We work hard to achieve a culture of compliance and integrity that:
- prevents misconduct;
- identifies and addresses misconduct promptly and effectively when it does occur; and
- makes it easy for employees to always do the right thing.
Our compliance and integrity program starts with our Mission & Values, which is the foundation for how all employees conduct themselves. Altria's Standards for Compliance & Integrity outlines the structure for our Compliance & Integrity program, and our Code of Conduct outlines key risk areas and the principles that guide employees' actions.
Altria's Chairman, CEO and President, the Board of Directors and senior officers are accountable for Altria's Compliance & Integrity Program.
Speaking Up & Preventing Retaliation
Our compliance and integrity program is built on personal accountability. We require our employees to speak up if they believe misconduct has occurred or if something just doesn’t seem right. We also make it clear that we will not tolerate retaliation against employees who raise good faith compliance concerns.
All employees receive training on the Code of Conduct and how to use it in decision making. The Code also requires employees to speak up if they believe misconduct has taken place. We expect our employees to comply with the Code and company policies relevant to their jobs.
Compliance & Integrity Investigations Activity
We act promptly, professionally and confidentially in response to any report or concern of a potential violation of our Code of Conduct, policies or the law. We investigate allegations we receive, without exception. We report the findings from investigations to our employees on an annual basis.
In 2018, about 37 percent of employee compliance concerns came from in-person reports, with the remaining cases coming primarily through the Integrity HelpLine and reports from Management. About half of a percent of our 2018 cases were submitted anonymously, compared to one percent in 2017.
We substantiated misconduct in 115 of the 237 cases in 2018 – a substantiation rate of 49 percent. Management worked with Human Resources (and other subject matter experts, as needed) to determine appropriate disciplinary or corrective action for violations, such as termination, suspension, warnings and counseling. None of the substantiated cases involved matters or amounts that were material to Altria.