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Dear Fellow Associate.
The most highly respected companies are praised not only for their financial results, but also for the strength of their ethics and business practices. At BYORK we have always maintained a high standard of ethics. Our reputation for ethics and integrity, however, will be judged by our actions – on how each associate conducts our Company’s business each day.
The following pages present the updated BYORK Code of Ethics and Business Practices. It outlines the high ethical standards that we support and details how our associates should conduct themselves. The Code also highlights areas of the law we all must comply with. I ask that each of you read the Code carefully and refer to it for guidance. It is each associate’s responsibility to comply with the Code in all respects. While laws and business customs may vary in the different countries and cultures in which we operate, our common goal is, and must be, to follow our standards in every place we do business.
The Code cannot cover every situation where choices and decisions must be made. There are numerous other Company policies, many of which are included in our Associate Handbook and other Company rules and procedures that should be used as references. In many cases, good common sense is our best guide. When in doubt, please reach out for assistance to your supervisor, Human Resources, the Legal Department.
HONESTY, INTEGRITY, RESPECT AND ACCOUNTABILITY have always been core values of BYORK. We should all strive in executing our responsibilities to do what is right and appropriate, continuing to make our Company one that each of us can be proud of. I know I can count on each of you to adhere to the Company’s high standards and continue to build on the stellar reputation of our Company.
Howard Sheldon Parker
Chairman of the board, Ethics Committee
Workplace Code of Conduct
It’s a comprehensive worker’s rights and workplace safety policy recognized by the FLA as an industry-wide standard. BYORK has adopted the code as the Company’s official policy.
The strict set of factory workplace standards includes the following requirements:
No Forced Labor. The use of forced labor of any kind, including indentured labor, is unacceptable and forbidden.
No Child Labor. Suppliers cannot employ anyone younger than 15 or younger than the age for completing compulsory education in countries of manufacture where such an age is older than 15.
No Harassment or Abuse. All employees shall be treated with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.
No Discrimination. No person shall be subject 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, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin.
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.
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining. Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Wages and Benefits. Employers shall pay employees, as a floor, at the least the minimum wage required by local law or the prevailing industry wage, whichever is higher, and shall provide legally mandated benefits.
Hours of Work. Except in extraordinary business circumstances, employees shall not be required to work more than the lesser of 60 hours per week or the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture. Except in extraordinary circumstances, employees shall be entitled to at least one day of rest in every 7-day period.
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.
At BYORK, we know that high standards are only the beginning. It requires a serious commitment in order to make meaningful progress in the effort to improve working conditions. That’s why we’ve put systems in place that allow us to identify and prevent problems in factories around the world. And that’s why we’re constantly striving to improve our systems, both our own corporate practices as well as our collaborative efforts with other industry members, human rights groups, and through FLA participation.
Enforcement Mechanism. As a Company, We enforce our Standards trough the following mechanism:
Spot Inspection. BYORK, executives regularly conduct both scheduled and unscheduled spot inspections of contractor’s factories.
Training. Because a successful inspection depends upon knowing where and what to look for, our internal compliance auditors that conduct on-site visits must attend training in how to identify workplace problems.
Human Rights Questionnaire. BYORK internal auditors fill out a comprehensive human rights questionnaire for every supplier. The questionnaire requires our auditors to fill out an assessment of each factory to provide detailed information on its compliance with the BYORK Workplace Code f Conduct. This strict set of standards prohibits child labor, forced labor and all forms of harassment or abuse, in addition to ensuring workers are paid the minimum wage, setting limits on overtime hours and requiring employers to honor worker’s rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Education. BYORK requires contractors to post our standards, written in appropriate local languages, where workers can easy see them, such as factory common areas. However we are aware that workers need not only to see our code of conduct posted, but also to understand what their rights are. We are currently exploring various ways to facilitate this, and finding the best approach by country.
Independent Monitoring. In order to better determine if suppliers are upholding our standards, we implemented independent monitoring projects in some countries. We learned things from these programs which have helped us improve our own internal monitoring programs. Now, by participating in the FLA monitoring program, we are able to expand the independent monitoring concept to more courtiers, sometimes combining efforts with other participating companies.
Open Lines of Communication. Because even regular inspections cannot hope to identify very workplace problem, we’ve taken steps to establish lines of communications that allow workers to contact BYORK directly and with complete confidentiality.
Cooperative Efforts. Where practical and reasonable, BYORK works with problem contractors to help them meet our standards. We believe it is a mistake to pull out at the first sign of trouble. Rather, we believe progress can be made by constructively engaging contractors.
Termination. If a contractor repeatedly falls to improve compliance with our standards, however, we will terminate the relationship.