KIMBERLY-CLARK CORPORATION EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION,
Kimberly-Clark Corporation (“K-C”) has implemented the following policies and procedures as part of its longstanding commitment to compliance with all applicable equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements.
Equal Opportunity Policy
K-C is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from any and all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment. K-C’s policy and practice is to provide equal employment opportunities and to assure those opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breast feeding or related medical condition), national origin, age, disability, legally protected medical condition, military or veteran status, marital status, genetic information, citizenship status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other basis prohibited by law. It is also the company’s policy to prohibit any and all forms of retaliation against any individual who has complained of harassing or discriminatory conduct, or participated in a company or agency investigation into such complaints.
Affirmative Action Policy
K-C is also a federal contractor subject to Executive Order 11246, Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended (“Section 4212”) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (“Section 503”). As such, K-C is committed to taking positive steps to implement the employment-related aspects of the company’s equal opportunity policy. Accordingly, it is K-C’s policy to take affirmative action to employ, advance in employment, and otherwise treat qualified minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities without regard to their race/ethnicity, sex, veteran status, or physical or mental disability. K-C also will provide reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified employee or applicant for employment, unless the accommodation would impose undue hardship on the operation of the company’s business.
The company’s affirmative action policy also prohibits employees and applicants from being subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination because they have engaged in or may engage in (1) filing a complaint; (2) assisting or participating in an investigation, compliance evaluation, hearing, or any other activity related to the administration of Section 503, Section 4212, or any other Federal, state or local law requiring equal opportunity for disabled persons or covered veterans; (3) opposing any act or practice made unlawful by Section 503 or Section 4212 and their implementing regulations, or any other Federal, state or local law requiring equal opportunity for disabled persons or covered veterans; or (4) exercising any other right protected by Section 503 or Section 4212 or their implementing regulations.
The non-confidential portions of the affirmative action program for individuals with disabilities and protected veterans shall be available for inspection upon request by any employee or applicant for employment by contacting your site’s Human Resources Business Partner during regular business hours.
Application of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policies
These policies apply whenever and wherever a company employee is performing a function of his or her job, including all K-C locations, client worksites, and company-sponsored or client- sponsored business and social functions. The company’s equal opportunity and affirmative action policies require that employment decisions be based only on valid job requirements, and extend to all terms, conditions, and privileges of employment including, but not limited to, recruitment, selection, compensation, benefits, training, promotion, and disciplinary actions.
Workplace Harassment, Including Sexual Harassment
A key component of the company’s commitment to equal opportunity is zero tolerance for workplace harassment based on, or because of, an individual’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breast feeding or related medical condition), national origin, age, disability, legally protected medical condition, military or veteran status, marital status, genetic information, citizenship status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other reason prohibited by law. Such harassment, whether committed by company personnel or by clients, customers, vendors, or other individuals doing business with K-C, will not be tolerated.
Prohibited harassment occurs when a supervisor, co-worker, or even a non-employee behaves or acts in such a way that creates a hostile work environment for another employee based on an individual’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breast feeding or related medical condition), national origin, age, disability, legally protected medical condition, military or veteran status, marital status, genetic information, citizenship status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or other protected characteristic. K-C management is responsible for ensuring compliance with all aspects of this equal employment opportunity policy and for developing implementation strategies that promote its intent.
Sexual harassment can be between men and women, or between persons of the same gender. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to the following:
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors
- Threatening an employee who fails to respond positively to sexual advances
- Sexual flirtations, touching, advances or propositions
- Verbal abuse of a sexual nature
- Graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or body
- The workplace display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures
- Jokes of an inappropriate sexual nature
Other unlawful harassment includes but is not limited to unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical or visual that is based on an employee’s protected status, and either (i) affects tangible job benefits; (ii) unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance; or (iii) creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Examples of conduct that may be regarded as unlawful harassment based on a hostile or offensive work environment include:
- Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, disparaging remarks or intimidating acts based on any of the protected categories listed above;
- Telling or forwarding jokes directed to someone’s protected status, such as racial or ethnic jokes, regardless of whether “everyone tells them”;
- Posting, forwarding, showing or displaying in any manner cartoons that make fun of any group, religious belief, sex or individual because of his or her protected status;
- Forwarding offensive e-mails, printing them out or displaying them in any manner.
