People are at the center of our success. Whether it’s our employees around the world, the apparel workers who make our clothes, or the people who wear our products, we are committed to doing right by all of them.

Worker Rights

TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT

Our Terms of Engagement, published in 1991, established a comprehensive workplace code of conduct for our manufacturing suppliers and specifies the requirements by which all of our contract factories must abide. The Terms also set employment standards and specifically address issues of child labor, forced labor, disciplinary practices, working hours, wages and benefits, freedom of association, discrimination, and health and safety.

Since publishing our Terms of Engagement, we have been a respected leader in protecting worker rights and helping ensure safe, healthy, humane labor conditions.

As pioneers in the movement for fair employment practices, we firmly believe that workplace standards and worker rights should be an integral part of all bilateral, regional or multilateral trade negotiations. Levi Strauss & Co. publicly advocates for linkage of trade and labor, incorporating key workplace standards and worker rights provisions within the context of trade agreements through congressional testimony, meetings with senior government officials, trade negotiations and multi-stakeholder initiatives.

The Levi Strauss Foundation focuses on funding programs that strengthen worker rights and improve the working and living conditions for the people who make our products.

The way we care for our workers extends well beyond the factory. We seek to ensure that workers have the training and tools they need to stay healthy outside the workplace, reducing absenteeism and lost wages and increasing productivity. We also support innovative local, regional and global nonprofit organizations that support our established TOE.

IMPROVING WORKER WELL-BEING

Last year, we completed pilots for the Improving Worker Well-being initiative in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Haiti and Pakistan. Introduced by LS&Co. in 2011, the initiative seeks to move beyond a “do no harm” labor compliance model and instead collaborate with suppliers to improve the lives of apparel workers in locations where our products are made.

Through partnerships with vendors and nongovernmental organizations such as Business for Social Responsibility’s HERproject, last year’s pilot programs improved the lives of more than 20,000 people who are making our products. What distinguishes this initiative from others is that we survey the workers so we can tailor the program to the topics they care about the most, such as women’s health and financial inclusion. This unique program, initially co-funded by the Levi Strauss Foundation, is designed to be sustainable, with our suppliers integrating worker well-being programs into their ongoing business operations. Through the Improving Worker Well-being initiative, LS&Co. is setting a new standard for corporate responsibility, one in which we aim to empower workers with the tools they need to lead healthier, more productive lives. Our suppliers have seen a significant return — up to $3 for every $1 invested in the program, so we’re expanding the program in 2015 to more vendors.

RELATED RESOURCES

HIV/AIDS

For the past 30+ years, Levi Strauss & Co. has maintained a sustained approach to the HIV/AIDS epidemic that addresses both the health and social factors preventing a definitive response to end the epidemic. We believe that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is more than a medical condition. It’s also a matter of eliminating the stigmatization and discrimination of people living and affected by HIV/AIDS.

For this reason, our corporate response comprises everyone from community partners to supply chain partners to Levi Strauss & Co. employees and their families to the consumers who purchase our products.

Our HIV/AIDS grant partnerships support community organizations in more than 40 countries with a focus on educating apparel workers about HIV/AIDS. Our grants also focus on eradicating discrimination against people living with HIV and providing assistance to those most vulnerable to infection.

EMPLOYEE HIV/AIDS PROGRAM

We believe that improving access to HIV/AIDS education and services involves creating a supportive workplace. Guided by our Worldwide HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy, the Employee HIV/AIDS Program is a comprehensive offering of HIV/AIDS support for employees and their families in more than 40 countries. The impact of this program has been recognized globally by GBCHealth’s 2009 Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Business Leadership and 2013 Business Action on Health Award.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT (LEVI STRUSS FOUNDATION)

The Levi Strauss Foundation believes that people affected by HIV/AIDS deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and must have access to critical HIV/AIDS services. The Levi Strauss Foundation supports policy advocacy, law reform and other efforts to eradicate discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and provide assistance to those who are most vulnerable to infection, including the apparel workers who make our products.

Since 1983, Levi Strauss & Co. and the Levi Strauss Foundation have contributed more  $60 million in grants to HIV/AIDS organizations in more than 40 countries.

RELATED RESOURCES

Equality

We believe that “later” too often means “never” in the fight for a socially just world. Through our public policy advocacy, our media and advertising presence, and our work in the community, we aim to influence how people around the world perceive and treat others.

By letting our company voice be heard, we act as a force for change, supporting the movement toward an equitable society for all. We are engaged in the battle for equal rights on many fronts: racial, gender, sexual and economic:

  • Racial equality: We integrated our factories years before desegregation was required by federal law.
  • Marriage equality: We’ve long been committed to marriage equality and the fundamental right for all to marry.
  • Gender equality: The company supports the United Nation’s Women’s Empowerment Principles, which helps guide actions that advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and community. We’ve also partnered with Business for Social Responsibility on the HERproject, which educates apparel factory workers about health and access to health services. This factory-based, peer-education model has proven successful and is being expanded to include financial literacy training through HERfinance.
  • Economic equality: The Levi Strauss Foundation has been a pioneer in the asset building movement, seeking fresh solutions to intergenerational poverty by focusing on public policies and programs that enable low-income working people to accumulate valuable assets. The Levi Strauss Foundation was the first corporate foundation to support a groundbreaking pilot called the American Dream Demonstration — the first large-scale test of matched savings accounts for the working poor devoted to purchasing a home, paying for college or skills training, and starting a small business. The Levi Strauss Foundation continues to fund pioneering asset building programs and advocacy – benefitting low-income people in the United States and apparel workers around the world.

RELATED RESOURCES

Employee Community Involvement

Giving back is in our jeans. Guided by the tradition of giving instilled by Levi Strauss, we apply our values of empathy, integrity, originality and courage to all of our community engagement efforts. Our goal is to put these values into action in the communities around the world where we have a business presence.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT TEAMS

We are particularly proud of our culture of employee giving. Worldwide, our employees have formed scores of Community Involvement Teams (CITs), which bring our company values to life in remarkable ways. These company-sponsored groups partner with local charitable organizations to identify needs, plan activities, and create volunteer and donation opportunities.

To encourage employees to support charitable organizations with their time, talents and money, we offer full-time employees up to five hours per month (60 hours per year) paid time off to volunteer at a charitable organization of their choice. In the United States, the Levi Strauss Foundation matches employee and retiree contributions to qualifying organizations. The Foundation also provides grants to nonprofit organizations where employees volunteer on their own time.

COMMUNITY DAY

Our global involvement culminates yearly on Community Day in May, when employees around the world take a day away from work to volunteer with local nonprofit organizations.