
It is important that those who rely on records and reports—managers and other decision makers, creditors, customers and auditors—have complete, accurate and timely information. False, misleading or incomplete information undermines the Company’s ability to make good decisions about resources, employees and programs and may, in some cases, result in violations of law. Anyone involved in preparing financial or accounting records or reports, including financial statements and schedules, must be diligent in assuring that those records and reports are complete, accurate and timely. Anyone representing or certifying as to the accuracy of such records and reports should make an inquiry or review adequate to establish a good faith belief in their accuracy.
Even if you are not directly involved in financial reporting or accounting, you are likely involved with financial records or reports of some kind—a voucher, time sheet, invoice or expense report. In addition, most employees have involvement with product, marketing or administrative activities, or performance evaluations, which can affect our reported financial condition or results. Therefore, the Company expects you, regardless of whether you are otherwise required to be familiar with finance or accounting matters, to use all reasonable efforts to ensure that every business record or report with which you deal is accurate, complete and reliable.
You may not intentionally misrepresent the Company’s financial performance or otherwise intentionally compromise the integrity of the Company’s reports, records, policies and procedures. For example, you may not:
• report information or enter information in the Company’s books, records or reports that fraudulently or intentionally hides, misrepresents or disguises the true nature of any financial or non-financial transaction or result;
• establish any undisclosed or unrecorded fund, account, asset or liability for any improper purpose;
• enter into any transaction or agreement that accelerates, postpones or otherwise manipulates the accurate and timely recording of revenues or expenses;
• intentionally misclassify transactions as to accounts, business units or accounting periods; or
• knowingly assist others in any of the above.
Dealing with Auditors
Our auditors have a duty to review our records in a fair and accurate manner. You are expected to cooperate with independent and internal auditors in good faith and in accordance with law. In addition, you must not fraudulently induce or influence, coerce, manipulate or mislead our independent or internal auditors regarding financial records, processes, controls or procedures or other matters relevant to their engagement. You may not engage, directly or indirectly, any outside auditors to perform any audit, audit-related, tax or other services, including consulting, without written approval from the Chief Financial Officer and the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
Obligation to Investigate and Report Potential Violations
You should make appropriate inquiries in the event you may see, for example:
• financial results that seem inconsistent with underlying business performance;
• inaccurate financial records, including travel and expense reports, time sheets or invoices;
• the circumventing of mandated review and approval procedures;
• transactions that appear inconsistent with good business economics;
• the absence or weakness of processes or controls; or
• persons within the Company seeking to improperly influence the work of our financial or accounting personnel, or our external or internal auditors.
Dishonest or inaccurate reporting can lead to civil or even criminal liability for you and the Company and can lead to a loss of public faith in the Company. You are required to promptly report any case of suspected financial or operational misrepresentation or impropriety.
Keeping the Audit Committee Informed
The Audit Committee plays an important role in ensuring the integrity of our public reports. If you believe that questionable accounting or auditing conduct or practices have occurred or are occurring, you should notify the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. In particular, the Chief Executive Officer and senior financial officers such as the Chief Financial Officer and the controllers should promptly bring to the attention of the Audit Committee any information of which he or she may become aware concerning, for example:
• the accuracy of material disclosures made by the Company in its public filings;
• material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting;
• any evidence of fraud that involves an employee who has a significant role in the Company’s financial reporting, disclosures or internal controls or procedures; or
• any evidence of a material violation of the policies in this Code regarding financial reporting.
USE OF THE COMPANY'S ASSETS
Protecting the Company's assets is a key fiduciary responsibility of every employee, agent and contractor. Care should be taken to ensure that assets are not misappropriated, loaned to others, or sold or donated, without appropriate authorization. All Company employees, agents and contractors are responsible for the proper use of Company assets, and must safeguard such assets against loss, damage, misuse or theft. Employees, agents or contractors who violate any aspect of this policy or who demonstrate poor judgment in the manner in which they use any Company asset may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or business relationship at the Company's sole discretion. Company equipment and assets are to be used for Company business purposes only. Employees, agents and contractors may not use Company assets for personal use, nor may they allow any other person to use Company assets. Employees should also use and safeguard assets entrusted to the Company’s custody by customers, suppliers and others in the same manner as Company assets. Employees who have any questions regarding this policy should bring them to the attention of the Company’s Vice President of Human Resources.
