At Johnson & Johnson, we are guided and sustained by Our Credo, a set of core principles that serve as a moral compass for how we conduct business. These principles outline our obligations to our customers, our employees, our communities around the world, and our shareholders; they also unite our more than 130,000 employees with a common value that the fundamental rights and dignity of all people must be respected.
While it is the duty of governments to protect the rights of their citizens, we recognize that businesses also have a critical role to play. As a global health care company, Johnson & Johnson is committed to respecting human rights in our own operations and complying with the laws of the countries in which we do business. Moreover, we believe we have an opportunity to positively impact the protection of human rights within our sphere of influence. To this end, along with our trade organization and industry alliance partners, we encourage and support our suppliers and other business partners in their efforts to act in accordance with internationally recognized human rights standards.
Our commitment is guided by the principles set forth in laws of the United States governing human rights, as well as in the following international documents:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- International Labor Organization’s (ILO’s) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
- Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
- United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Johnson & Johnson is also a signatory of the UN Global Compact, and supports the ten principles set out in this framework on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
Our commitment to respecting and protecting human rights applies to all Johnson & Johnson locations, operating companies and business operations worldwide. We recognize that human rights due diligence is a continuous process, and we have policies, processes, training and monitoring systems in place in furtherance of this commitment.
In Our Operations
We expect each Johnson & Johnson employee to act lawfully toward other employees, colleagues, business partners and those in local communities as outlined in our Code of Business Conduct and other related enterprise-wide policies. We ensure protection of Johnson & Johnson employee rights and entitlements through policies and procedures established by the global Human Resources, Procurement and Law Department functions. All new and current employees are required to complete bi-annual Code of Business Conduct trainings, which cover human rights topics. Employees with roles and responsibilities relevant to aspects of human rights in our operations or in the supply base receive general awareness trainings on human rights.
In the Supply Base
We expect our business partners – including suppliers and customers -- to share our commitment to respect human rights. All suppliers must comply with our Responsibility Standards for Suppliers (the Standards), which set forth our requirements around business practices. Processes are in place to identify and manage health, safety and environmental risks associated with our supply base. We are also establishing due diligence processes to assess and monitor compliance of our suppliers with labor, employment and business ethics provisions of the Standards. In addition, we implement programs that encourage and support suppliers in improving the social and environmental impacts of their businesses.
In the Community
As an employer and a corporate citizen, we are aware of our role in the communities in which we operate. Our belief in respecting human rights of world and local communities is embodied in Our Credo: “We are responsible to the communities in which we live and work and to the world community as well. We must be good citizens – support good works and charities…”.
We respect the rights of local communities and those that live and work there consistent with international human rights standards. We continuously monitor and address the environmental impacts of our business operations on our neighbors, and strive to create positive impacts on adjacent communities through local engagement and charitable programs. For the principles we follow to ensure that our business respects the human right to water, click here.
General Rights and Obligations
Fair Labor Practices
All employment must be in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including those concerning hours, compensation, opportunity, and working conditions. Our operating companies are required to respect each employee’s right to make an informed decision, free of coercion, about membership in associations and/or labor unions. Employees have the right to organize or join associations, and bargain collectively, if they so choose. The Company and its operating companies are required to bargain in good faith with these associations. For more information on our views and positions on this topic visit the Policies & Statements on JNJ.com.
We support, follow, and comply with child labor laws across our operations and value chain. Our approach is consistent with the ILO labor standards outlined in ILO Conventions No. 138 and 182. More details on our policy can be found here.
Forced Labor and Human Trafficking
We do not accept or condone any aspect of forced or compulsory labor. We strictly prohibit our employees, suppliers and other business partners from engaging in human trafficking-related activities. The policies that address forced labor and human trafficking include Global Labor and Employment Guidelines and Human Trafficking Policy.
Safe and Healthy Work Environment
It is the policy of Johnson & Johnson that all employees work in a clean, orderly and safe environment. In the interest of maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, the Company requires full compliance with applicable workplace safety and industrial hygiene standards as mandated by law. The policies that address safe and healthy workplaces include Employment and Labor Laws and Policies, Environment, Health & Safety Policy, and our Healthiest Workforce Statement.
Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment
We base employment decisions on merit, considering qualifications, skills and achievements. We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment, and our Harassment-Free Workplace Policy further outlines our expectations.
We are committed to protecting the privacy of those who entrust us with their personal information, including our customers, consumers, website visitors, employees, clinical research participants and all those who do business with us. Whenever possible, we explain how personal information can be corrected, updated or deleted. We keep personal information secure. Click here for our Privacy Statement.
