Safeguards are a set of tools that enable the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to address instances of significant and persistent patterns of noncompliance with the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct and Monitoring Benchmarks. These tools promote FLA’s proactive and effective engagement with stakeholders on issues that are important to them and often relate to systemic and entrenched concerns in specific regions. The Safeguards include but are not limited to the enhanced Third Party Complaint Procedure, company-commissioned independent investigations with FLA verification, and FLA-commissioned special independent investigations.

The FLA Third Party Complaint Procedure is the cornerstone of Safeguards. Any person, group or organization can report to the FLA instances of persistent or serious noncompliance with the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct in a production facility used by an FLA-affiliated company, supplier, or university licensee. The goal of the complaint process is to correct any noncompliances identified in the investigation.

The complaint process is not intended to replace or undermine any existing internal grievance channels in the factory or through the affiliated company, or legal remedies available at the country level. Rather, the complaint process is meant to be a tool of last resort when other channels have failed to protect workers’ rights.

FLA's work through its Third Party Complaint Process has helped to bring about positive improvements in the lives of workers. Lodging a complaint with the FLA can make a difference.

Some outcomes resulting from the complaints process include:

• Trade union recognition
• Rehiring of unfairly fired workers with back pay
• Improved labor management relations in the factory
• Training and education programs for management and workers

For more information about how the FLA manages Third Party Complaints, please review our complaint process.

Higher Jack, Inc. Factory in China

Publication date: 
Monday, March 9, 2009
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On March 9, 2009, FLA released a report on a Third Party Complaint (3PC) alleging noncompliance issues with respect to health and safety and excessive hours of work at the Higher Jack, Inc. factory in China where university-logoed goods were being produced for university licensee MBI Inc., an FLA Category B licensee since 2003.

Jerzees de Honduras in Honduras

Publication date: 
Friday, November 7, 2008
Report type: 
On November 7, 2008, FLA announced an investigation into the closure of the Jerzees de Honduras (JDH) factory owned by participating company Russell Corporation, after allegations surfaced that the closure may be in violation of employees' Freedom of Association.

Cimatextiles Factory in Guatemala

Publication date: 
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On June 15, 2008, FLA released a report on a Third Party Complaint (3PC) filed by unions SITRACIMA and SITRACHOI alleging that local factory management at Cimatextiles in Guatemala threatened to close the facility in violation of workers’ freedom of association rights.


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