1. Core Values:
1.1. Free to Ask Why
1.1.1. Ask Questions
1.1.2. Input embraced
1.1.3. Seek to understand Know the bigger Picture and meaning behind your work
1.1.4. License to think outside the box
1.2.1. Flexibility to adapt to Changing needs
1.2.2. Becoming comfortable with the unknown
1.2.3. Learning from mistakes of the past
1.2.4. Continual improvement mindset
1.2.5. Proponent of purposeful change and having a proactive mentality
1.3. Enjoy the Journey
1.3.1. Take the pride in your work and the impact it has on the common goals
1.3.2. Celebrate milestones large and small
1.3.3. Recognize each other’s contributions
1.3.4. Leave each day with a sense of accomplishment
1.3.5. Positive reflection
1.4. Honesty and Integrity
1.4.1. Respect for the company and adherence to its policies and procedures
1.4.2. Commitment to the honest, trust and transparency
1.4.3. Have respect for fellow employees
1.4.4. Allow fellow employee voices to be heard
1.4.5. Foster open and respectful discussion when disagreements occur
1.4.6. Be honest in your work and all interactions with employees
1.4.7. Raise awareness when witnessing potential ethics violations
1.5. Team Work
1.5.1. Win or lose as a team
1.5.2. Understanding the success of the company is depends on its people and ability to work together
1.5.3. Valued Ideas over hierarchy
1.5.4. Understanding of the synergistic benefits of working together to achieve goals
1.5.5. Embrace someone else’s ideas to meet common objectives
1.5.6. We are a family
2. Our Principles 2.1. Act Ethically
2.2. Follow all laws and regulations as well as our Code of Conduct
2.3. Act Honestly
2.4. Be transparent, unbiased, and accurate with each other and our customers
2.5. Act Fairly
2.6. Act with integrity to safeguard our reputation
2.7. Act Responsibly
2.8. Act responsibly to protect each other, our company, and our environment
2.9. Act Respectfully
2.10. Treat all people – customers, vendors, and each other – with respect and dignity
3. Act Ethically: Follow all laws and regulations as well as our Code of Conduct
3.1. Compliance and ethics 3.1.1. Flamemaster’s shared company values and principles serve as the basis for our Code of Conduct. This Code serves as guidance in our interactions with our customers, our suppliers, and each other. These principles apply to all levels of the organization. Ethical business conduct is critical to maintaining trust with our stakeholders and growing our business.
3.1.2. We are committed to providing our employees with whatever tools they need to make decisions and act in ways that are compliant with all laws and our Code of Conduct. Employees are encouraged to raise any ethics concerns or policy violations with their management or Human Resources; supervisors and managers are obligated to subsequently report any issues and to ensure a proper investigation takes place. Those who wish to bypass reporting to their immediate supervisor can report the potential violation to Human Resources or the President, either in person or by e-mail. A statement that the employee wishes to keep the report anonymous will be honored.
3.1.3. Flamemaster does not tolerate any form of retaliation for reporting in good faith any violations or suspected violations of the law or Code of Conduct.
3.2. Human rights 3.2.1. Flamemaster is firmly committed to human rights. Our policies and procedures address health and safety (including workplace security) and equal opportunity in order to create a safe and respectful workplace with an ethical culture. Any form of human trafficking or exploitation is prohibited and included in our Supplier Code of Conduct as are statements regarding conflict minerals. We do not participate in child labor (the minimum hiring age is 18) nor forced labor. We do not retain any original employee documents nor allow employees to pay recruitment fees.
3.2.2. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations relating to work hours, wages, and benefits, as well as respecting employees’ right to freedom of association. Additionally, we participate in sustainability and environmental protection initiatives such as reduction of waste and energy use.
4. Act Honestly: Be transparent, unbiased, and accurate with each other and our customers
4.1.1. Information on our products must always be truthful and accurate. In advertising and marketing, care must to taken that any statement can be independently validated. This includes advertisements, technical data sheets, any form of product literature, labels and other goods, both in print and electronic. Verbal and e-mail discussions must always be honest: False or unfair comparisons of a competitor’s goods or business do not reflect well on us and are prohibited. Respecting trademarks is also a sign of an ethical business.
