- Apparel Industry
- 3rd Party Certification
- Environmental Certifications
- Social Responsibility (SR) Certifications
For detailed information about the Fair Labor Association, please visit: www.FairLabor.org
Overview of FLA’s Programs and Services:
Since 1999, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) has helped improve the lives of thousands of workers around the globe. By bringing together multiple stakeholders, calling for greater accountability and transparency from manufacturers, factories and others involved in global supply chains, and creating lasting solutions to labor practices, the FLA is making steady progress toward fulfilling its mission: protecting workers and improving working conditions worldwide.
With the active involvement of universities, civil society organizations and socially responsible corporations, the FLA has formed a unique and powerful alliance that is effecting positive change around the globe.
The FLA’s broad makeup provides a unique power and effectiveness to improve the situation of workers in factories across the globe. In all of its programs and initiatives, the FLA leverages the strength of its diverse membership to effect positive change in working conditions. The FLA’s project work involves governments, labor and human rights groups, other NGOs, and local trade unions.
Monitoring, Transparency, and Public Reporting
Companies that join the FLA commit to establishing internal systems for monitoring workplace conditions and maintaining Code standards, being part of a rigorous system of Independent External Monitoring (IEM), and public reporting on the conditions in their supplier factories. To ensure transparency, the results of the IEM audits are published on the FLA Web site in the form of tracking charts. Since 2003, the FLA has conducted over 800 IEM audits in factories around the world used by affiliated companies. The FLA is the only labor rights initiative to publish the results of its systematic monitoring efforts. The FLA accredits independent third-party monitors and engages them to conduct unannounced audits annually of a group of randomly selected factories that supply products to FLA-affiliated brands and universities. The FLA also publishes an Annual Public Report that provides a comprehensive overview of IEM data and offers insight into global labor rights trends.
The FLA requires that companies work with the factories to ensure that violations of the Code are corrected through the development and implementation of a remediation plan. The FLA reports on remediation efforts through the tracking charts. In addition, the FLA conducts verification audits to confirm ongoing progress in a sample of audited factories.
Third Party Complaints
The FLA also responds to workplace labor violations through its Third Party Complaint mechanism. Anyone – a worker, advocate, company, or individual – can contact the Fair Labor Association to report Code violations at a factory supplying products to an affiliated company. Complaints are kept confidential and rigorously investigated. When violations are found, the Fair Labor Association publicly on reports them and works with all stakeholders to find sustainable solutions.
A Strategy for Innovation in Labor Compliance
The FLA applies its understanding of regional and global trends in labor rights and compliance to develop lasting solutions. The FLA brings workers, factory managers, companies, and NGOs together to develop sustainable change founded in respect for workers’ rights. The FLA uses knowledge gained through monitoring to develop special projects that target persistent regional or sector-specific Code violations. For example, the Central America Project was developed in response to repeated IEM findings related to violations of the discrimination, harassment and abuse, and freedom of association Code elements. Through the project, the FLA has trained brands, factory managers, and workers throughout the region on the best industrial relations practices on non-discrimination in recruitment, hiring, grievance procedures, and termination.
Toward Sustainable Compliance
FLA 3.0, the FLA’s new sustainable compliance methodology, is a combination of online and offline tools designed to help factories assess their own level of labor compliance and build capacity to implement system to fill compliance gaps by addressing root causes of labor violations. Factories work in collaboration with affiliated companies and the FLA to take increasing responsibility for the progress and sustainability of their labor compliance programs. FLA 3.0 shifts the monitoring emphasis from policing to partnership. In the partnership approach, the 3.0 assessment reveals substantive information about the factory’s strengths and weaknesses and provides a roadmap for improvement. The results from the 3.0 assessment are used to develop a capacity building program; evaluation of compliance is conducted upon successful implementation of the capacity building efforts and not at the beginning of the process when progress is yet to be made. FLA 3.0 is currently being implemented in select factories being used by FLA Participating Companies in China and Thailand, with Central America being a focus region for 2008.
For a list of FLA Accredited Monitoring Organizations, please visit here.