Protecting Workers and Managing Company Risk in Supply Chains: Moving from Policies to Contracts
January 31, 2019
Without careful drafting, goods made with forced or child labor may breach no obligations under a supply contract, at least not in the usual sense. Nor is it clear what remedies are appropriate when supply chains include forced or child labor, or when suppliers’ workers are killed in factory fires or building collapses. At the same time, companies’ duties to control supply chains are mounting steadily. Frequently companies have no shortage of policies to address these issues; they often appear on the company website, and they may be incorporated by reference into supply contracts (frequently as a “Code of Conduct”). However, the issues are more complicated than can be handled easily by a simple incorporation clause. Therefore, in cooperation with other groups in the ABA Business Law Section and the wider American Bar Association, the ABA Business Law Section formed a Working Group which has drafted a set of Model Clauses to incorporate human rights protections in international supply contracts. This program will explore these Model Classes and explain how they make supply chain control and worker protection both legally effective and operationally likely by moving the commitments that companies require of their suppliers from corporate policy statements to the actual contract documents where those policies may have greater impact.
- E. Christopher Johnson, Jr. (moderator), Center For Justice Rights & Dignity, Coppell, TX
- Romona L. Lampley, St. Mary's University School of Law, San Antonio, TX
- Jennifer S. Martin, St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami Gardens, FL
- Susan Maslow, Antheil Maslow & MacMinn LLP, Doylestown, PA
Presented by: Professional Responsibility Committee
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