Physical Access Control
The Company has and will continue to develop procedures covering physical access control to ensure privacy of communications, maintenance of the security of the Company communication equipment, and safeguard Company assets from theft, misuse and destruction. You are personally responsible for complying with the level of access control that has been implemented in the facility where you work on a permanent or temporary basis. You must not defeat or cause to be defeated the purpose for which the access control was implemented.
Every Company employee is personally responsible for all Company funds over which he or she exercises control. Company agents and contractors should not be allowed to exercise control over Company funds. Company funds must be used only for Company business purposes. Every Company employee, agent and contractor must take reasonable steps to ensure that the Company receives good value for Company funds spent, and must maintain accurate and timely records of each and every expenditure. Expense reports must be accurate and submitted in a timely manner. Company employees, agents and contractors must not use Company funds for any personal purpose.
Computers and Other Equipment
The Company strives to furnish employees with the equipment necessary to efficiently and effectively do their jobs. You must care for that equipment and to use it responsibly only for Company business purposes. If you use Company equipment at your home or off site, take precautions to protect it from theft or damage, just as if it were your own. If the Company no longer employs you, you must immediately return all Company equipment. While computers and other electronic devices are made accessible to employees to assist them to perform their jobs and to promote Company's interests, all such computers and electronic devices, whether used entirely or partially on the Company's premises or with the aid of the Company's equipment or resources, must remain fully accessible to the Company and, to the maximum extent permitted by law, will remain the sole and exclusive property of the Company.
Employees, agents and contractors should not maintain any expectation of privacy with respect to information transmitted over, received by, or stored in any electronic communications device owned, leased, or operated in whole or in part by or on behalf of the Company. To the extent permitted by applicable law, the Company retains the right to gain access to any information received by, transmitted by, or stored in any such electronic communications device, by and through its employees, agents, contractors, or representatives, at any time, either with or without an employee's or third party's knowledge, consent or approval.
All software used by employees to conduct Company business must be appropriately licensed. Never make or use illegal or unauthorized copies of any software, whether in the office, at home, or on the road, since doing so may constitute copyright infringement and may expose you and the Company to potential civil and criminal liability. In addition, use of illegal or unauthorized copies of software may subject the employee to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. The Company's IT Department will inspect Company computers periodically to verify that only approved and licensed software has been installed. Any non licensed/supported software will be removed.
Employees must utilize electronic communication devices in a legal, ethical, and appropriate manner. This applies to use of all electronic devices within the organization, including computers, e mail, connections to the Internet, Portal and extranet and any other public or private networks, voice mail, video conferencing, facsimiles, and telephones. Posting or discussing information concerning the Company's products or business on the Internet without the prior written consent of the Company's Chief Financial Officer is prohibited. Any other form of electronic communication used by employees currently or in the future is also intended to be encompassed under this policy. It is not possible to identify every standard and rule applicable to the use of electronic communications devices. Employees are therefore encouraged to use sound judgment whenever using any feature of our communications systems. The complete set of policies with respect to electronic usage of the Company's assets is located on the Company’s Portal. You are expected to review, understand and follow such policies and procedures.
MAINTAINING AND MANAGING RECORDS
The Company is subject to both business and legal requirements in managing records, including all recorded information, regardless of medium or characteristics. Records include paper documents, CDs, computer hard disks, email, floppy disks, microfiche, microfilm or all other media. The Company is required by local, state, federal, foreign and other applicable laws, rules and regulations to retain certain records and to follow specific guidelines in managing its records. Civil and criminal penalties for failure to comply with such guidelines can be severe for employees, agents, contractors and the Company, and failure to comply with such guidelines may subject the employee, agent or contractor to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or business relationship at the Company's sole discretion. Employees are required to manage and maintain records consistent with the Company’s records management policies.
