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Definition

Ethics Code

An ethics code is a document that memorializes the standards to which the employer expects its employees to adhere, for instance with respect to bribery. All publicly traded companies in the United States should have one. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (passed after a series of top corporate management ethical lapses) requires companies to declare whether they have a code of conduct. Federal sentencing guidelines reduce penalties for companies convicted of ethics violations if they have codes of conduct.

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