Commitment to Human Rights
UnitedHealth Group is committed to advancing a company culture that embraces inclusion, diversity, innovation and growth, while upholding the highest ethical standards in the way we operate internally and externally. In keeping with the spirit of the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UN Guiding Principles) and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (ILO Declaration), 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 enterprisewide 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.
UnitedHealth Group’s Human Rights Impact Assessment considered potential human rights issues such as access to health care and affordable health care, 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 rights holders. 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
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 implements 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 2022, unionized employees comprise less than 1% of our United States domestic workforce.