To all of our Valued Employees,
It goes without saying that, as one of the nation’s leading medical device companies, we are involved in a highly competitive industry with health care providers expecting and demanding more of us. These demands have an effect on you, no matter where you are in the organization. Whether your job requires you to process orders faster and more accurately than ever before, to manufacture a greater volume of products with tighter tolerances and quality controls, or to get up earlier each day to generate more sales leads, we are all challenged to find creative and innovative ways to get the job done. I applaud that effort, and take this opportunity to thank you for the contributions you have made, and will make, to our Company’s success.
At the same time, it is essential that each one of us recognize that it is not just getting the job done that counts, but also how we achieve our results. CONMED’s reputation --- as well as each individual success --- requires us not only to do the job, but to do it in the right way. As much as ever, doing the right thing goes beyond complying with the laws which govern our business. It really means conducting ourselves with total integrity on a daily basis in everything we do.
As your employer, CONMED’s obligation goes beyond simply stating that you should always conduct yourself professionally and ethically at work. With this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, we have formalized the values which have made us the Company we are today and which will carry us forward into the future. This manual describes the fundamental ethics policies that govern all of the work we do, and sets forth the duties and obligations of all our employees under those policies. I urge you to read it carefully, and to continue the tradition of hard work with a commitment to integrity and professionalism that have made us the Company we are today, and will continue to shape the future of our Company.
Very truly yours,
Curt R. Hartman
President and CEO
This Code of Business Conduct and Ethics applies to all employees of CONMED and its subsidiaries, from the CEO, CFO, Controller and the rest of executive management, to manufacturing supervisors and hourly employees to each sales person. There are no employees who are exempt from the policies outlined in this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
The CONMED Legal Department is responsible for applying these policies to specific situations in which questions may arise and has the authority to interpret these policies in any particular situation. Any questions relating to how these policies should be interpreted or applied should be addressed to CONMED Legal Department.
Any employee who becomes aware of any existing or potential violation of laws, rules, regulations or this Code is required to notify CONMED General Counsel promptly. Failure to do so is itself a violation of this Code. To encourage employees to report any violations, the Company will not allow retaliation for reports made in good faith. Where possible, reports should be submitted orally either by telephone or in person. If for any reason this is not possible, contact the CONMED Legal Department for instructions concerning how to submit reports by e-mail, regular mail or by fax. If necessary, reports of violations may be submitted anonymously to the following.
Signius (Third Party Service)
The anonymous reports will be forwarded by MessagePro to the Chair of the Audit Committee of the CONMED Board of Directors. The Chair of the Audit Committee will then contact the General Counsel, or others as appropriate, to investigate reports as needed.
An employee who is unsure of whether a situation violates this Code should discuss the situation with CONMED General Counsel to prevent possible misunderstandings and embarrassment at a later date.
A “conflict of interest” occurs when an individual’s private interest is materially inconsistent with, in tension with or interferes with or appears to be inconsistent with, in tension with or to interfere with the interests of the Company. Conflicts of interest are prohibited as a matter of Company policy, unless they have been approved by the Company. In particular, an employee, officer or director must never use or attempt to use his or her position at the Company to obtain any improper personal benefit for himself or herself, for his or her family, or for any other person.
Any employee, officer or director who is aware of a conflict of interest or an improper personal benefit or is concerned that a conflict might develop, is required to discuss the matter with the CONMED Legal Department promptly.III. Corporate Opportunities
Employees, officers and directors owe a duty to the Company to advance the Company’s business interests when the opportunity to do so arises. Employees, officers and directors are prohibited from taking (or directing to a third party) a material business opportunity that is discovered through the use of corporate property, information or position, unless the Company has already been offered the opportunity and has definitely and finally turned it down. More generally, employees, officers and directors are prohibited from using corporate property, information or position for improper personal gain and from competing with the Company.
Sometimes the line between personal and Company benefits is difficult to draw, and sometimes there are both personal and Company benefits in certain activities. The only prudent course of conduct for our employees, officers and directors is to make sure that any use of Company property or services that is not solely for the benefit of the Company is approved beforehand by CONMED Legal Department.
In carrying out the Company’s business, employees, officers and directors often learn confidential or proprietary information about the business of the Company, i.e. information concerning CONMED, Linvatec, CONMED Electrosurgery or any other CONMED or Linvatec subsidiary, its suppliers, joint venture parties and potential companies which may be acquired by the Company. Where that information has not been communicated to the public in general, or to investors or potential investors in particular, employees, officers and directors must maintain the confidentiality of all information so entrusted to them, except when disclosure is authorized or legally mandated.