4.2. Product quality and safety
4.2.1. Product claims such as performance, quality, and safety must be substantiated. All quality testing and inspection must be performed per specification, customer, and internal requirements. Test results must be evaluated in an unbiased fashion and reported accurately. Any deviation request must be handled in accordance with purchase order and quality system procedures, as failure to notify customer of a change may result in product rejection or penalties.
4.2.2. Accurate information is also essential for evaluating safety risks. Reactive in nature, our products use a variety of raw materials which cannot be substituted without prior approval. Quality system procedures exist to prevent the use of inferior or counterfeit goods and therefore must never be circumvented.
4.3. Financial integrity
4.3.1. Our accounts, records, and financial statements must properly and accurately reflect all transactions, assets, and liabilities in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. Our business and financial records include, among others, purchase orders (ours and customers’), invoices, time cards, manufacturing records, and expense reports.
4.3.2. Good business decisions depend on information, so employees must ensure that labor and material costs are accurately documented. Complete and timely submission of all transactions, including expense reports, is integral to this process. Any falsification of a financial document, including recording of time on timecards or charging items to an incorrect account is forbidden. The review and approval process cannot be bypassed as this also ensures the company’s financial integrity. Finally, we expect all employees to fully cooperate in any internal or external financial audit.
5. Conflict of interest
5.1. A conflict of interest can occur when a person (or organization) has multiple financial or other interests which could involve working against each other. Even the appearance that a person’s judgment or loyalty to the company must be avoided. Competing personal interests can include simultaneous (or previous) employment or financial interest with a competitor, distributor, supplier or customer. Personal and familial relationships must also be considered as well, especially in supplier or customer situations. Accepting a valuable gift may also create the appearance of undue influence with an employee and should be turned down.
5.2. Employees are required to disclose to management or HR any financial interests, relationships, and external activities that could result in a potential, perceived or actual conflict of interest. It is wise to seek approval before involving yourself in any such activities. A simple review can ensure that there are no conflicts of interest or determine methods to address any concerns, including improper use of Flamemaster resources.
6. Act Fairly: Act with integrity to safeguard our reputation
6.1. Export control/Trade compliance
6.1.1. We help protect our national security by compliance with import and export control laws and regulations. This includes overall import and export regulations as well as the Internal Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Export control regulations restrict the transfer of certain articles and/or information to foreign places or persons. Note that allowing a foreign person onsite to read export-controlled document may itself a violation. Export-controlled documents should remain locked and only accessible to U.S. persons.
6.1.2. Items must be classified properly. Although EAR99 items do not have a specific Export Control Classification Number (ECCN), authorization for a shipment of that item may change. Additionally, items may not be shipped to certain countries without an export license, to embargoed countries, or to particular individuals, such as those on denied parties lists. Flamemaster has defined processes in place to ensure that export licenses are in place when necessary and must be strictly followed.
6.1.3. Anti-boycott provisions in the EAR encourage and, in some cases, require that U.S. persons refuse to participate in unsanctioned foreign boycotts. Activities in question may be requests to refuse to do business with certain countries or companies or to discriminate or agree to discriminate against a U.S. person because of race, religion, sex or national origin. Diligence is required to ensure that such requests are not included in purchase orders or other contracts. These requests must be reported to the EAR; there are significant penalties for not complying with anti-boycott provisions.
6.2.1. Competing fairly in the marketplace includes abiding by all anti-trust and competition laws. No employee should ever enter into discussions with competitors or their representatives to fix prices, restrict supply, allocate customers or territories, boycott particular suppliers, or limit production for anti-competitive purposes. Discussion with competitors on topics such as market share, pricing, and production capacity or costs can be viewed as anti-competitive and must be avoided. Attempts to engage an employee in such discussions must be reported promptly to management. In general, it is best to avoid any discussions with competitors or their representatives that even give the appearance of an improper agreement.
6.3.1. Bribery occurs when someone offers, promises or gives something of value to another person in order to influence them. A bribe does not have to be a tangible item; for instance, it can be a promise of employment to a close family member. As examples, the intent could be to influence the person to award a new contract, continue existing business or to issue a permit. Note that accepting a bribe is also breaking the law.
