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The employees of Bsquare use these Guidelines to conduct our business with the highest ethical standards and in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements.
This Code of Business Conduct and Ethics (this “Code”) covers a wide range of business practices and procedures and is applicable to all of our directors, officers and employees. It does not cover every issue that may arise, but it sets out basic principles to guide all employees of the Company. All of our directors, officers and employees must conduct themselves accordingly and seek to avoid even the appearance of improper behavior. If a law conflicts with a policy in this Code, you must comply with the law. If you have any questions about any such conflicts, you should ask your supervisor how to handle the situation.
The Company has adopted this Code in order to:
(a) promote honest and ethical conduct, including the ethical handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest;
(b) promote full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosure in reports and documents that the Company files with, or submits to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and in other public communications made by the Company;
(c) promote compliance with applicable governmental laws, rules and regulations;
(d) promote the protection of Company assets, including corporate opportunities and confidential information;
(e) promote fair dealing practices;
(f) deter wrongdoing; and
(g) ensure accountability for adherence to the Code.
Those who violate the standards in this Code will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. If you are in a situation which you believe may violate or lead to a violation of this Code, follow the guidelines described in Section 16 of this Code.
The Company’s policy is to promote high standards of integrity by conducting its affairs honestly and ethically. Each director, officer and employee must act with integrity and observe the highest ethical standards of business conduct in his or her dealings with the Company’s customers, suppliers, partners, service providers, competitors, employees and anyone else with whom he or she has contact in the course of performing his or her job.
Obeying the law, both in letter and in spirit, is the foundation on which this Company’s ethical standards are built. All employees must respect and obey the laws of the cities, states and countries in which we operate. Although not all employees are expected to know the details of all of these laws, it is important to know enough to determine when to seek advice from supervisors, managers or other appropriate personnel.
A “conflict of interest” exists when an individual’s personal interests (or the interests of a family member) interfere in any way with the interests of the Company. A conflict situation can arise when an employee, officer or director (or a member of his or her family) takes actions or has interests that may make it difficult to perform his or her Company work objectively and effectively. Conflicts of interest may also arise when an employee, officer or director, or members of his or her family, receives improper personal benefits as a result of his or her position in the Company. Loans to, or guarantees of obligations of, employees and their family members may create conflicts of interest. Loans by the Company to, or guarantees by the Company of obligations of, any director or officer or their family members are expressly prohibited. Conflicts of interest may also arise when an employee, officer or director initiate dealings with an outside company, and that employee, officer or director has control, either directly or indirectly, with that outside company.
It is almost always a conflict of interest for a Company employee to work simultaneously for a competitor, customer or supplier of the Company. You should strive to avoid any direct or indirect personal business connection with our customers, suppliers or competitors, except on our behalf.
Conflicts of interest are prohibited as a matter of Company policy, except under specific guidelines approved by the Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis. Conflicts of interest may not always be clear-cut, so if you have a question, you should consult with your supervisor or manager or the Company’s legal department. Any employee, officer or director who becomes aware of a conflict or potential conflict should bring it to the attention of a supervisor, manager or other appropriate personnel or consult the procedures described in Section 16 of this Code.
Employees who have access to material, non-public information are not permitted to use or share that information for stock trading purposes or for any other purpose except the conduct of our business. All non-public information about the Company should be considered confidential information. To use non-public information for personal financial benefit or to “tip” others who might make an investment decision on the basis of this information is not only unethical but also illegal. In order to assist with compliance with laws against insider trading, the Company has adopted a specific policy governing employees’ trading in securities of the Company. This policy has been made available to every employee. If you have any questions, please consult the Company’s legal department.
Employees, officers and directors are prohibited from taking for themselves personally (or for the benefit of friends or family members) opportunities that are discovered through the use of corporate property, information or position without the consent of the Board of Directors. No employee may use corporate property, information or position for improper personal gain (including the personal gain of friends or family members), and no employee may compete with the Company directly or indirectly. Employees, officers and directors owe a duty to the Company to advance its legitimate interests when the opportunity to do so arises.
We seek to outperform our competition fairly and honestly. Stealing proprietary information, possessing trade secret information that was obtained without the owner’s consent, or inducing such disclosures by past or present employees of other companies is prohibited. Each employee should endeavor to respect the rights of and deal fairly with the Company’s customers, suppliers, service providers, competitors, employees and anyone else with whom he or she has contact in the course of performing his or her job. No employee should take unfair advantage of anyone through manipulation, concealment, abuse of privileged information, misrepresentation of material facts, or any other unfair-dealing practice.
The purpose of business entertainment and gifts in a commercial setting is to create good will and sound working relationships, not to gain unfair advantage with customers. No gift or entertainment should ever be offered, given, provided or accepted by any Company employee, family member of an employee or agent unless it: (1) is not a cash gift, (2) is consistent with customary business practices, (3) is not excessive in value, (4) is not and cannot be construed as a bribe or payoff and (5) does not violate any laws or regulations. Please discuss with your supervisor any gifts or proposed gifts which you are not certain are appropriate.
The diversity of the Company’s employees is a tremendous asset. We are firmly committed to providing equal opportunity in all aspects of employment and will not tolerate any illegal discrimination or harassment of any kind. Examples of impermissible discrimination or harassment include, but are not limited to, derogatory comments based on racial or ethnic characteristics and unwelcome sexual advances.
The Company strives to provide each employee with a safe and healthy work environment. Each employee has responsibility for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all employees by following safety and health rules and practices and reporting accidents, injuries and unsafe equipment, practices or conditions. Violence and threatening behavior are not permitted. Employees should report to work in condition to perform their duties, free from the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. The use of illegal drugs or alcohol in the workplace will not be tolerated.
