Human Rights Policy
At CVS Health we are fundamentally committed to respecting and supporting internationally recognized human rights.
We understand that human rights are fundamental rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to, without regard to race, color, religion, language, pregnancy, ancestry, age, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, or marital or veteran status. Widely accepted standards of fair treatment and non-discrimination include those set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); and the International Labour Organizations (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
These fundamental labor principles include the prohibition of child labor, the prohibition of forced labor in all forms, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, and protection from discrimination. Discrimination includes employment decisions based on personal characteristics that are unrelated to the ability to do one’s job, including race, color, gender, gender identity, national origin/ancestry, citizenship, religion, age, maternity, marital status, indigenous status, social origin, disability, sexual orientation, membership in workers’ organizations including unions, and political affiliation.
At CVS Health, our purpose is helping people on their path to better health. One of the ways we try to achieve this purpose is by making health care more accessible in order to build healthier communities. We commit to going beyond respecting human rights where we have a positive impact and seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts in our direct operations. We do this by conducting proactive due diligence and complying with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP). Where we are directly linked to human rights impacts through our business relationships, we will seek ways to positively influence the human rights actions of our business partners, including our suppliers.
Compliance with the law and the highest ethical standards
CVS Health is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards and meeting or exceeding all applicable laws and regulations wherever we operate. In cases where local laws are in conflict with international human rights standards, we comply with applicable laws while seeking ways to meet the underlying international human rights principles.
The Human Rights Policy applies to CVS Health and its subsidiaries, and applies to everyone in the company including the Board of Directors and all colleagues when doing work for CVS Health. This Policy also applies to our business partners, vendors and partners across our supply chain. Given our commitment to upholding and protecting human rights we will continue to look for ways to support the promotion of human rights within our sphere of influence.
At CVS Health, we have conducted a corporate-wide human rights review and have mapped our human rights risks and opportunities. Given our findings our primary focus areas in human rights are in the following areas:
- Colleagues: At CVS Health, we recognize that our employees are our greatest asset and our business is most successful when they are treated with dignity and respect.
- Patients/Customers: As part of our company purpose of helping people on their path to better health we are committed to respecting and promoting our patients’/customers’ human rights.
- Supply Chain Workers: We are committed to operating with integrity and this extends to our supply chain. We require our suppliers to provide fair and safe working conditions for all workers and to treat their employees with dignity and respect.
Respect for human rights is expressed in our company’s workplace policies and practices, including the following:
- Code of Conduct, which all employees must accept on an annual basis to certify that they will uphold the highest ethical standards and comply with the law.
- Equal Opportunity statement which highlights our commitment to recruit, hire, train, develop and promote the best people available based solely upon job-related qualifications.
- Consumer Nondiscrimination commitments outlining our nondiscrimination policies and our commitment never to profile or discriminate against people based on their identity, appearance or any personal characteristic.
- Pharmacy Patient commitments to build relationships based on trust and respect in our effort to help people on their path to better health.
- MinuteClinic Notice of Patient Rights outlining our commitment to providing quality health care and maintaining the rights and dignity of our patients at all of our retail clinics.
CVS Health employees are responsible for upholding the company’s commitment to human rights across our business operations. We foster compliance with these policies through thorough training for all employees during our annual Code of Conduct review.
To ensure our respect of human rights, we endeavor to conduct reasonable due diligence to become aware of, prevent and address the adverse human rights impacts of our supply chain and our operations and to provide reasonable disclosure of our efforts. At CVS Health, we are committed to advancing human rights through practicing continuous improvement.
We report on our progress in our annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report.
Reporting and addressing concerns
At CVS Health, we have various channels to report and address human rights concerns.
- Colleagues may use the CVS Health Ethics Line to report concerns or issues or ask questions without fear of retaliation by calling the CVS Health Ethics Line anonymously and toll-free at 1-877-CVS-2040.
- Consumers and the public can contact CVS Health through our Customer Support line 1-800-SHOP-CVS or CVS Health Corporation, Customer Relations, One CVS Drive, Woonsocket, RI 02895. Suppliers and contractors may use the CVS Health Ethics Line toll-free at 1-877-CVS-2040.
- Workers in our supply chain can report concerns through the CVS Health Ethics Line toll-free at 1-877-CVS-2040.
This policy was approved by executive leadership, and oversight and responsibility for the implementation of this policy rests with a cross-functional team with members from compliance, legal, corporate social responsibility, diversity, strategic procurement and HR.
In 2016, we began collaborating with experts at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) to conduct regular human rights impact assessments and gap analyses informed by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Following our assessment in 2016, we engaged with BSR to do a refresher assessment to identify and prioritize human rights risks through our operations, value chain, and business relationships and take appropriate actions to manage them. The most recent BSR assessment, concluded in the fall of 2021, accounted for evolving stakeholder expectations, emerging human rights issues and the growth of our enterprise. The assessment covered many issue areas including forced and child labor, human trafficking, freedom of association, right to collective bargaining, equal remunerations, discrimination, COVID-19, and product and patient safety. Our plan is to conduct assessments with BSR yearly, which will allow us to focus on different groups within the enterprise each year and regularly monitor the entire business.