We are committed to providing a positive, respectful work environment for our employees that offers competitive wages and benefits in the local markets where we operate.
Our employees are our greatest resource, and we value their feedback and perspectives. A core tenet of our disciplined management process is listening and acting upon employee insights. For more than 60 years, Emerson has conducted employee opinion surveys. This practice promotes transparency and understanding and guides the management team to constantly strive for improvement at all levels. The employee survey was updated in 2017 to include questions about our safety culture and commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion. In 2018, we added employee engagement questions related to job satisfaction, work-life balance, teamwork and follow-through, and availability of training and support.
In fiscal year 2018, more than 20,300 employees were invited to complete the survey, and we received 89% participation. Employees surveyed indicated a high trust in leadership and consistently recognized a strong safety culture, positive supervision skills and ethical behavior across the organization. Employees also gave high scores to the human resources organization and management communication practices. While overall scores were good, we can continue to improve by encouraging collaboration, driving employee engagement, ensuring talent development and closely monitoring local market conditions.
We respect our employees’ right to freedom of association in choosing labor organizations to represent them. We strive to maintain positive relationships with the unions, works councils and employee associations that represent many of our employees. In the United States, approximately 6% of our workforce are unionized. Worldwide, approximately 30% of our employees are represented by an employee representative organization, such as a union, works council or employee association.
Wages and Benefits
We seek to provide competitive wages and benefits in the local markets where we operate around the world. Our compensation practices comply with applicable wage laws and international standards, including those relating to minimum wages, overtime compensation and legally mandated benefits. In compliance with local laws, employees receive compensation for overtime at pay rates higher than regular hourly rates. The basis on which workers are paid is documented in a timely manner via pay stub or similar written communication. In the United States, our standard package of benefits for full-time employees includes healthcare, life insurance, disability coverage, paid parental leave and access to a retirement savings program. In other countries, our benefits packages for full-time employees varies in accordance with legal mandates, but all do include paid parental leave.
Paid Parental Leave We celebrate our employees who become new parents and are committed to aligning our benefits programs to support their needs and the realities of modern life. In 2018, we implemented paid leave for new parents across our company. These changes went into effect on May 8, 2018, in the United States and by Jan. 1, 2019, globally.
Our new paid parental leave policy is determined by caregiving role (primary or secondary), rather than gender. When welcoming a new child into the home through birth or adoption, Emerson employees who identify as the primary caregiver now receive 12 consecutive weeks of paid parental leave with 100% pay upon the birth or adoption. Employees who wish to support their spouses or partners during this time as a secondary caregiver can receive two weeks of paid parental leave, which must be taken within six months of the birth or adoption. In countries where the minimum standards of applicable law exceed our new policies, Emerson will always comply with the law. Providing our employees with this bonding time as they establish their families is the right thing to do.
Enhancing wages, benefits for U.S. employees
Following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 in the United States, Emerson made a number of improvements to the compensation and benefits provided to our U.S. employees. Besides market-based pay increases and enhancements to our health plans and vacation benefits, the company also made a special, one-time contribution of $1,000 to the retirement savings plans of our 24,000 U.S. employees in 2018. This contribution was in addition to the company-match contribution of approximately $50 million annually to our U.S. employees’ 401(k) plans. These benefit enhancements for employees reflect the company’s commitment to be an attractive place to work.
Equal Employment Opportunity?
It is Emerson’s policy to recruit, hire, train and promote people in all job classifications without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability or protected veteran status. It is our policy and our practice that this equal employment opportunity be present in all aspects of employment, including but not limited to compensation, benefits, promotions, transfers, layoffs, company-sponsored training, tuition assistance and education.
Discrimination and Harassment
We are committed to providing a workplace free of any discrimination or harassment. This is reinforced in our annual ethics training that is mandatory for all employees. In addition, since 2017, we have been conducting training for our people managers on managing unconscious bias in hiring, promotion and pay decisions.
Conditions of Employment
Emerson operates with reasonable working hours to maintain a positive and productive work environment consistent with commonly accepted practices in each locale. Employees elect whether to accept employment after being fully apprised of the terms, conditions, practices and expectations of their jobs. Workers are not required to surrender government-issued identification, passports or work permits as a condition of employment.
Emerson provides outplacement services for all exempt-level U.S. employees in situations where layoffs or reductions in force are required due to business conditions, acquisitions or divestitures. In other countries, Emerson follows legal mandates.
In our business operations around the world, Emerson lives our commitment to respect and promote human rights, which are essential to a healthy and vital commercial environment and to the broader society. This entails specific attention to particularly challenging issues and activities, including:
Commitment to humane treatment We do not allow or condone any form of harsh or inhumane treatment, including sexual harassment, sexual abuse, corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse, nor do we allow managers to threaten treatment of this nature.
Prohibition on forced labor Our policies prohibit and we do not use any forced, bonded, indentured or other compulsory labor. We also prohibit our suppliers from using any forced, bonded, indentured or other compulsory labor. Our policies are in compliance with important regulations, like the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. Emerson fully supports these and other efforts to eradicate human trafficking across the globe.
Prohibition of child labor Our policies oppose child labor, and we do not use child labor in any facility or business. Emerson has established age 18 as a standard minimum age for employment, which complies with or exceeds local legal requirements. We support the use of legitimate workplace apprenticeship programs that conform with laws and regulations. We also prohibit our suppliers from employing anyone under the local legal working age or age 14, whichever is greater.
Grievance Reporting Mechanisms
In addition to formal and informal complaint or grievance procedures at our business units, employees or other concerned parties have easy access to Emerson’s global ethics and compliance hotline to report complaints or concerns. Ethics hotline emails or calls are received by an independent company, which reports the information to designated management personnel at Emerson’s corporate headquarters for investigation and response. This outside service does not track visitors to its website, and the person can choose to provide their name or remain anonymous, unless prohibited by country regulations. Further information is available on the Ethics & Compliance page.