DEARBORN - What if I overhear a supplier talking to someone in my department about delivering goods to a person’s home address?
What if I notice extra charges in an invoice that don’t relate to the project and my manager can’t explain why the charges are included?
What if I overhear a co-worker talking to a competitor about product pricing?
What if I see a supervisor harassing a co-worker?
What should I do?
Always Report Suspected Wrongdoing.
Not only is it helpful to report suspected violation of law or Ford policy related to our business, every employee has a duty to make such reports. There are exceptions in a few countries because of local law, but in every country, reporting of violations is highly encouraged.
But what about retaliation? Should I be worried that reporting will be held against me?
You should be assured that Ford policy prohibits any form of retaliation against individuals who, in good faith, report suspected violations of law or Ford policy or who cooperate in an investigation of a suspected violation reported by someone else.
If you are still worried, you can report anonymously through the corporate reporting system. Whether anonymous or not, all reports are handled on a confidential basis. It is important that investigations are confidential because, we don’t know if suspicions are correct or if there has really been any wrong doing by anyone. We don’t want to harm a person’s reputation by starting rumors that end up being unsubstantiated or spoil the investigation by letting any wrongdoer destroy evidence. For the same reason, never try to investigate a suspected violation yourself. Just as you are an expert at your job, Ford has expert investigators.
But why does Ford need me to report? Don’t we have electronic systems that can figure all this out? Isn’t this someone else’s responsibility?
Doing business in an ethical manner is an integral part of making Ford a successful company. Most violations are discovered by employee reporting. When you report suspected violations of law or policy related to our business, it gives Ford the opportunity to investigate incidents as soon as possible, potentially avoid bigger problems and helps to maintain our reputation for being an ethical company.
Individuals sometimes think that they are protecting co-workers, the company or themselves by not reporting. In fact, that attitude puts our business and our people at risk. It’s not disloyal to report your observations. In some situations, an individual’s wrongdoing is not intentional and the sooner the error is reported, the quicker it can be corrected.
By helping to maintain our reputation for ethics and compliance, you are actually benefiting the company, its employees and our business relationships. For example, suppose you discover that a vendor we hired paid money to a government inspector to ignore a safety code violation so it would not delay a project deadline. This is obvious bribery; a violation of law. In addition, ignoring this violation can harm Ford in other ways, including:
• Workers could be injured or Ford could be fined for violating safety laws;
• Ford could lose money because of bribes paid by the vendor; and
• Ford’s reputation could be severely damage and sales could be harmed.
The Code of Conduct Handbook gives more details on what should be reported. Some examples include:
• Harassing, intimidating or other inappropriate behavior
• Discrimination because of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status
• Giving, receiving or being asked for a bribe to/from anyone
• Falsifying information, such as financial data or vehicle test data
• Stealing or embezzling
There are no acceptable reasons for any of these actions. They are against Ford policy, violate the law, place the company and employees at risk and harm Ford’s reputation. Even news of a possible violation could affect customers, investors and our communities, who may refuse to support our company and buy our products. If you suspect a violation has occurred, report it immediately.
You can report violations to your Human Resources or Personnel Relations representative, the General Auditor’s Office, the Office of the General Counsel or your local legal office or your Regional Investigation Coordinator or Local Incident Coordinator. In most countries, you can also report violations anonymously by calling a hotline or by submitting an incident report form obtained from the Corporate Security and Fire website. You can find more information about the where to report and numbers for the hotlines at the Corporate Security and Fire Website.