6.3.2. There are specific laws for dealing government officials, particularly foreign officials, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FPCA) and the U.K. Bribery Act (UKBA), but prohibitions and laws apply to commercial entities as well. The guidelines for general business gifts and hospitality are addressed below. However, facilitation or “grease” payments (common in some parts of the world to expedite action from a low-level official) and kickbacks are forbidden and expose the company to significant penalties.
6.3.3. All employees are responsible for reporting instances of bribery or corruption to management. Internal accounting controls exist to prevent concealment of bribery or other financial improprieties and must be followed.
6.4. Gifts and hospitality
6.4.1. Giving gifts and sharing entertainment or meals are an enjoyable part of doing business and help build relationships. However, good judgment in offering or accepting such items must be done in compliance with all applicable laws and corporate regulations for both parties. Employees must ensure that the items are of reasonable value, in line with the usual gift-giving practices of the business and country, and not intended to influence the recipient’s decisions. Special consideration must be given when offering gifts to government or foreign officials; consult with management.
6.4.2. To avoid even the appearance of impropriety, gifts should not be too costly or too frequent. Cash or cash equivalents (such as gift cards) should never be offered, although modest refreshments like doughnuts or coffee are acceptable. Gifts should be given openly and in the company’s name, rather than that of an individual. If there is any doubt regarding the suitability of offering or accepting a gift, consult management.
6.4.3. Employees responsible for purchasing goods and services should not accept gifts from supplier worth more than a nominal value ($20 -$25), not exceeding $100 yearly. If there is no conflict of interest, other employees may, with managerial approval, offer and accept gifts and other business courtesies up to $100. It is never appropriate to request, directly or indirectly, any gift or business courtesy.
6.5. Lobbying/political activity
6.5.1. Employees are encouraged to participate in the political process, but this must be done on the employee’s own time and using their own resources. It is not appropriate to use company assets, including computers, telephones, and copying machines for political uses. Flamemaster does not make contributions to any political party.
7. Act Responsibly: Act responsibly to protect each other, our company, and our environment
7.1. Health, safety, and environment
7.1.1. The health and safety of employees and visitors is of paramount importance to Flamemaster. We also work to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment. Employees are therefore expected to comply with all applicable laws and regulations to ensure a safe, secure, and drug-free workplace. To that end, we expect employees to promptly report any accidents, near-misses, and unsafe practices, equipment, and conditions. Violence, threats of violence, and illegal activities must also be reported to management. It is expected that employees attend the required safety training and follow all procedures.
7.1.2. We also strive to reduce waste and reduce pollution, particularly at the source. We work to increase energy efficiency and conserve natural resources such as water. Environmental concerns and sustainability are also a part of supplier selection. Flamemaster is always open to reducing our impact on the environment and encourage employees to offer suggestions for improvement.
7.2.1. Travel is a necessary and often enjoyable part of doing business. Travel must be authorized in advance, but all relevant expenses are covered, as outlined in the travel policy. Employees are expected to use good judgment in selecting transportation, lodging, meals, and entertainment. Receipts are required and expense reports must be filed promptly (within one month of return) in order to ensure that they are charged to the proper accounts.
7.3. Use of company assets
7.3.1. We have a variety of assets and business tools, including computers, telephones, and photocopiers, for the purpose of furthering Flamemaster’s business interests. Limited personal use of these assets is allowed as long as it does not interfere with job performance or harm Flamemaster’s interests. However, they cannot be used for external business activities or political purposes. Personal use should not impact network operations, so personal photographs and videos cannot be stored on Flamemaster servers.
7.3.2. Company assets cannot be used to access inappropriate content including sexually explicit or other offensive material or gambling sites. Care should be taken in using your Flamemaster e-mail address for personal use to avoid the appearance that the communication is not mistaken for a professional one. Company assets must also be protected against unauthorized use. Do not share passwords, download external software without permission, or bypass firewalls and other security devices; additional detail is found in Flamemaster’s IT Security procedure.
7.4. Data privacy
7.4.1. Laws regarding personal data vary from state to state as well as by country. Definitions of personally identifiable information also vary, but generally refers to information can be used to distinguish or trace someone’s identity, either by itself or in combination with other personal or identifying information. Such information shared by employees as well as customers or business partners requires protection.
7.4.2. Some information is considered “sensitive” and includes information on a person’s health, racial or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, and financial information; these require additional safeguards.
