Supply Chain Innovation


Safeguards are a set of tools that enable the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to address instances of significant and persistent noncompliance with the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks in production facilities used by FLA affiliated companies, suppliers or university licensees.  Safeguard measures include:

  • Third Party Complaints
  • Brand-commissioned Independent Investigation with FLA Verification
  • FLA-commissioned Special Independent Investigation
  • Stakeholder Dialogue
  • Projects

Safeguards tools, which may not be mutually exclusive, offer the opportunity to engage stakeholders more proactively and effectively on issues that are important to them and may relate to systemic and entrenched concerns that are not amenable to resolution using narrowly-focused approaches.

The Third Party Complaint procedure is the cornerstone of Safeguards. Pursuant to the Third Party Complaint procedure, any person, group or organization can report to the FLA allegations of instances of persistent or serious noncompliance with the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks in a production facility used by an FLA-affiliated company, supplier or university licensee.  The goal of the Third Party Complaint procedure is to remediate any noncompliances that might be identified.  The FLA maintains a chart tracking the progress of our investigations into recent Third Party Complaints. 

Brand-commissioned Independent Investigations with FLA Verification and FLA-Commissioned Special Independent Investigations are tools that can be used to address situations where there is a perceived need to investigate a potential serious violation of worker rights and carry out remediation, but a formal Third Party Complaint has not been filed or is not appropriate. Standards of independence of investigations, remediation, and transparency characteristic of Third Party Complaints are also applied in the application of these Safeguards.

Stakeholder dialogue and projects are two ways in which the FLA identifies and addresses systemic issues affecting specific labor markets. These activities might be initiated by the FLA on the basis of information received from staff or from stakeholders or could take the form of a specific project developed by an affiliated company on an issue of broad interest to FLA stakeholders.

Apple Tree, S.A. de C.V. in El Salvador

Publication date: 
Friday, March 25, 2011
Report type: 
Third Party Complaint
On March 25, 2011, FLA received a Third Party Complaint from representatives of the Sindicato de la Industria Textil y Actividades Conexas y Similares alleging violations of local labor standards and of the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct, in particular with respect to Freedom of Association and Harassment or Abuse.

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.


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