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Stephanie Schaeffer - Chief Ethics Officer


From the Chief Ethics Officer

At Paychex, our nearly 50-year legacy of excellence is based on a commitment to conducting business with the highest standards of ethics and integrity. This philosophy is centered around maintaining a culture of ethics we call Doing Business the Right Way.

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Doing Business the Right Way starts with leadership and the example our leaders set for the rest of the organization through their actions every day.  In keeping with our core values, this spirit of integrity guides how we conduct ourselves and how we serve the needs of our clients.

Promoting a culture of ethics is an everyday commitment at Paychex that starts with strict adherence to our Code of Business Ethics and Conduct, which every employee receives on their first day with Paychex. The Code applies equally to each employee. Additionally, our annual training program, The Right Way, informs and educates employees about expectations, guidelines, and practices for carrying out all their duties and responsibilities in the highest ethical manner.

We also hold our vendor partners to the same standards that we hold ourselves as outlined in our Code of Vendor Conduct.  And, through the Paychex Ethics Hotline, employees have the opportunity to raise, in good faith and in strict confidentiality, concerns they have about potential improprieties.

We continually seek input from internal and external stakeholders with regards to our ethical conduct. These results are reported to our board of directors and senior leadership and form the foundation for continuous improvement of programs and policies.

Through our policies and practices, you can be assured of our unwavering commitment to ethics, integrity, and Doing Business the Right Way.

Thank you,

Stephanie Schaeffer
Chief Legal & Ethics Officer
Paychex, Inc.

Paychex code of ethics brochure

Paychex Code of Business Ethics and Conduct

The Paychex Code of Business Ethics and Conduct is a set of strategic company standards for business conduct that reflect our values.  All Paychex employees, at every level of the company, are personally responsible for ensuring that our business decisions and actions align with the principles outlined in the Code of Business Ethics and Conduct, which is available in our employee handbook and as a download from our website.

However, should an employee feel that our policies or standards aren’t being followed, they are encouraged to have an open conversation with their immediate supervisor, any level of management, or human resources. They may also anonymously report a suspected policy violation or financial matter through our Ethics Hotline, hosted by EthicsPoint.

We extend the same level of expectations to the vendors we do business with, as outlined in our Code of Vendor Conduct.

2020 world's most ethical company

2020 World’s Most Ethical Company®

Reflecting the company’s commitment to ethics, Paychex was named a 2020 World’s Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. Paychex is one of only two companies in the staffing and outsourcing services category, underscoring its commitment to leading ethical business standards and practices.

By the numbers

By the Numbers - Fiscal 2019

  • 9,500 employee hours are committed to ethics and compliance training each year
  • 11 years on the World’s Most Ethical Companies list
  • 99.8% of employees complete our annual Right Way training, a multi-media curriculum focused on ethical behavior
  • Nearly 200 Rochester employees supported the local food economy by participating in a CSA that provides weekly deliveries of fresh, local food to Paychex office locations.
Active shooter training

Ethics in Action: Physical Security

Paychex’s commitment to keeping our employees safe led to a unique partnership with the Monroe County (New York State) Sheriff’s Department. Together, we produced a comprehensive training video that includes powerful information, statistics, and a realistic re-enactment of an active shooter situation. It was filmed in Rochester and features more than 100 employees who gave up a Saturday to film the important video.

This training was rolled out to all Paychex employees in 2019, and is also available free of charge from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office website, so that other businesses and individuals in our community can learn how to be as prepared as possible in the event of an act of violence in the workplace or elsewhere.

Government Relations Transparency

In 2017, the company initiated limited lobbying activities related to issues impacting our clients. Paychex has one registered federal lobbyist and spends a limited amount on political advocacy. Under the Federal Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), we report every quarter to the nearest $10,000 on what we have spent that quarter. The amounts have ranged from $10,000 to $70,000 a quarter. Expenses include the time and expenses of the registered lobbyist on lobbying efforts, time and expenses of other Paychex employees on lobbying efforts, association dues that go toward lobbying, and any outside lobbying consultants.

In addition, through the LDA’s contribution report (LD-203), Paychex discloses any federal campaign contributions by the company or our in-house lobbyist. Paychex does not have a Political Action Committee and makes limited political contributions as a company. While there is no formal policy against the company making contributions, we have not made any in the last five years. 

We do not disclose the recipients of our political advocacy, but specific issues lobbied on are disclosed in our quarterly Form LD-2.

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