social responsibility

As a family-owned and operated business since 1889, Bernhardt believes in the principles that govern any functional and supportive family: integrity, pursuit of excellence, and concern for others. Corporate responsibility is based on these ideals and guides all of the business, social and environmental aspects of the enterprise. Bernhardt respects the dignity of employees in the workplace and works to ensure employees‘ rights to personal security; a safe, clean and healthful workplace; and freedom from harassment or abuse of any kind.

Improving the quality and safety of the workplace is necessary for productivity and the motivation and retention of employees. Ethical behavior, respect for individuals and the promotion of both diversity and inclusivity are part of the culture at Bernhardt.

We adhere to all applicable laws, regulations and other employment standards and will not tolerate illegal or unethical behavior from employees or suppliers.

Bernhardt complies with the laws concerning discrimination and equal opportunity to ensure that individual differences such as age, race, gender, religion and disability are not factors in hiring, firing, promotion decisions or work assignments. Diversity in the workforce and with vendors adds value to our operations and to our products. Harassment and retaliation are not tolerated.

Employees may accept gifts or business entertainment that are reasonable and customary and arise out of the ordinary course of business. However, such gifts must not be intended to influence business or purchasing decisions and may not exceed a value of $100. Bernhardt employees should not accept services or products from suppliers or other business partners, particularly if they have procurement authority. Discounted or free employee\supplier transactions that are not a part of Bernhardt-approved program are prohibited.

Bernhardt employees must ensure that personal financial interests do not create conflicts with the company and are required to complete an annual report on any potential conflict of interest. Falsifying this report could lead to dismissal.

Bernhardt rigorously enforces high safety standards. Employees are required to follow all safety rules and to complete safety training classes in the appropriate area. A process to immediately report accidents and unsafe conditions is in place throughout the company. Annual safety targets are assigned each facility, with monthly updates and investigation of incidences.

Health and the general welfare of all employees is a primary concern at Bernhardt. Good health practices are promoted through a corporate wellness program which includes periodic health assessments, company paid annual physical examinations, and free use of nearby health facilities.

Bernhardt continues to reduce the environmental impact of our business through the Design for the Environment program; annual reductions of energy, water, solid waste, and greenhouse gases; recycling efforts; and by working with vendors to increase sustainable practices. A more complete environmental statement is found on our website: http://www.bernhardtdesign.com/environmental.html.

Since the company‘s beginnings in 1889, Bernhardt has been dedicated to helping communities where employees reside. A set percentage of corporate profits is donated annually to charitable causes. Through the Communities in Schools mentor program, in which employees leave work to mentor poorly performing students, school dropouts are diminished. The company sponsors education at all levels including a five-star daycare center, support of the local community college, and scholarships at the nearest university. The Bernhardt Shoe Fund provides shoes and other clothing to young students. Annually, the Bernhardt Furniture Foundation awards grants to local programs ranging from a free medical clinic to a summer program for teenagers in an African American church.

The corporate Human Resources staff routinely participates in webinars conducted by legal experts, subscribes to periodicals and publications addressing the subject, and attends local, regional and national conferences/seminars pertaining to the practice of social responsibility.

We encourage our partners, suppliers, contractors, and vendors to support these policies, and we place substantial value on working with others who share our commitment to human rights.