All VIC, LLC Employees are expected to conduct themselves towards VIC, LLC Customers and Suppliers at all times with the highest standards of honesty, fairness, and personal integrity, with adherence to all applicable laws and avoidance of the perception or appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest. “Customer” means any business, company, corporation, person, or other entity that has purchased or seeks to purchase any kind of goods or services from VIC, LLC and includes Customer’s employees, agents, and other representatives. “Supplier” means any business, company, corporation, person, or other entity that sells, or seeks to sell, whether directly or indirectly, any kind of goods or services to VIC, LLC, and includes the Supplier’s employees, agents, and other representatives.
VIC, LLC expects all Employees to use only legitimate practices in commercial operations and in promoting the Company. As stated below, "kickbacks" or "bribes" intended to induce or reward favorable buying decisions are unacceptable and prohibited.
No Employee of VIC, LLC acting on the Company's behalf shall, in violation of any applicable law, offer or make directly or indirectly through any other person or firm any payment of anything of value (in the form of compensation, gift, contribution or otherwise) to:
1.1. Any Customer of VIC, LLC and/or any person or firm employed by or acting for or on behalf of any Customer, whether private or governmental, for the purpose of inducing or rewarding any favorable action by the customer in any commercial transaction; or
1.2. Any Supplier of VIC, LLC and/or any person or firm employed by or acting for or on behalf of any Supplier, whether private or governmental, for the purpose of inducing or rewarding any favorable action by the customer in any commercial transaction; or
1.3. Any governmental entity, for the purpose of inducing or rewarding action (or withholding of action) by a governmental entity in any governmental matter.
In utilizing consultants, agents, sales representatives or others, VIC, LLC will employ only reputable, qualified individuals or firms under compensation arrangements, which are reasonable in relation to the services performed. VIC, LLC will issue from time to time criteria and procedures to be utilized in international transactions with respect to the selection and compensation of sales representatives.
Consultants, agents or representatives retained in relation to the provision of goods or services to the federal government must agree to comply with all laws, regulations and Company policies governing employee conduct.
The provisions of this section are not intended to apply to ordinary and reasonable business entertainment or gifts not of substantial value, customary in local business relationships and not violative of law as applied in that environment. VIC, LLC Employees, Customers and/or Suppliers are expected to exercise sound discretion and control in authorizing such nominal business entertainment and gifts.
When Customer organizations, Supplier organizations, governmental agencies, or others have published policies intended to provide guidance with respect to acceptance of entertainment, gifts, or other business courtesies by their employees, such policies shall be respected.
The antitrust laws of the United States and other countries are relevant to many business decisions, and the consequences of violations anywhere can be seriously injurious to both the Company and to the individuals involved. Several provisions of the antitrust laws of the United States contain penal provisions under which employees who authorize or engage in acts in violation of such laws are personally subject to substantial fines and imprisonment. Violation of any of the provisions is an offense, which may subject the Company and the individual(s) involved to severe penalties.
Each manager must accept the challenge to have the Company excel competitively at the point of market confrontation; for, apart from legal penalties, Company growth and profitability objectives would be frustrated by arrangements with other business firms, which restrict VIC, LLC’s competitive initiative.
Officers, managers and other key employees are expected to develop in employees a sense of commitment to comply with this policy. The antitrust compliance environment within such a key employee' s assigned area of responsibility will be a significant factor in evaluating the quality of that individual's performance.
It is the objective of the Company to comply with the antitrust laws of the United States and other countries applicable to its business operations, and to hold employees in management positions personally and strictly accountable for taking the measures necessary to achieve this objective within their areas of responsibility.
In furtherance of this Policy and specifically in furtherance of compliance with Section I of the Sherman Act:
2.2.1. No employee shall enter into any understanding or agreement, whether expressed or implied, formal or informal, written or oral, with a competitor limiting or restricting any of the following aspects of the competitive strategy of either party or of the business offering of either party to any third party or parties: Prices; Costs; Profits; Product or Service offerings; Terms or conditions of sale; Production or sales volume; Production facilities or capacity; Market share; Decisions to quote or not to quote; Customer or supplier classification or selection; Sales territories; or Distribution methods.
2.2.2. No employee shall enter into any understanding or agreement with a purchaser or lessee of a product sold or leased by the Company which restricts the right of the purchaser or lessee to determine the price at which to resell or lease such product; nor shall any employee enter into such an agreement when the Company is the purchaser or lessee of a product.