The Company requires honest and accurate recording and reporting of information in order to make responsible business decisions. For example, only the true and actual number of hours worked should be reported.
Many employees regularly use business expense accounts, which must be documented and recorded accurately. If you are not sure whether a certain expense is legitimate, ask your supervisor.
All of the Company’s books, records, accounts and financial statements must be maintained in reasonable detail, must appropriately reflect the Company’s transactions and must conform both to applicable legal requirements and to the Company’s system of internal controls. Unrecorded or “off the books” funds or assets should not be maintained unless permitted by applicable law or regulation and disclosed to your supervisor.
Business records and communications often become public, and we should avoid exaggeration, derogatory remarks, guesswork, or inappropriate characterizations of people and companies that can be misunderstood. This applies equally to e-mail, internal memos and formal reports. Records should always be retained or destroyed according to the Company’s record retention policies. In accordance with those policies, in the event of litigation or governmental investigation please consult the Company’s legal department.
The Company’s periodic reports and other documents filed with the SEC, including all financial statements and other financial information, must comply with applicable federal securities laws and SEC rules. Each director, officer and employee who contributes in any way to the preparation or verification of the Company’s financial statements and other financial information must ensure that the Company’s books, records and accounts are accurately maintained. Each director, officer and employee must cooperate fully with the Company’s accounting and internal audit departments, as well as the Company’s independent public accountants and counsel. Each director, officer and employee who is involved in the Company’s disclosure process must:
Employees must maintain the confidentiality of confidential information entrusted to them by the Company or its customers, suppliers or partners, except when disclosure is authorized by the Company’s legal department or required by applicable laws or regulations. Confidential information includes all non-public information (regardless of its source) that might be of use to competitors, or harmful to the Company or its customers, suppliers or partners, if disclosed. The obligation to preserve confidential information continues even after employment ends. In connection with this obligation, every employee should have executed a confidentiality agreement when he or she began his or her employment with the Company.
All employees should endeavor to protect the Company’s assets and ensure their efficient use. Theft, carelessness and waste have a direct impact on the Company’s profitability. Any suspected incident of fraud or theft should be immediately reported for investigation. Company equipment should not be used for non-Company business, though incidental personal use may be permitted.
The obligation of employees to protect the Company’s assets includes the Company’s proprietary information. Proprietary information includes intellectual property such as trade secrets, patents, trademarks and copyrights, as well as business, marketing and service plans, engineering and manufacturing ideas, designs, databases, records, salary information and any unpublished financial data and reports. Unauthorized use or distribution of this information would violate Company policy. It could also be illegal and result in civil or even criminal penalties.
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits giving anything of value, directly or indirectly, to officials of foreign governments or foreign political candidates in order to obtain or retain business. It is strictly prohibited to make illegal payments to government officials of any country.
In addition, the U.S. government has a number of laws and regulations regarding business gratuities which may be accepted by U.S. government personnel. The promise, offer or delivery to an official or employee of the U.S. government of a gift, favor or other gratuity in violation of these rules would not only violate Company policy but could also be a criminal offense. State and local governments, as well as foreign governments, may have similar rules. The Company’s legal department can provide guidance to you in this area.
Any waiver of this Code may be made only by the Board of Directors of the Company and will be promptly publicly disclosed as required by applicable law or regulation.
Employees are encouraged to talk to supervisors, managers or other appropriate personnel about observed illegal or unethical behavior and when in doubt about the best course of action in a particular situation. Actions prohibited by this Code involving directors or executive officers must be reported to the Audit Committee. It is the policy of the Company not to allow retaliation for reports of misconduct by others made in good faith by employees. Employees are expected to cooperate in internal investigations of misconduct. As applicable, employees shall be protected from retaliation by the whistle blower protections specified in Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2003 and in Sections 922 and 748 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Employees must read the Company’s Employee Complaint Procedures for Accounting and Auditing Matters, which describes the Company’s procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints received by the Company regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters. Any employee may submit a good faith concern regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters without fear of dismissal or retaliation of any kind.
We must all work to ensure prompt and consistent action against violations of this Code. However, in some situations it is difficult to know if a violation has occurred. Since we cannot anticipate every situation that will arise, it is important that we have a way to approach a new question or problem. These are some steps to keep in mind:
In addition to the foregoing, and without in any way limiting the preceding duties and obligations, the chief executive officer and senior financial and accounting officers of the Company are also subject to the following additional specific policies:
Any employee of the Company may submit a good faith complaint regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters to the management of the Company without fear of dismissal or retaliation of any kind. The Company is committed to maintaining compliance with all applicable securities laws and regulations, accounting standards, accounting controls and audit practices. The Company’s Audit Committee will oversee treatment of employee concerns in this area. In order to facilitate the reporting of employee complaints, the Company’s Audit Committee has established the following procedures for (1) the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints regarding accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters (“Accounting Matters”) and (2) the confidential, anonymous submission by employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.
Receipt of Employee Complaints
Employees with concerns regarding Accounting Matters may report their concerns utilizing our external reporting solution called Convercent™.
Convercent offers two options for you to anonymously report issues. The anonymous reporting services are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Employees may also forward complaints on a confidential or anonymous basis to the legal department through regular mail:
110 110th Ave NE, Suite 300
Bellevue, WA 98004
Employees can choose to remain anonymous, or include contact information in complaint letters sent to the legal department.
Scope of Matters Covered by These Procedures
These procedures relate to employee complaints relating to any questionable accounting or auditing matters, including, without limitation, the following:
Treatment of Complaints
Reporting and Retention of Complaints and Investigations
The legal department will maintain a log of all complaints, tracking their receipt, investigation and resolution and shall prepare a periodic summary report thereof for the Audit Committee. Copies of complaints and such log will be maintained in accordance with the Company’s document retention policy.