FLA's Third Party Complaint procedure was established as a means for any person, group or organization to report serious violations of workers' rights in facilities used by any company that has committed to FLA labor standards. It is one of several Safeguards tools the FLA has available to address such issues. This process is an added precaution and is not intended to replace or undermine existing internal grievance channels in factories, or legal remedies available at the country level. Rather, the complaint procedure is intended as a tool of last resort when other channels have failed to protect workers’ rights.
Third Party Complaint Process
Workers and their advocates – trade unions and CSOs – have been the primary users of the FLA Third Party Complaint procedure. When a complaint is lodged, FLA first verifies whether the factory in question produces for any participating companies or university licensees, and whether the complaint contains specific and verifiable allegations of noncompliance with FLA's Workplace Code of Conduct. FLA also considers whether local dispute resolution mechanisms were used to resolve the issues and what results they achieved. If the complaint meets the above criteria, FLA accepts the complaint for review and contacts participating companies sourcing from the factory in question. The FLA-affiliated company has 45 days to conduct an assessment and develop a remediation plan. If warranted, the FLA may intervene by engaging a third party to investigate the allegations and recommend corrective action to the affiliated company. The company is then required to develop a plan to address any noncompliance issues. More details on the Third Party Complaint procedure are contained in the FLA Charter.
The FLA reports on Third Party Complaints received and their progress throughout the procedure. Through the Third Party Complaint procedure, FLA's actions have helped bring positive changes in the lives of workers. Some outcomes of Third Party Complaints include:
- Trade union recognition
- Reinstallment of unfairly dismissed workers with back pay
- Improvement labor-management relations at the factory
- Training and education programs for management and workers
Filing a Complaint
Report a labor rights violation online or download, print, and mail a complaint form to:
Fair Labor Association
ATTN: Third Party Complaints
1111 19th St. NW Suite 401
Washington, DC 20036
Read more about Third Party Complaints below. Still not sure what to do? Contact us.