2.2.3. The following understandings may be violative of the antitrust laws under certain circumstances and may be entered into by an employee of the Company only if the agreement has been reviewed by Company legal counsel in advance of execution and in the opinion of counsel is not in violation of law:
188.8.131.52. Understandings with any Customer or Supplier which condition the sales or purchases of the Company on reciprocal purchases or sales by the Customer/Supplier;
184.108.40.206. Understandings with any purchaser or lessee of a product of the Company which in any way restrict the discretion of the customer to use or resell the product as the customer sees fit;
220.127.116.11. Understandings with anyone which restrict the discretion of either party to manufacture any product or provide any service, or to sell to, or buy from, any third party.
Communication with a competitor on subjects as to which an understanding with the competitor would be illegal is, in antitrust litigation, likely to serve as important evidence of the existence of an understanding, particularly if the communication is accompanied or followed by similarity of action. The prohibitions set forth below are thus intended to avoid antitrust prosecutions which, though based on merely circumstantial evidence, may nevertheless be difficult to defend successfully.
Accordingly, no employee shall discuss with a competitor or any third party acting for a competitor, or otherwise furnish to or accept from a competitor or any third party acting for a competitor, information on any subject as to which an understanding with the competitor is prohibited by Section 2.2, above, on compliance with Section I of the Sherman Act unless, in the opinion of Company legal counsel, such discussions or transmittal of information would neither violate the antitrust laws nor furnish a reasonable basis for inferring such a violation. This paragraph does not preclude obtaining competitive information from independent third-party sources who are not acting for a competitor in transmitting the information. However, certain other legal and policy restrictions applicable to transactions with the federal government limit the competitive information that may be obtained from a third-party source.
2.4.1. No employee shall attend or remain present:
18.104.22.168. At any surreptitious meeting of competitors;
22.214.171.124. At any meeting where there is a discussion by competitors of any subject which the Company's employee is precluded from discussing by the Section 2.3 above on Discussions and Exchange of Information with Competitors; or
126.96.36.199. At any informal meeting of competitor members of a trade association held for the purpose of discussing business matters without observing the formal procedural requirements established by such trade association for its business meetings.
2.4.2. Employees should also be aware that participation in standard development and product certification activities, which impact competitors or suppliers, may raise antitrust concerns. Before participating in committees or organizations which develop standards or certify products, employees should consult with Company legal counsel.
3.1. Violations of the Policy are grounds for discharge, order cancellation or other disciplinary action, adapted to the circumstances of the particular violation and having as a primary objective furtherance of the Company's interest in preventing violations and making clear that violations are neither tolerated nor condoned.
3.2. Disciplinary action will be taken, not only against individuals who authorize or participate directly in a violation of the Policy, but also against:
3.2.1. any Employee, Customer or Supplier who may have deliberately failed to report a violation of the Policy;
3.2.2. any Employee, Customer or Supplier who may have deliberately withheld relevant and material information concerning a violation of this Policy and
3.2.3. the violator's managerial superiors, to the extent that the circumstances of the violation reflect inadequate leadership and lack of diligence.
3.3. Where an employee is accused of violating the antitrust laws, and the employee has relied in good faith on the advice of Company legal counsel after full disclosure of the material facts, no disciplinary action may be taken against the employee under this Policy; and the Company may, within the limits permitted by law, assist in the employee's defense.
Any Employee who is requested to engage in any activity which is or may be contrary to this Policy will promptly report such information to the manager to whom the individual reports, or, if the employee was so directed by the manager, then to VIC, LLC’s Chief Financial Officer.
Any Employee who acquires information (for example, newspaper reports, reports from customers, or statements of individuals involved) that gives the employee reason to believe that any VIC, LLC Employee is engaged in conduct forbidden by this Policy, or that any sales representative, distributor, or other person or firm representing the Company in any transaction is engaged in the type of conduct (whether or not in connection with a transaction involving the Company or its products) which, if engaged in by an employee of the Company, would violate this Policy, will promptly report such information to the employee's manager or to VIC, LLC’s Chief Financial Officer.
Any manager receiving any such report, will promptly consult with VIC, LLC’s Chief Financial Officer and thereafter will, after appropriate investigation, take timely remedial or other action as warranted under the provisions of this Policy. Such manager will also promptly report the matter to VIC, LLC’s Chief Executive Officer.
An Employee's, Customer’s or Supplier’s actions under this Policy are significant indications of their judgment and competence. Accordingly, those actions constitute an important element in the evaluation of the Employee, Customer or Supplier for position assignments, promotion or continued and future business. Correspondingly, insensitivity to or disregard of the principles of this Policy will be grounds for appropriate management disciplinary action, to potentially include termination of employment or order cancellation.
Last updated: 27 July 2018