Officials of business
The policy on gifts also makes it illegal for the employees of Walgreen to give out any form of gift to any person with whom the organization has business dealings. They may also not offer any form of gift to government officials. The employees are however free to give gifts to other parties other than officials of the government or officials of business with which Walgreens has or intends to have dealings with on condition that the gifts do not go against the grain of the recipient’s business rules and or of modest value.
Employees may not receive lodging, travel, entertainment, or sporting tickets from any party with whom the organization does or intends to do business with. Meals and accommodation may only be received under certain specific circumstances (Walgreen Co, 2010b). In its ethics policy, Walgreens further commits itself to adhere to government regulations touching on healthcare programs (such as Medicaid), government contracting, and the receiving or giving of kickbacks (Walgreen Co, 2010b).
Another area of focus for Walgreen’s ethics policy is insider trading. As far as insider trading is concerned, Walgreen’s policy binds all its employees who possess insider information that could affect the value of the company’s stock to keep such information confidential and may only divulge it if the same information has already become common knowledge within the public domain. Employees are prohibited from accepting or soliciting for anything of value in order to facilitate business between the organization and other parties (Walgreen Co, 2010b).
As far as the environment is concerned, the policy requires that any toxic matter that may pose harm to the environment be disposed off in a way that will not endanger the environment. Further, the policy binds the organization into full compliance with the rules governing controlled substances in the US as enforced by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and requires that all of its employees involved in the pharmacy department sign a separate ethics policy relating to this.
The ethics policy requires its vendors and suppliers to conform to ethics best practices, for example by refraining from child labor (Walgreen Co, 2010b). Another area addressed by Walgreen’s ethics policy is that of equal employment opportunity. Towards this end, the olicy prohibits any form of employee harassment on the basis of gender, race, religion, disability, and so on. The ethics policy, finally, also binds the firm to full compliance with antitrust laws and all employment laws (Walgreen Co, 2010b).
In addition to the ethics policy, ethical behavior at Walgreen’s is further underpinned by the Four Way Test and the Walgreen Creed. These emphasize the need for truthful, fair, and beneficial exchanges that will enhance goodwill and friendship between the company and other stakeholders. They also emphasize courtesy, honest competition, and kindness. Any relationship or exchange that does not meet these criteria is generally given a wide berth (Walgreen Co, 2010a).