University Senate

Proposed: January 28, 2000

Adopted: January 28, 2000

 

RESOLUTION TO ADOPT

A CODE OF WORKPLACE CONDUCT

FOR COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY’S LICENSEES

WHEREAS the External Relations Committee has drafted a Columbia Code of Workplace Conduct [following] for companies licensed to manufacture goods bearing Columbia’s name, in fulfillment of a requirement in the April 30, 1999, Senate Resolution to Support University Affiliation with the Fair Labor Association (FLA);

BE IT RESOLVED that the University Senate requests the University to adopt the proposed new code of conduct for its licensees;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the new code sets forth the standards by which the University will judge licensees’ practices as a condition for doing business with the University;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the University urge other universities to adopt the provisions of Columbia’s new code or comparable codes;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the University urge the FLA to adopt the provisions of the new code;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the University weigh the FLA’s response to this request in the regular review of its performance, mandated in the April 30, 1999, Senate resolution, to determine whether the University should maintain its affiliation with the FLA.

 

 Proponent:

Committee on External Relations and Research Policy

 

 

 

 

University Senate

Proposed: January 28, 2000

Adopted: January 28, 2000

 

 

PROPOSED

A Code of Workplace Conduct

for Columbia University’s Licensees

 

 1. Forced Labor.

Licensees and their subcontractors shall not use any forced labor, whether in the form of prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or otherwise.

2. Child Labor.

Licensees and their subcontractors shall not employ any person younger than 15 (or 14 where the law of the country of manufacture allows) or younger than the age for completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture where such age is higher than 15.

Young workers will not be forced to work overtime hours that would prevent them from attending school.

3. Harassment or Abuse.

Licensees and their subcontractors shall treat every employee with respect and dignity. Licensees and their subcontractors will not subject any employee to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.

4. Nondiscrimination.

Licensees and their subcontractors will not subject any person to any discrimination in employment, including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, nationality, political opinion or political affiliation, union involvement, or social or ethnic origin.

Nothing in the above should be construed as preventing licensees or their subcontractors from retaining and/or rewarding workers on the basis of seniority, nor in pursuing equal opportunity employment practices.

 5. Health and Safety.

Employers shall provide a safe and healthy working environment 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 employer facilities. Workers will not be exposed to hazards including glues and solvents that may endanger their health and safety.

Licensees and their subcontractors will comply with local and national health and safety laws, and health and safety standards established by the International Labor Organization. Where there are conflicts or differences among these standards, the higher standard shall prevail. Licensees and their subcontractors shall provide safe and healthy work places, which shall include but are not limited to adequate fire protection, emergency exits that are accessible at all times, clean air, clean water, adequate rest periods, unrestricted use of toilets, and the right to leave work without penalty to receive medical care. Any residential facilities provided by licensees and their subcontractors must meet the same standards.

6. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.

Licensees and their subcontractors shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Licensees and their subcontractors shall not prevent, or cooperate with those who would prevent, workers from organizing for purposes of collective bargaining. Licensees and their subcontractors shall allow union organizers free access to employees. Licensees and their subcontractors shall recognize the union of the employees’ choice.

7. Wages and Benefits.

Licensees and their subcontractors recognize that wages are essential for workers to meet their basic needs. Therefore, licensees and their subcontractors must provide a "living wage." Employees will not be required to work overtime in order to earn a "living wage."

For the purposes of this document, "living wage" shall mean a monetary amount that meets basic food, housing, medical, clothing, educational, transportation and other essential needs. Specific levels of "living wage" will be determined for individual workers or households in each country.

In the interim, and also moving forward, special consideration shall be given to licensees who demonstrate continuous improvement in wages and/or who engage in collective bargaining.

Licensees and their subcontractors will also comply with all applicable local laws and regulations. Deductions from wages for disciplinary measure shall not be permitted.

8. Hours of Work and Piece Rates.

Employees shall (i) not be required to work more than the lesser of

(A) 48 hours per week and 12 hours overtime or

(B) the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture, or where the laws of such country do not limit the hours of work,

(C) the regular work week in such country plus 12 hours overtime; and shall (ii) be entitled to at least one day off in every 7-day period.

Licensees and their subcontractors will ensure that the piece-rate quotas are adjusted to what can reasonably be accomplished in an 8-hour period.

9. Overtime Compensation.

In addition to their compensation for regular hours of work, employees shall be compensated for overtime hours at such premium rate as is legally required in the country of manufacture or, in those countries where such laws do not exist, at a rate at least equal to their regular hourly compensation rate.

10. Environmental Compliance.

Licensees and their subcontractors will be committed to the protection of the local environment, including their factories and their surroundings. They will protect residential areas around their factories, disposing of garbage and waste in such a way so as not to endanger the safety and health of nearby areas.

11. Women's Rights.

Because the overwhelming majority of apparel workers are women, assuring and safeguarding women's rights is of particular importance for all parties. In addition to not discriminating on the basis of sex, pregnancy, marital status, or sexual orientation (as detailed above), the following specific guidelines must be followed:

A. Women workers will receive equal remuneration, including benefits, equal treatment, equal evaluation of the quality of their work, and equal opportunity to fill all positions as male workers.

B. Pregnancy tests will not be a condition of employment, nor will they be demanded of employees. Workers will not be forced or pressured to use contraception.

C. Licensees and their subcontractors shall provide appropriate services and accommodations to women workers in connection with pregnancy. Workers who take maternity leave will not face dismissal nor threat of dismissal, loss of seniority or deduction of wages, and will be able to return to their former employment at the same rate of pay and benefits.

D. Women workers will not be exposed to conditions that may endanger their reproductive health.

12. Public Disclosure.

Licensees are required by Columbia University to provide an annual complete, current list of corporate names, addresses, and contacts of all factories, manufacturers, and subcontractors involved in the production, manufacture, or sale of Columbia-licensed products. Prior to licensing, all new vendors will be informed by the University or its designee that they must comply with this requirement before licensing will be approved.