It is important that any non-public information be maintained on a confidential basis, as there can be serious consequences for the Company as a result of the disclosure of confidential information. Likewise, there can be potentially serious consequences for any employee who discloses such confidential information, whether intentionally or inadvertently.
If you have any questions concerning these confidentiality obligations, please contact your Human Resources Department. Or, you may contact the Legal Department.
We have a history of succeeding through fair and honest business competition. We do not seek competitive advantages through illegal or unethical business practices. Each employee, officer and director should endeavor to deal fairly with the Company’s service providers, suppliers, competitors and employees. No employee, officer or director should take unfair advantage of anyone through manipulation, concealment, abuse of privileged information, misrepresentation of material facts, or any unfair dealing practice. If you have any questions concerning conduct that you are considering to undertake, you should contact CONMED General Counsel.VI. Protection and Proper Use of Company Assets
All employees, officers and directors should protect the Company’s assets and ensure their efficient use. All Company assets should be used only for legitimate business purposes.VII. Compliance with Laws, Rules and Regulations (Including Insider Trading Laws)
It is the Company’s policy to comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. It is the personal responsibility of each employee, officer and director to adhere to the standards and restrictions imposed by those laws, rules and regulations. These requirements range from compliance with securities disclosure, Food and Drug Act requirements, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act obligations as well as any and all other legal requirements which may have an impact on our business.
There are three components of compliance with respect to securities laws: (i) Non-Disclosure and Non-Use of Inside Information; (ii) Disclosure Limitations; (iii) Additional Restriction on Affiliates.
From time to time, employees may be exposed to or have access to “material non-public information” within the meaning of the securities laws. While the phrase is not precise, it is generally understood to apply to any non-public information that a reasonable investor would consider in making an investment decision. For these purposes, the information need not be so important that it would alter an investment decision. Rather, it is enough that an investor could “consider” the information in making an investment decision. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is of the view that the following kinds of information, depending on circumstances, may be considered to be material: (1) earnings information; (2) mergers, acquisitions and changes in assets; (3) new products or developments regarding customers or suppliers; or (4) important contracts with customers.
At any given time, a wide range of employees may be aware of non-public information concerning one or more of these categories. Whether that information is “material” is a legal conclusion that may entail consideration of factors of which not all employees may be aware, and may represent a conclusion some third party may reach after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.
As a practical matter, if you have any question or doubt as to whether you are in possession of material, non-public information, you should assume that you do, and not engage in any transaction, directly or indirectly, in CONMED securities of any kind (whether stock, buys, calls, or options). You should also be careful not to disclose to anyone whatsoever any non-public information. Persons who violate these rules not only place themselves at risk under CONMED policies, but may have committed, or aided a third party in committing, what is commonly referred to as “insider trading,” conduct that may be criminal.
Additional requirements apply to corporate “insiders” who have been notified separately of their additional obligations. Should you have any questions concerning CONMED’s policy in this regard, or come to know of any violation of the policy, you should contact the CONMED Legal Department immediately.
It is CONMED’s policy that no “material non-public information” be disclosed except by the limited number of corporate officers authorized to make such disclosures on behalf of the Company. For most employees, including all officers and persons with access to material non-public information, this means that employees must maintain Company secrets and confidential information, and not use such information.
From time to time, the Company may waive some provisions of this Code. Any employee, officer or director who believes that a waiver may be called for should contact the CONMED Legal Department. Any waiver of the Code for executive officers or directors of the Company may be made only in writing by the Board of Directors or a committee of the Board, and must be disclosed to shareholders as required.IX. Duty To Report and Protection For Good Faith Reports of Violations of Policies or Laws
Employees are responsible for complying with all laws and policies of the Company at all times. In addition to being responsible for their own conduct, employees are also required to report any incident or conduct by another employee that the reporting employee reasonably believes to be a violation of Company policies or of law, including any laws relating to fraud such as the securities fraud or relating to fraud against shareholders. It is against Company policy for any employee to discharge, denote, suspend, threaten harass, discriminate in any form or take any adverse employment action in retaliation against an employee who reports a violation of these policies, lawfully provides information or otherwise assists in an investigation which the employee reasonably believes amounts to a violation of these policies or a fraud against shareholders or other similar types of fraud. If any employee believes he or she has experienced adverse employment action as a result of a good faith report of a violation of Company policies or laws, he or she should contact Human Resources and the CONMED Legal Department immediately.
At the direction of the General Counsel, responsible personnel will review and investigate all credible disclosures of suspected wrongful activity to ensure an appropriate response. Investigations will be conducted confidentially to the extent possible. The General Counsel shall then have the authority to impose appropriate disciplinary actions for individuals who engage in misconduct and those responsible for the failure to prevent or detect the wrongful conduct, with such discipline including termination of employment.