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Ethics and the Sprint Employee Code of Conduct


Ethical business practices are critically important to the conduct and success of any business. Sprint’s Leading with Integrity program is the umbrella under which all ethics-related company programs fall. As the name implies, we expect our employees to act with integrity in all matters and to lead by example - regardless of level, position or job function.

The Sprint Employee Code of Conduct describes the ethical and legal responsibilities that are shared by the members of the Sprint Nextel board of directors, all employees of Sprint and all those who represent Sprint’s good name.

The Code of Conduct helps ensure that our good intentions consistently take the form of appropriate actions. The Code of Conduct defines our relationship with our stakeholders and each other. It provides a solid foundation for making sound, ethical business decisions and for protecting and building upon our strong reputation for doing the right thing.

Sprint’s reputation as an ethical company is key to enabling us to be the preferred communications company - a place that delivers the best experiences for its customers, its partners and its employees. At Sprint, we believe that each of us is responsible for preserving and enhancing our company’s integrity.

The Code of Conduct clearly outlines the expected behaviors of Sprint employees, behaviors which fall directly in line with the Sprint Imperatives.

i-Comply

i-Complyi-Comply is an annual certification through which Sprint employees demonstrate their understanding of and compliance with Sprint’s policies, procedures, obligations and expectations. In 2008, 96% of Sprint employees successfully completed i-Comply certification, and in 2009, this number increased to 100%.

Ethics Helpline

Sprint’s Ethics Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, for Sprint employees to address their ethical questions and issues without fear of reprisal. The Ethics Helpline features local and toll-free phone numbers, an e-mail address, a physical mailing address, and an anonymous feedback form, allowing employees to make contact in the way they feel most comfortable.

The Ethics Helpline receives many types of inquiries, all of which are taken seriously. The majority of callers, once their issues and questions have been explained, are actually calling about matters that fall outside of the traditional “ethics” realm; roughly 80% of the total calls received by the Ethics Helpline are questions about benefits, payroll, training, customer service or other non-ethics matters, and these calls are directed to the appropriate resource within Sprint.

Of the remaining calls, approximately half are from employees who need guidance on the Sprint Code of Conduct, while the other half result in ethics investigations. Of the matters that resulted in an investigation, in 2009, 48% related to a Human Resources issue, 20% involved a claim of falsified records, 13% related to employee/company security, 16% involved an apparent conflict of interest, and 4% related to other matters. Of the investigations, 43% were found to have some sort of ethical issue.

Additional ethics programs

Along with the Ethics Helpline, Sprint has put in place a number of policies, programs and tools that both encourage and manage an ethical workplace environment. The foundation of our ethics approach includes the following codes, policies and certifications

  • A strong Code of Conduct for employees
  • A strong Sprint Code of Supplier Conduct for consultants, contractors and suppliers
  • A Securities Law Compliance policy
  • A Supplier Travel and Expense policy
  • An Employee Travel and Expense policy, to ensure that company funds are used appropriately and effectively
  • A Gift, Entertainment and Travel policy that establishes standards for giving and receiving gifts, business entertainment and travel to and from contractors, suppliers, vendors, customers or any other third party
  • An Annual Executive Disclosure and Certification process for directors and above to ensure full disclosure of any potential Code of Conduct violations not previously investigated and to ensure their teams are fully aware of and abiding by the Code of Conduct. We expect our executives to set the standard for ethical behavior. (summary provided to Sprint’s Board of Directors)
  • An International Compliance Program that provides guidance, education, and enforcement parameters for the company’s international business activities; appropriate Sprint personnel and contractors who engage in international business certify annually

We’ve also introduced a number of programs and tools to facilitate our ethics efforts. These include:

  • A Board Membership Evaluation Tool which allows executives to determine if an external board seat will conflict with their job, responsibilities or the Sprint brand
  • A Conflicts of Interest Questionnaire for employees to determine if they may be entering into a conflict-of-interest situation
  • The i-On Integrity newsletter which is a quarterly communication tool sent to employees to increase awareness of the Leading with Integrity program
  • Federal Acquisition Regulation Training which provides appropriate employees with the regulations, policies and procedures that govern procurement of all federal agencies
  • Act with Integrity e-cards which give employees a chance to recognize their peers who demonstrate integrity (more than 700 e-cards have been sent since the program launched in June 2008, with 457 sent in 2009)
  • The Integrity Index which consists of six integrity-based questions within Sprint’s Employee Experience Survey
  • Audit risk assessments that provide questions to ask during a corporate audit if unethical conduct is suspected

In addition, a background check is done of new hires, which includes drug testing, criminal-background checks, and checks of personal and professional references. In addition, scholastic checks (education, degrees, etc.) are conducted for some entry-level and all above-entry-level positions. Employees applying for an internal position must have a clean ethics record for at least 12 months.