7.4.3. Key points for information security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Methods to prevent authorized access to sensitive information include password protection and limitations on where data appears as well as physical limitations such as locked file cabinets. Ways to ensure integrity – that the data are consistent and accurate – include file permissions and version control. Availability – ensuring reliable access to information by authorized personnel – requires storage in logical but secured systems.
7.4.4. Because laws are complex, it is best to seek guidance before gathering, using, or sharing personal information without the knowledge and consent of the affected party. Data collection requires notice and consent; use should be limited only to what was consented to and not further retained or used. Transferring personal information across national borders requires thorough assessment by a knowledgeable party.
8. Act Respectfully: Treat all people – customers, suppliers, and each other – with respect and dignity
8.1. Respect and dignity
8.1.1. Everyone – customers, suppliers, and fellow employees of all levels – are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity at Flamemaster. We expect not simply compliance with laws against discrimination and harassment, but that employees embrace each other’s unique value. We encourage an open environment where employees can make suggestions or raise concerns without fear of retaliation.
8.2.1. Flamemaster prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression age (40 years and over), sexual orientation, veteran and/or military status, protected medical leaves, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, and any other status protected by state or federal law. We provide reasonable accommodations for those who need them for medical or religious reasons, as required by law.
8.2.2. Any violations of this policy should be reported to management. We will protect the confidentiality of those who report a potential case of discrimination or participate in a subsequent investigation to the greatest extent possible. Complaints will be investigated promptly and thoroughly; corrective and preventive actions will be generated as necessary.
8.2.3. Discrimination includes hostile or demeaning behavior towards people because of their protected category, allowing the person’s protected category to be a factor in hiring, promotion, compensation or other employment-related decisions unless otherwise permitted by applicable law, and providing unwarranted assistance or withholding work-related assistance, cooperation or information to people because of their protected category.
8.3.1. Harassment is disrespectful or unprofessional conduct, including those based on protected categories described in the non-discrimination section. Harassment may be verbal (such as insults, jokes, or teasing), visual (such as posting or distributing drawings, e-mail, or cartoons) or physical (blocking someone’s way, physically threatening someone, or making physical contact in an unwelcome way.
8.3.2. Sexual harassment is harassment based on sex or conduct of a sexual nature, and includes based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or other related medical condition. Besides the behaviors described above, this includes unwelcome sex-based conduct such as sexual advances or requests for sexual favors. “Quid Pro Quo” sexual harassment involves stated or implied demands for sexual favors in exchange for a benefit such as a promotion or to avoid negative consequences, such as termination or demotion. “Hostile Work Environment” harassment occurs when speech or conduct is such that it creates an intimidating or demeaning environment that negatively affects someone’s job performance. This sort of harassment does not require a supervisor/subordinate relationship and can, in fact, be perpetrated by customers or contractors as well as peers.
8.4.1. Retaliation is defined as any adverse employment action taken against an employee for engaging in or exercising their rights that are protected by law as it relates to the equal opportunity employment policies. Protected activities include reporting or assisting in reporting policy violations or participating in the investigations. Adverse employment action refers to conduct or an action that materially affects the terms and conditions of someone’s employment status or would be likely to deter the employee from engaging in the protected activity. Examples of retaliation include demotion, suspension, and reduction in pay, but can also include changing someone’s work assignments or excluding the employee from job-related activities because of the protected activities.
8.4.2. Retaliation against anyone who reports a concern about discrimination or harassment is prohibited.
8.5. Diversity and inclusion
8.5.1. Everyone brings different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to the workplace. This diversity benefits the organization most when everyone is invited to participate and everyone feels valued. By considering alternative viewpoints, we can avoid pitfalls and create a better product and work environment. Respectful communication and cooperation with each other as well as appreciation for our unique situations allows us to thrive.
8.5.2. If we invest time and build real relationships with others, we can understand what is important to them and find ways to treat them so that everyone feels that their contributions are welcome and valued. Expressing appreciation and respect is important in making people feel more comfortable offering their input, especially when it differs from the rest of the group. These divergent viewpoints are often the most important!
8.5.3. A high-performing team has a shared vision and works toward a common goal. When employees understand the end goal, they can better understand how their unique characteristics can be used to create robust, innovative solutions. Our diverse and inclusive environment is integral to our success as a company.