Access to Health Care
Access to health care, including access to innovative medicines, vaccines, devices and other technologies, is a critically important focus for the global health community and our Company. At Johnson & Johnson, we believe one of the most significant opportunities we have is to improve access to health care.
Access to health care is a complex multi-dimensional issue that requires strong engagement and collaboration between various stakeholders in the health community, as well as tailored context-specific approaches based on local needs. While governments have the primary responsibility, health care companies serve an important role as well. We believe that as a manufacturer of health care products and solutions, our critical contribution lies in continuing to invest in discovery and development of life-saving treatments to address the world’s most intractable health challenges. We also recognize our responsibility to ensure the quality and safety of our products from the discovery phase to clinical trials and to post-commercialization.
In addition, we contribute to strengthening the health care systems around the world through our efforts to improve the capacity of health workers and to advocacy for sustainable universal health coverage solutions. We work to price our products responsibly to ensure that they reflect their medical value and implement programs to make our medicines more accessible and affordable in low-resource settings. For more information on our approach on access to health care, see our Health for Humanity Report.
At Johnson & Johnson, we believe intellectual property encourages and promotes innovation – innovation that leads to the creation of products that profoundly change and save patient’s lives. The intellectual property system provides a framework that allows us to invest in new technologies, fund research and development, and ultimately bring new transformational medicines to the market.
We are committed to compassionate health care and recognize the healthcare challenges that confront developing countries, particularly least developed countries (LDCs). We believe that the best way to address these needs is for companies to work with local governments to develop approaches that benefit all involved parties, while continuing to uphold the value of intellectual property around the world.
In addition, Johnson & Johnson has in certain circumstances employed innovative, targeted approaches to address the needs of developing countries. These approaches include collaborative partnerships with local organizations to develop, manufacture and distribute our medicines, royalty-free and non-exclusive license arrangements, and where patents describe an essential medicine, pledging not to enforce certain patents provided that the generic version of the drug is medically acceptable and used only in the defined resource-limited territory. Click here for more information on Intellectual Property.
Clinical Research Ethics
Patient welfare is our top priority, including the safety of clinical trial participants. Our clinical trials are conducted based on internal policies that are designed to respect the rights of participants. We also adhere to external standards and guidelines, such as the Good Clinical Practice Guidelines of the International Conference on Harmonization, the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki and the Belmont Report.
We are committed to ensuring that our clinical trials around the world meet the laws and regulations of health authorities. We have procedures in place to fully inform participants of potential benefits and risks, to protect the confidentiality of their personal information, and to protect vulnerable populations. We do not discriminate in the conduct of our clinical trials, and seek to ensure access to our products in the communities where we develop them. All external research organizations conducting trials on our behalf are expected to follow our standards. We have processes in place to monitor adherence to our policies and practices.
We believe transparency of clinical trial data advances science and medicine and is in the best interest of the patients who use our products and providers who prescribe them, and researchers who may be able to use our data to further their research. As such, we support the overall principles of greater clinical trial data transparency, including registration of clinical trials and disclosure of their results in external registries, publication of results in peer-reviewed journals, and sharing of clinical study reports and participant level data from clinical trials. More information can be found in our Clinical Trial Data Transparency Statement, Ethical Code for the Conduct of Research and Development Policy, Conducting Clinical Trials Statement.
We are committed to providing effective resolution where we have caused or contributed to adverse human rights impacts. Where we find impacts directly linked to our business relationships, we will use our influence to encourage our suppliers or business partners to prevent, mitigate and address adverse impacts on human rights. The Johnson & Johnson Credo Hotline is the grievance mechanism available to all employees and business partners, offering a secure channel for anonymous reporting of suspected concerns or potential violations of our policies or the law. We support individuals who, in good faith, provide information relating to reports of potential misconduct and will not tolerate threats or acts of retaliation in any circumstance.
Governance and Oversight
At Johnson & Johnson, every employee is responsible for respecting human rights. The leaders of Procurement, Human Resources, Law Department and Global Clinical Development Operations are responsible for defining and operationalizing our framework for managing human rights. The implementation of our human rights practices is overseen by our Enterprise Governance Council (EGC). The EGC is a cross-functional team comprised of senior leaders who represent our three business segments and global enterprise functions with line of sight to environment, social and governance issues. Updates on human rights are provided by the identified functional leaders at regular EGC meetings and to Johnson & Johnson Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Board Committees as warranted.
We strive to routinely review and refine our approach to addressing human rights. Our Human Rights Statement was first developed in 2012 with input from several external experts. Updates to this version of the Statement were made with extensive input from key internal stakeholders across various enterprise functions. We track and publicly report on human rights progress through our annual sustainability report (the Health for Humanity Report).
Last Updated: April 2018