In January 1999, NC State University adopted a Code of Conduct designed to ensure that products bearing the marks of the University are produced under healthy, safe and fair working conditions. As a means of implementing the Code and of ensuring, to the degree possible, compliance its workplace standards, the University has affiliated with the Fair Labor Association (FLA).
This Code summarizes the requirements of the FLA Code of Conduct, which clearly details monitoring, enforcement and inspection requirements. In addition, NC State licensees are required to affiliate with the FLA in the appropriate licensee category and to disclose factory locations where licensed goods are produced.
FLA Code of Conduct
The FLA Workplace Code of Conduct defines labor standards that aim to achieve decent and humane working conditions. The Code’s standards are based on International Labor Organization standards and internationally accepted good labor practices.
Companies affiliated with the FLA are expected to comply with all relevant and applicable laws and regulations of the country in which workers are employed and to implement the Workplace Code in their applicable facilities. When differences or conflicts in standards arise, affiliated companies are expected to apply the highest standard.
The FLA monitors compliance with the Workplace Code by carefully examining adherence to the Compliance Benchmarks and the Principles of Monitoring. The Compliance Benchmarks identify specific requirements for meeting each Code standard, while the Principles of Monitoring guide the assessment of compliance. The FLA expects affiliated companies to make improvements when Code standards are not met and to develop sustainable mechanisms to ensure ongoing compliance.
The FLA provides a model of collaboration, accountability, and transparency and serves as a catalyst for positive change in workplace conditions. As an organization that promotes continuous improvement, the FLA strives to be a global leader in establishing best practices for respectful and ethical treatment of workers, and in promoting sustainable conditions through which workers earn fair wages in safe and healthy workplaces.
Employers shall adopt and adhere to rules and conditions of employment that respect workers and, at a minimum, safeguard their rights under national and international labor and social security laws and regulations.
No person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment, including hiring, compensation, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, social group or ethnic origin.
Harassment or Abuse
Every employee shall be treated with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.
There shall be no use of forced labor, including prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or other forms of forced labor.
No person shall be employed under the age of 15 or under the age for completion of compulsory education, whichever is higher.
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Health, Safety and Environment
Employers shall provide a safe and healthy workplace setting to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or as a result of, the operation of employers’ facilities. Employers shall adopt responsible measures to mitigate negative impacts that the workplace has on the environment.
Hours of Work
Employers shall not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country where the workers are employed. The regular work week shall not exceed 48 hours. Employers shall allow workers at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every seven-day period. All overtime work shall be consensual. Employers shall not request overtime on a regular basis and shall compensate all overtime work at a premium rate. Other than in exceptional circumstances, the sum of regular and overtime hours in a week shall not exceed 60 hours.
Every worker has a right to compensation for a regular work week that is sufficient to meet the worker’s basic needs and provide some discretionary income. Employers shall pay at least the minimum wage or the appropriate prevailing wage, whichever is higher, comply with all legal requirements on wages, and provide any fringe benefits required by law or contract. Where compensation does not meet workers’ basic needs and provide some discretionary income, each employer shall work with the FLA to take appropriate, progressive actions that seek to realize a level of compensation that does.