1. Why did Eaton decide to start an Ombuds office?
2. Do other companies have Ombuds offices?
3. If the Ombuds are paid by the company, how do we know that they will be neutral and confidential?
4. What can I expect when I contact the Office of the Ombuds with a question or concern?
5. Do I have a duty to report illegal or unethical conduct to the Company?
6. Will contacting the Office of the Ombuds satisfy my duty to report unethical or illegal conduct to the Company?
7. What can I expect when I contact the Global Ethics Office with a question or concern?
8. When should I contact the Office of the Ombuds or the Global Ethics Office about a concern or question?
Why did Eaton decide to start an Ombuds office?
Response: Eaton took this step proactively so that we all can have the opportunity to voice concerns, resolve issues and help do business right.
Question 2: Do other companies have Ombuds offices?
Response: Yes. Over the last decade or so, more companies have instituted Ombuds offices. Companies in a wide range of industries have Ombuds, including industrial manufacturing, food and beverage, financial services and professional service firms.
Question 3: If the Ombuds are paid by the company, how do we know that they will be neutral and confidential?
Response: Eaton’s Ombuds operate according to professional standards of practice and Code of Ethics. Eaton has agreed to hire the Ombuds to do a specific job — they are paid to be confidential, neutral, informal and independent.
Question 4: What can I expect when I contact the Office of the Ombuds with a question or concern?
Response: Your question, issue or concern will be taken seriously and will be responded to promptly, discreetly and professionally. At your option, you may remain anonymous. This means that you do not have to disclose who you are or where you work. The Ombuds will listen to your concerns. The Ombuds will then help you find answers to your questions and assist you in identifying options to report or resolve your issue. When you discuss your options with the Ombuds Office, you determine the action that will be taken. This means that the Ombuds will not tell anyone about your conversation, not even the Company, unless in the course of your discussion with the Ombuds you give him or her permission to do so.
Question 5: Do I have a duty to report illegal or unethical conduct to the Company?
Response: Eaton employees have the duty to bring to the attention of a supervisor or another member of management, or the Director – Global Ethics, any activity that in their judgment would violate Eaton’s Code of Ethics.
Question 6: Will contacting the Office of the Ombuds satisfy my duty to report unethical or illegal conduct to the Company?
Response: No--the Office of the Ombuds is not an official reporting channel. The Ombuds will help you identify and discuss other reporting channels within the Company that exist for notice. If you want the Company to know about your concern, to investigate or take action to address it, contact your supervisor, another member of local management, or the Director – Global Ethics.
Question 7: What can I expect when I contact the Global Ethics Office with a question or concern?
Response: Your question, report or concern will be taken seriously and will be handled promptly, discreetly and professionally. An Ethics Representative will answer your question directly or make arrangements for you to follow up for a response. Any potential violation or misconduct that you report will be investigated and, if substantiated, resolved through appropriate action. If you identify yourself, the Office will inform you when the investigation is complete.
At your option, you may remain anonymous. This means that you don’t have to disclose who you are or where you work. However, without a very basic amount of critical information, it may be difficult to conduct an investigation. If you use the anonymous e-mail or telephone number, your location and number cannot be identified or traced. If you identify yourself, your identity will be kept confidential to the extent possible while permitting an appropriate investigation.
Question 8: When should I contact the Office of the Ombuds or the Global Ethics Office about a concern or question?
Response: The Office of the Ombuds and the Global Ethics Office are two of the many channels of communication available to you at Eaton for resolving your work-related concerns.
Bringing issues to local management's attention is clearly the best approach in most cases. However, we realize that there are situations where such an approach may not be feasible. The preferred and primary channel for resolving issues is to discuss them with your supervisor or other local management, including your local Human Resources Manager. Other options available to you include the Office of the Ombuds and the Global Ethics Office. If you need to contact someone with a concern or question, the Office of the Ombuds and the Global Ethics Office are resources available to assist you.
The Office of the Ombuds will act as an impartial, confidential and independent resource to help you address and resolve workplace issues. It is a resource for neutral, informal and off-the-record discussion and advice. As a designated neutral, the Ombuds Office will not function as an advocate for the Company or any individual; rather, it is an advocate for fair process. The Office is available to help you examine issues and to help you understand your options.
The Ombuds Office is independent of functional management. It is not a place for you to officially report your concerns to the Company. The Ombuds office will not conduct investigations. The Ombuds Office was created with the understanding that all communications with it are kept confidential. You may also contact the Office anonymously. The Office of the Ombuds can assist you with any workplace issue.
The Global Ethics Office is a resource for advice, guidance and interpretation on Eaton’s Code of Ethics. At your option, you may remain anonymous. Anyone who has a concern about any ethical challenges in the workplace, potential or actual legal or financial violations of the code of ethics, or any questionable business activity or business conduct and wants the Company to know about it should contact the Global Ethics Office. Also, you can contact this office if you believe your issue involves workplace violence, discrimination, harassment or other situations that might require an investigation or other company action.
Call the Global Ethics Office to report any concern or any potential or actual legal or financial violation, including matters related to:
- Accounting Practices/Financial Reporting
- Financial Record Keeping
- Violations of the Code of Ethics
- Internal Accounting Controls/Procedures
- Both offices are available through secure toll-free numbers.
USA, Canada & Puerto Rico
Office of the Ombuds 1-866-29-OMBUD (66283)
Global Ethics Office 1-800-433-2774
Dial your country specific AT&T international codes:
- Argentina 0-800-288-5288
- Brazil 0800-8888-288
- Chile 800-360-312
- Costa Rica 0-800-011-4114
- El Salvador 800-1785
- Guatemala 138-120
- Honduras 800-0-123
- Mexico 01-800-112-2020
- Nicaragua 1-800-0164
- Panama 800-2288
- Dominican Republic 11-22
- Venezuela 0 800 552 6288
When prompted with an operator or a recorded message requesting a number, dial the following to be connected:
- Office of the Ombuds - 866-296-6283 (select your preferred language from the menu)
- Global Ethics office - 800-433-2774
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure which of the offices you should call. The important thing is to make a call and get help.