You should consult with the Chief Financial Officer regarding the retention of records in the case of actual or threatened litigation or government investigation. The Chief Financial Officer will notify you if a legal hold is placed on records for which you are responsible. A legal hold suspends all document destruction procedures in order to preserve appropriate records under special circumstances, such as litigation or government investigations. The Chief Financial Officer determines and identifies what types of records or documents are required to be placed under a legal hold. If a legal hold is placed on records for which you are responsible, you must preserve and protect the necessary records in accordance with instructions from the Chief Financial Officer. Records or supporting documents that are subject to a legal hold must not be destroyed, altered or modified under any circumstance. A legal hold remains effective until it is officially released in writing by the Chief Financial Officer. If you are unsure whether a document has been placed under a legal hold, you should preserve and protect that document while you check with the Chief Financial Officer.
The Company's responsibilities to its stockholders and the investing public require that all transactions be fully and accurately recorded in the Company's books and records in compliance with all applicable laws. False or misleading entries, unrecorded funds or assets, or payments without appropriate supporting documentation and approval are strictly prohibited and violate Company policy and the law. Additionally, all documentation supporting a transaction should fully and accurately describe the nature of the transaction and be processed in a timely fashion.
The Company reserves the right to communicate its position on important issues to elected representatives and other government officials. It is the Company's policy to comply fully with all local, state, federal, foreign and other applicable laws, rules and regulations regarding political contributions. The Company's funds or assets must not be used for, or be contributed to, political campaigns or political practices under any circumstances without the prior written approval of the Company's Chief Financial Officer and CEO, and if required, the Board of Directors.
Prohibition of Inducements
Under no circumstances may employees, agents or contractors offer to pay, make payment, promise to pay, or issue authorization to pay any money, gift, or anything of value to customers, vendors, consultants, etc. that is perceived as intended, directly or indirectly, to improperly influence any business decision, any act or failure to act, any commitment of fraud, or opportunity for the commission of any fraud. Inexpensive gifts, infrequent business meals, celebratory events and entertainment, provided that they are not excessive or create an appearance of impropriety, are in accordance with the Company’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Policy, and do not violate this policy. However, you may not offer any payment or business amenity to a public official or a government employee if doing so could reasonably be construed as having any connection with the Company’s business, even if it has a nominal value or no value at all. You should be aware that what may be permissible in dealings with commercial businesses may be deemed illegal and possibly criminal in dealings with the government. Questions regarding whether a particular payment or gift violates this policy should be directed to Human Resources or the Chief Financial Officer.
FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT
The Company requires full compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by all of its employees, agents, and contractors. Please see the Company’s FCPA policy for more details.
A number of countries maintain controls on the destinations to which products, software, or technology may be exported, or locations where services may be performed. Some of the strictest export controls are maintained by the United States against countries that the U.S. Government considers unfriendly or as supporting international terrorism. Moreover, these controls change over time and take unpredictable turns as governments adjust to new geopolitics and security pressures. The U.S. regulations are extremely complex and apply both to exports from the United States and to exports of products from other countries, when those products contain U.S. origin components or technology. Software created in the United States is subject to these regulations even if duplicated and packaged abroad. In some circumstances, an oral presentation containing technical data made to foreign nationals, whether in the United States or abroad, may constitute a controlled export.
Violations of export/import controls can harm U.S. national security and foreign policy. Penalties for violations are severe and can include monetary penalties, imprisonment, and suspension of export/import and government contracting privileges. Early coordination with company export/import experts is critical.
The Chief Financial Officer can provide you with guidance on which countries are prohibited destinations for Company products, software, technology, or services, or whether a proposed technical presentation to foreign nationals may require a license from the U.S. Government. The applicable regulatory regime depends on the type of products, goods, software, technology, or services being exported or imported and the intended destination. The identity of the customer and the intended end- user (if different) are also critical. The major U.S. export and import laws to which Intevac is subject are:
International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The ITAR, administered by the U.S. Department of State in furtherance of the Arms Export Control Act, controls exports and temporary imports of a military nature. Such products and services are identified on the U.S. Munitions List contained in the ITAR. The ITAR also contains the requirements for export licenses and other approvals for permanent export, temporary export, or temporary import transactions.
Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The EAR, administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce, controls exports of commercial and “dual-use” commodities and technology. Dual-use items are products, software, and technical data developed for civil applications, but which can be used militarily without further modification. Items requiring export licenses appear on the Commerce Control List (CCL) contained in the EAR. Items on the CCL are subject to U.S. export control whether they are exported from the United States or are re-exported from one non-U.S. country to another.
Foreign Assets Control Regulations. To comply with the Trading with the Enemy Act or the International Emergency Powers Act, and in some cases to comply with sanctions imposed by the United Nations, the United States imposes sanctions and embargoes on certain countries. The Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers regulations that can involve blocking property, prohibiting exports and re-exports, and other activities with respect to those countries. OFAC maintains a list of “Specifically Designated” nationals or persons, who are also subject to restrictions under the regulations.
Antiboycott Regulations. In addition to export and import controls, the EAR contains antiboycott provisions, which prohibit compliance with non-U.S. boycotts of countries friendly to the United States. The Internal Revenue Code also imposes tax penalties for agreements to comply with such boycott actions.
U.S. Customs and U.S. Immigration Regulations. Other important regulations are the U.S. Customs and the U.S. Immigration regulations. These regulations are administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. These govern the movement of commodities and people across the U.S. borders. Information required under these regulations allows the agencies to properly assess duties; collect accurate statistics; and determine whether goods are subject to quotas, restraints, embargoes, or other restrictions; and take enforcement actions by deterring, interdicting, and investigating threats arising from movement of commodities and people across borders.
RESPONSIBILITIES TO OUR CUSTOMERS AND OUR SUPPLIERS
If your job puts you in contact with any Company customers or potential customers, it is critical for you to remember that you represent the Company to the people with whom you are dealing. Act in a manner that creates value for our customers and helps to build a relationship based upon trust. The Company and its employees have provided products and services for many years and have built up significant goodwill over that time. This goodwill is one of our most important assets, and the Company employees, agents and contractors must act to preserve and enhance our reputation.
Payments or Gifts from Others
Under no circumstances may employees, agents or contractors accept any offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization to pay any money, gift, or anything of value from customers, vendors, consultants, etc. that is perceived as intended, directly or indirectly, to influence any business decision, any act or failure to act, any commitment of fraud, or opportunity for the commission of any fraud. Inexpensive gifts, infrequent business meals, celebratory events and entertainment, provided that they are not excessive or create an appearance of impropriety, do not violate this policy. Questions regarding whether a particular payment or gift violates this policy are to be directed to Human Resources or the Chief Financial Officer.
Gifts given by the Company to suppliers or customers or received from suppliers or customers should always be appropriate to the circumstances and should never be of a kind that could create an appearance of impropriety. The nature and cost must always be accurately recorded in the Company's books and records and must strictly adhere to the Company’s FCPA Policy.
Publications of Others
The Company subscribes to many publications that help employees do their jobs better. These include newsletters, reference works, online reference services, magazines, books, and other digital and printed works. Copyright law generally protects these works, and their unauthorized copying and distribution constitute copyright infringement. You must first obtain the consent of the publisher of a publication before copying publications or significant parts of them. When in doubt about whether you may copy a publication, consult the Chief Financial Officer.
HANDLING THE PROPRIETARY INFORMATION OF OTHERS
The Company has many kinds of business relationships with many companies and individuals. Sometimes, they will volunteer proprietary information about their products or business plans to induce the Company to enter into a business relationship. At other times, we may request that a third party provide proprietary information to permit the Company to evaluate a potential business relationship with that party. Whatever the situation, we must take special care to handle the proprietary information of others responsibly. We handle such proprietary information in accordance with our agreements with such third parties. See also the Company's policy on Maintaining and Managing Records in this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
Appropriate Nondisclosure Agreements
Proprietary information may take many forms. An oral presentation about a Company's product development plans may contain protected trade secrets. A customer list or employee list may be a protected trade secret. A demo of an alpha version of a Company's new software may contain information protected by trade secret and copyright laws. You should never accept information offered by a third party that is represented as proprietary, or which appears from the context or circumstances to be proprietary, unless an appropriate nondisclosure agreement has been signed with the party offering the information. The Corporate Contracts Manager can provide nondisclosure agreements to fit any particular situation, and will coordinate appropriate execution of such agreements on behalf of the Company. Even after a nondisclosure agreement is in place, you should accept only the information necessary to accomplish the purpose of receiving it, such as a decision on whether to proceed to negotiate a deal. If more detailed or extensive proprietary information is offered and it is not necessary, for your immediate purposes, it should be refused.
