Lincoln Electric is an organization committed to its strong values of responsibility and integrity.
Our Code of Corporate Conduct and Ethics (PDF) contains general guidelines for conducting business with the highest standards of ethics across all of our global operations and subsidiaries. The Code applies to our Board, all employees, at every level, at each affiliate and joint venture and those we who work on behalf of Lincoln Electric. Compliance is mandatory. The Code covers environmental, social and community matters and is available in 13 languages to ensure everyone is familiar with and adheres to our policies. We also require professional-level and select employees to certify to the Code annually.
Our Code highlights our guidelines and policies in areas such as:
Child Labor & Forced Labor
We respect the rights of every individual in all of the markets where we operate. We stand against all forms of slavery, including involuntary or coerced labor, human trafficking, and sex trafficking and against the funding of armed groups engaged in conflict and in human rights abuses.
Diversity & Inclusion
We seek to promote diversity in its many forms and are committed to equal opportunity and fair treatment in order to provide a rich mixture of talent, ideas, opinions and experiences.
We do not discriminate against anyone based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, citizenship status, disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, marital status or any other characteristics protected by law.
We maintain a "zero tolerance" harassment policy for employees and encourage reporting. Our policy prohibits any verbal, written, or physical conduct that degrades, belittles, ridicules or intimidates others, and includes sexual harassment. Our policy supersedes local laws and applies to all Lincoln Electric employees and non-employees (i.e., visitors, contractors, customers or vendors) who initiate prohibited behavior.
Conflicts of Interest
Employees are expected to avoid all situations where personal interests could conflict or even appear to conflict with the best interests of Lincoln Electric and its shareholders.
We are committed to compliance with laws that promote full and fair competition. We demonstrate our commitment to the marketplace by abiding by all competition laws around the world. Employees must avoid collaboration or even the appearance of agreement with competitors.
We prohibit bribes, kickbacks, and similar payments. Employees must never directly or indirectly, offer bribes, kickbacks, improper payments, or any other such promise by or on behalf of Lincoln Electric.
Confidential information & Intellectual property
Safeguarding Company assets is essential to our success. We protect intellectual assets including: trade secrets, patents and copyrights, business plans and engineering ideas, databases and customer lists and we take care to avoid violating the rights of others.
Compliance with laws & regulations
It is our policy to be a good corporate citizen. Wherever we do business, we always comply with the laws and regulations that govern our business activities and we comply faithfully with export and import regulations by properly identifying, classifying and valuing all goods and materials leaving or entering any country.
Our Code also includes our non-partisan political position and our practice to neither contribute corporate funds for political candidates, nor support an employee PAC program.
Human Rights Policy
We are dedicated to the recognition and safeguarding of human rights in all countries in which we operate. Our Human Rights Policy is guided by international human rights principles encompassed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Employees throughout our organization are expected to comply with this policy, as well as our Code of Corporate Conduct and Ethics, which requires a commitment to ethical business practices and integrity at all times.
Our organization complies with applicable laws globally and we maintain high standards and adherence to fair competition wherever we operate, even if our standards are above local laws and customs. We outline our standards in our Anti-Corruption policy (PDF) and mandate training and reporting procedures for managers and others who may encounter these issues in their work.
Compliance Oversight & Training
Our Chief Compliance Officer and Compliance department oversees and promotes a culture of integrity and compliance across all of our businesses worldwide to ensure our employees are knowledgeable, properly trained and aligned with our principles and applicable laws. Our rigorous policies and programs ensure that we continually improve the performance of our business while addressing the evolving challenges in our world. Our program is reviewed annually by our Board of Directors.
We adhere to a number of directives and policies in our compliance program to ensure that our ethics and integrity remain at the foundation of how we operate. Our compliance-training program includes mandatory online training courses for our global non-manufacturing employees and other key personnel that includes:
- Annual training on: Code of Corporate Conduct and Ethics, Anti-Corruption, and Conflicts of Interest
- Other training includes: Data Privacy, Harassment, Trade Compliance, Fair Competition, Workplace Fairness, Accounting Issues, Corporate Securities, and Intellectual Property
Our online training programs are provided in 13 languages and we provide various in-person training sessions on a number of topics.
Reporting Ethics and Compliance Violations
We are committed to an environment where open, honest communication is expected, retaliation is not tolerated, and where employees, officers, directors, vendors and commercial partners feel comfortable reporting any conduct that is believed to violate our Code of Conduct, our other policies, or laws. Our global “Speak Up” policy provides information and guidance to assist individuals understand our reporting requirements and the resources available to report potential misconduct and raise questions or concerns, even anonymously.
While concerned individuals may talk directly with our compliance or legal departments, we have partnered with EthicsPoint® to provide a confidential helpline and email address to enable the reporting of concerns associated with unethical or illegal activities involving Lincoln Electric or its employees. The toll-free telephone hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is available for each Lincoln Electric location and staffed by operators who speak the local language. Additionally, individuals may submit a report at www.lincolnelectric.ethicspoint.com.