Brinker International recognizes that any team member can experience problems at work. Brinker is committed to providing the best possible working conditions for its team members and as part of this commitment encourages an open and frank atmosphere in which any problem, complaint, suggestion, or question receives a timely response.
Brinker has also provided a Whistle-Blower Communication website where a team member can anonymously submit and receive written communication.
Brinker has adopted the following internal procedures to achieve effective resolution of issues as they occur. No team member will be penalized, formally or informally, for voicing a complaint in a reasonable, business-like manner, or for filing a complaint under the Problem Resolution Procedure. If a situation occurs wherein team members believe that a condition of employment or a decision affecting them is unjust or inequitable, they are encouraged to make use of the following steps. A team member may discontinue the procedure at any time.
PROBLEM RESOLUTION PROCESS
Complaints of misconduct, harassment or discrimination will be kept confidential to the fullest extent possible consistent with the Company’s need to investigate the matter. Team members are also urged to keep all information regarding an internal EEO investigation confidential and understand that they are expected to fully cooperate with any such investigation.
Retaliation against any person who voices a concern, files a complaint with PeopleWorks or participates in any subsequent related investigation is prohibited. Team members found to have engaged in retaliatory behavior may be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
In the event a dispute between the Company and a team member cannot be resolved informally, where permissible, the matter must be submitted to final and binding arbitration. Arbitration is a process whereby a dispute is submitted to an arbitrator for decision. See Agreement to Arbitrate.
It is the responsibility of Brinker team members to report any violations or suspected violations of law. All Brinker International team members are encouraged to report either orally or in writing to their immediate supervisor, or alternate line of authority as hereinafter described, all evidence of activity by a Brinker International department or team member that may constitute:
Any Brinker team member who in good faith reports such incidents as described above will be protected from threats of retaliation, discharge, or other types of discrimination including but not limited to compensation or terms and conditions of employment that are directly related to the disclosure of such reports. Such reports will be treated as confidential to the fullest extent possible consistent with the Company’s need to investigate the report. In addition, no team member may be adversely affected because the team member refused to carry out a directive which, in fact, constitutes corporate fraud or is a violation of State or federal law. A team member who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith is subject to disciplinary action, including termination. Reports made in bad faith or for malicious or misleading purposes, however, may lead to discipline, including termination.
Any team member who wants to report evidence of alleged improper activity as described should contact his/her immediate supervisor, or the supervisor’s manager. In instances where the team member is not satisfied with the supervisor or manager’s response, or is uncomfortable for any reason addressing such concerns to his/her supervisor or the manager of such supervisor, the team member may contact the General Counsel’s office. If the team member is uncomfortable for any reason contacting the office of the General Counsel, the team member may contact the Chair of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. The contact information for the Chair of the Audit Committee and General Counsel will be posted on the Company web site. Team members are encouraged to provide as much specific information as possible including names, dates, places, and events that took place, the team member’s perception of why the incident(s) may be a violation, and what action the team member recommends be taken. Anonymous written or telephonic communications will be accepted. Team members who choose to identify themselves will receive a reply to their report within 20 working days or as soon as practicable thereafter. Brinker has also provided a Whistle-Blower Communication website where team members can anonymously submit and receive written communication. The address of the Whistle-Blower communication website is http://www.brinker.com.