Need to Know
Once a third party's proprietary information has been disclosed to the Company, we have an obligation to abide by the terms of the relevant nondisclosure agreement and limit its use to the specific purpose for which it was disclosed and to disseminate it only to other Company employees with a need to know the information. Every employee, agent and contractor involved in a potential business relationship with a third party must understand and strictly observe the restrictions on the use and handling of proprietary information. When in doubt, consult the Chief Financial Officer or the Corporate Contracts Manager.
Notes and Reports
When reviewing the proprietary information of a third party under a nondisclosure agreement, it is natural to take notes or prepare reports summarizing the results of the review and, based partly on those notes or reports, to draw conclusions about the suitability of a business relationship. Notes or reports, however, can include proprietary information disclosed by the other party and so should be retained only long enough to complete the evaluation of the potential business relationship. Subsequently, they should be either destroyed or disposed of per the nondisclosure agreement. They should be treated just as any other disclosure of proprietary information is treated: marked as proprietary and distributed only to those the Company employees with a need to know.
You should never attempt to obtain a competitor's proprietary information by improper means, and you should especially never contact a competitor regarding their proprietary information. While the Company may, and does, employ former employees of competitors, we recognize and respect the obligations of those employees not to use or disclose the proprietary information of their former employers.
The Company's suppliers make significant contributions to our success. To create an environment where our suppliers have an incentive to work with the Company, they must be confident that they will be treated lawfully and in an ethical manner. The Company's policy is to purchase items based on need, quality, service, price and terms and conditions. The Company's policy is to select significant suppliers or enter into significant supplier agreements through a competitive bid process where possible. Under no circumstances should any Company employee, agent or contractor attempt to coerce suppliers in any way. The proprietary information of a supplier is entitled to the same protection as that of any other third party and must not be received before an appropriate nondisclosure agreement has been signed. A supplier to the Company is generally free to sell its products or services to any other party, including competitors of the Company. In some cases where the products or services have been designed, fabricated, or developed specifically for Intevac the agreement between the parties may contain restrictions on suppliers sales to other parties.
Special rules govern the Company’s business and other dealings with governments. If you deal with governments, government employees or public officials, you should undertake to understand the special rules that apply. It is the Company's policy to comply fully with all applicable laws and regulations governing contact and dealings with government employees and public officials, and to adhere to high ethical, moral and legal standards of business conduct. This policy includes strict compliance with all local, state, federal, foreign and other applicable laws, rules and regulations. If you have any questions concerning government relations you should contact the Company's Chief Financial Officer. Please ensure familiarity with the Company’s FCPA Policy.
Employees, agents or contractors whose work requires lobbying communication with any member or employee of a legislative body or with any government official or employee in the formulation of legislation must have prior written approval of such activity from the Company's Chief Financial Officer. Employees, agents or contractors whose work requires lobbying must adhere to the Company’s FCPA Policy and all applicable U.S. and other laws and regulations. Activity covered by this policy includes meetings with legislators or members of their staffs or with senior executive branch officials. Preparation, research, and other background activities that are done in support of lobbying communication are also covered by this policy even if the communication ultimately is not made.
It is the Company's policy to comply fully with all applicable laws and regulations that apply to government contracting. It is also necessary to strictly adhere to all terms and conditions of any contract with local, state, federal, foreign or other applicable governments. The Company's Chief Financial Officer must review and approve all contracts with any government entity.