Any employee who becomes aware of a possible incident of unlawful harassment must promptly report the matter to his or her team leader or, if uncomfortable reporting to your team leader, another team leader or any member of the global security team at [email protected], chief counsel for your business unit or country, any member of the Legal Department with whom you have worked, the General Counsel’s office, any member of the Compliance Team, including the Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer at [email protected], your Human Resources representative for your business unit or country. Additionally, you may report any concerns of harassment anonymously any time through the K-C Compliance HelpLine:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1.844.KCHELP1 (1.844.524.3571)
For non-U.S. numbers, visit www.KCHelpLine.com
Upon receiving a report, the K-C will conduct a timely and thorough investigation. Employees are encouraged and expected to cooperate in any investigation. The complaint and any information gathered in an investigation are considered confidential K-C information.
However, while investigations will be conducted discretely, K-C cannot promise complete confidentiality because the investigation may require or lead to disclosure of the identity of those connected to the complaint or to disclosure of information that could lead to identification of persons connected to the complaint.
If K-C determines that misconduct has occurred, appropriate action will be taken to remedy the problem. The complainant will be informed whether the investigation was substantiated or not. K-C will take action to assure that the problem will not occur again. Any employee violating the policy against harassment will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
Measures will be undertaken to protect those who make a good faith complaint of harassment or who cooperate in an investigation from any further acts of harassment, coercion or intimidation, and from retaliation due to their reporting an incident of this type or participating in an investigation or proceeding concerning the alleged harassment. K-C strictly prohibits any form of retaliation against any employee for raising a good faith concern under this policy or for assisting in an investigation.
K-C strongly encourages employees to bring concerns and complaints about harassment to its attention in any manner described above, including to your team leader, Human Resources, Code of Conduct Line, etc. If you believe that the above procedure has not resolved your complaints or you do not wish to utilize the above procedure, you may contact the local office of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) to file a claim of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. If you are a California employee, you may also contact the local office of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) (or other similar state agency if an employee of another state), to file a claim of discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
These agencies have authority to conduct investigations of the facts and will attempt to assist the parties to voluntarily resolve their disputes. In the event that an agency finds that discrimination or harassment has occurred, such agencies may obtain voluntary resolution or file a lawsuit seeking reinstatement or an award of monetary damages. Employees can contact the nearest agency office at the locations listed in the K-C’s state and federal anti-discrimination postings, or on state or federal government websites or in state or federal government listings in local telephone directories.
K-C will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.
Obligations of Company Personnel
K-C personnel have an obligation to contribute to a harassment- and discrimination-free workplace. Any employee who suffers or observes harassment or any other violation of this policy is strongly encouraged to notify one of the individuals identified below. K-C will promptly and thoroughly investigate the alleged misconduct and, if a violation of this policy is found, will take immediate and appropriate corrective action.
Zero Tolerance for Retaliation
Every employee is encouraged to come forward without fear of reprisal, as K-C’s equal opportunity and affirmative action policies prohibit any and all forms of retaliation against anyone who in good faith complains that these policies are not being followed, or who otherwise participates in a company or agency investigation into such complaints, even if sufficient evidence is not found to substantiate the complaint. If you believe that you have been subjected to retaliation, your complaint should be directed to one of the individuals identified below.
After receiving a complaint involving a violation of the company’s equal opportunity or affirmative action policy, the company will investigate and take corrective action, as appropriate. Complaints and investigations will be kept strictly confidential to the maximum extent possible. No one, regardless of position or length of service, is exempt from these policies.
Responsibility for Implementation
The CEO of K-C fully supports our affirmative action program and is committed to the implementation of the company’s equal opportunity and affirmative action policies. Complaints should first be directed to your local office Human Resources Business Partner, but may also be directed to any member of the Human Resource staff, your team leader, a member of the Legal department staff, a member of K-C leadership team, or through the K-C Code of Conduct hotline resources.