Our commitment to human rights

UnitedHealth Group believes supporting human rights is core to our business and the health of communities in which we work. We operate guided by our six values, including integrity, compassion and inclusion, so we can continue to advance our mission to help people live healthier lives and help make the health system work better for everyone. The basic principles of human rights are reflected in our values and our commitment to the highest standards of business practices and performance.

As a global company, we recognize our role in upholding human rights for others. We are committed to treating our employees, members, customers, clients, partners and stakeholders with dignity and respect, and we expect those with whom we interact to do the same. UnitedHealth Group does not condone racism, violence, terrorism, bullying, labor violations or discrimination with respect to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, color, ancestry, national/regional or ethnic origin, pregnancy, age, veteran status, or disability.

Policy statement

UnitedHealth Group is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in the ways we operate internally and externally.

Our conduct, values and principles are rooted in the spirit of the following:

  • United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • International Labor Organization’s (ILO’s) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work 

UnitedHealth Group’s commitment extends to respecting the human rights of all those with whom we engage and employ.

Respecting the Human Rights of Our Employees

UnitedHealth Group follows all laws and regulations in the markets where we operate, including those addressing forced labor/modern slavery, minimum age for employment, minimum wage thresholds, work hours, pay equality, nondiscrimination, anti-harassment and freedom of association1. We abide by all national laws, respecting international standards whenever feasible, and implement company requirements, if necessary.

We are committed to Equal Employment Opportunities without discrimination, and are steadfast in our efforts to cultivate an optimally inclusive and diverse work environment for all. In support of our commitments, employees are required to attest to and abide by a Code of Conduct as well as our internal employee handbook, outlining expectations around nondiscrimination, non-retaliation and sexual and other harassment. Globally, we adhere to similar protections consistent with applicable local and national laws. Our commitments are supported by robust resources and training on a variety of inclusion and diversity themes.

Our Expectations of Our External Partners

UnitedHealth Group expects those we engage with to adhere to policies and practices regarding human rights consistent with our own as outlined in our Supplier Code of Conduct included in standard vendor/supplier contracts and available publicly on our corporate website.

Our Commitment to the Communities We Serve

UnitedHealth Group strives to address global health care challenges by harnessing its capabilities to create measurable improvement on the most pressing and complex health challenges in local markets all over the world. Today, we provide a wide range of products and services to millions of health care consumers – both individuals and employers – across the United States and in more than 150 countries. Improving the health and well-being of these communities along with the health of the people we serve across the globe is fundamental to our mission of helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone.

Human Rights Due Diligence

In 2022, UnitedHealth Group conducted an enterprise-wide Human Rights Impact Assessment in consultation with a third-party. The assessment identified and assessed potential human rights impacts in our operations, value chain and business relations, including subsidiaries and joint ventures. We cataloged existing due diligence processes in place to manage these issues. We plan to review the risk mapping periodically and will continue to integrate risk identification and due diligence into our internal business functions.

United Health Group’s Human Rights Impact Assessment considered potential human rights issues such as access to healthcare and affordable healthcare, health outcomes, freedom of association, right to collective bargaining, equal renumeration, discrimination and workplace health and safety as well as understanding the due diligence processes in place to prevent issues from arising and to ensure proper resolution of any issues identified.

The assessment relied on external research, and interviews with internal stakeholders and representatives of rightsholders. The scope comprised employees, customers, patients, suppliers, those in historically marginalized groups (e.g., women, people of color, LGBTQ+, low- income), children and migrant workers.

Mitigation and Remediation of Human Rights Violations

Reporting human rights violations is not only the right thing to do, but it is also required by Company policy. As indicated in our Code of Conduct, the Compliance & Ethics HelpCenter, which is available in multiple languages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, allows all employees and external parties globally to report human rights issues without fear of retaliation. All parties can report issues confidentially and anonymously, where permitted by law. The Compliance and Ethics team reviews all reports and, if necessary, takes action or remediation. Examples of remediation include offering specific trainings to individuals or groups as needed, updating policies and procedures, and following up directly with the parties involved to find resolution. Reporting human rights concerns and asking questions helps the Company address issues quickly and thoroughly and is critical to supporting the Company’s core values.

1. As of June 2023, unionized employees comprise less than one percent of our United States domestic workforce.