FREE AND FAIR COMPETITION
Most countries have well developed bodies of law designed to encourage and protect free and fair competition. The Company is committed to obeying both the letter and spirit of these laws. The consequences of not doing so can be severe for all of us.
These laws often regulate the Company's relationships with its distributors, resellers, dealers, and customers. Competition laws generally address the following areas: pricing practices (including price discrimination), discounting, terms of sale, credit terms, promotional allowances, secret rebates, exclusive dealerships or distributorships, product bundling, restrictions on carrying competing products, termination, and many other practices.
Competition laws also govern, usually quite strictly, relationships between the Company and its competitors. As a general rule, contacts with competitors should be limited and should always avoid subjects such as prices or other terms and conditions of sale, customers, and suppliers. Employees, agents or contractors of the Company may not knowingly make false or misleading statements regarding its competitors or the products of its competitors, customers or suppliers. Participating with competitors in a trade association or in a standards creation body is acceptable when the association has been properly established, has a legitimate purpose, and has limited its activities to that purpose.
No employee, agent or contractor shall at any time or under any circumstances enter into an agreement or understanding, written or oral, express or implied, with any competitor concerning prices, discounts, other terms or conditions of sale, profits or profit margins, costs, allocation of product or geographic markets, allocation of customers, limitations on production, boycotts of customers or suppliers, or bids or the intent to bid or even discuss or exchange information on these subjects. In some cases, legitimate joint ventures with competitors may permit exceptions to these rules as may bona fide purchases from or sales to competitors on non competitive products, but the Company's Chief Financial Officer must review all such proposed ventures in advance. These prohibitions are absolute and strict observance is required. Collusion among competitors is illegal, and the consequences of a violation are severe.
Although the spirit of these laws, known as "antitrust," "competition," or "consumer protection" or unfair competition laws, is straightforward, their application to particular situations can be quite complex. To ensure that the Company complies fully with these laws, each of us should have a basic knowledge of them and should involve our Chief Financial Officer early on when questionable situations arise.
It is the Company's policy to lawfully compete in the marketplace. This commitment to fairness includes respecting the rights of our competitors and abiding by all applicable laws in the course of competing. The purpose of this policy is to maintain the Company's reputation as a lawful competitor and to help ensure the integrity of the competitive marketplace. The Company expects its competitors to respect our rights to compete lawfully in the marketplace, and we must respect their rights equally. Company employees, agents and contractors may not steal or unlawfully use the information, material, products, intellectual property, or proprietary information of anyone including suppliers, customers, business partners or competitors.
Any waiver of any provision of this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for a member of the Company’s Board of Directors or an executive officer or other Senior Financial Officer must be approved in writing by the Company’s Audit Committee or Board of Directors and promptly disclosed. Any waiver of any provision of this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics with respect any other employee, agent or contractor must be approved in writing by the Company’s Chief Financial Officer.
The matters covered in this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics are of the utmost importance to the Company, its stockholders and its business partners, and are essential to the Company's ability to conduct its business in accordance with its stated values. We expect all of our employees, agents, contractors and consultants to adhere to these rules in carrying out their duties for the Company.
The Company will take appropriate action against any employee, agent, contractor or consultant whose actions are found to violate these policies or any other policies of the Company. Disciplinary actions may include immediate termination of employment or business relationship at the Company's sole discretion. Where the Company has suffered a loss, it may pursue its remedies against the individuals or entities responsible. Where laws have been violated, the Company will cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities. You should review the Company's policies and procedures on the Company’s Portal for more detailed information.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF
CODE OF BUSINESS CONDUCT AND ETHICS
I have received and read the Company's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. I understand the standards and policies contained in the Company Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and understand that there may be additional policies or laws specific to my job. I further agree to comply with the Company Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
If I have questions concerning the meaning or application of the Company Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, any Company policies, or the legal and regulatory requirements applicable to my job, I know I can consult my manager, the Vice President of Human Resources or the Chief Financial Officer, knowing that my questions or reports to these sources will be maintained in confidence.
Please sign and return this form to the Vice President of Human Resources