Electronic Communications

From email and state-of-the-art computer systems to smartphones, the Internet and worldwide connectivity, we are equipped with an array of electronic tools that empower us to keep on the leading edge. But with the power of these tools comes an accepted responsibility to employ them in a proper and professional manner. Kohler Co.’s electronic communications systems are provided for business use. While some incidental personal usage may occur, usage must not interfere with business activities.

Electronic communications are monitored and should not be considered private.

As such, Kohler Co. may install software on computing resources without the knowledge and consent of users. The Company reserves the right to review and inspect any electronic resources for violations of Kohler Co. policies. The following are some of the activities that are prohibited: inappropriate use of passwords; unapproved political purposes; distribution of personally owned software or malware; bypassing security controls; use of the systems to harass, threaten, defame or cause harm to another person, institution or entity; use of the system for defamatory, inappropriate, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, harassing, or racially or religiously offensive or pornographic material; installing or storing unapproved copyrighted software or files; using the systems in any way that violates applicable laws; or inappropriate disclosure of confidential business or personal information. Associates are also prohibited from participating in social media sites and social Internet forums unless participation has a clearly defined and approved business purpose. Associates who participate in such activities for personal reasons must do so only on personal time. Associates are always personally responsible for their content.

While you are encouraged to creatively utilize these electronic resources to add value and drive efficiency and productivity, it is also your responsibility to always use them in an appropriate manner and to read and reference the full electronic communications policy located on our intranet if you have any question about the appropriate use of such resources.

You have recently started the practice of sending a blind carbon copy of your email messages to a third person without notifying the primary participant of your mail. One of these primary recipients has found out about your practice and has confronted you.

We believe that all electronic communications should be shared in full disclosure to all parties involved unless there are legitimate business reasons for not doing so. The practice of blind carbon copying is something that should be avoided whenever possible. Those that employ this practice without a manager’s permission are subject to disciplinary action.