Code of Conduct

I. Introduction

The University of Iowa has a deep respect for the intrinsic value of each human being, and a steadfast commitment to promoting and protecting human rights on its Iowa City campuses, in its surrounding positive change in human working conditions domestically and abroad.  The University therefore requires all of its licensees to conduct business in such a way that the University will not benefit from the gross exploitation of U. S. or international labor.

II. Notice

A. This Code of Conduct shall apply to all trademark licensees of the University. The term “Licensee” shall include all persons or entities that have entered into a written license agreement or otherwise received permission to manufacture apparel or non-apparel products bearing the name, trademarks, images or other indicia of the University.  This Code of Conduct shall also apply to the Licensee’s contractors, including all subcontractors, vendors or other manufacturers engaged in producing a finished product for the consumer.  The relevant manufacturing facilities shall include all (and only) those in which the Licensees manufacture the licensed product.  “Manufacturing” includes creating, labeling, packaging, shipping, and receiving.

B. As a condition of being permitted to produce and/or sell licensed products bearing the name, trademark, images or other indicia of the University, licensees and their contractors shall comply with this Code of Conduct. Within six (6) months of notification to Licensees by the University, or as otherwise required by the applicable license agreement.

III. Standards

A. Legal Compliance

  1. University Licensees and their contractors shall comply with all applicable legal requirements in conducting business related to or involving the production and/or sale of licensed product(s) or material(s) bearing the name, trademark, images or other indicia of the University. Where this Code of Conduct and the applicable laws of the country(ies) of manufacture conflict, the higher standard shall prevail.

B. Employment Standards

  1. Wages and Benefits: Licensees and their contractors shall pay wages which are the highest of (a) the legal minimum wage in the country(ies) of manufacture, (b) the prevailing wage in that industry in the country(ies) of manufacture, or (c) a wage that meets the basic human needs for the average family size of employees in that industry in the country(ies) of manufacture.  Basic human needs shall mean wages and benefits sufficient (when taking into account any governmental programs) to meet needs for nutrition, clothing, shelter, health care, transportation, children’s education and energy.
  2. Working Hours: Hourly and/or quota-based wage employees shall not be required to work more than the lesser of (a) 48 hours per week or (b) the limits on work hours (regular and overtime) allowed by the law of the country(ies) of manufacture.  Employees shall also be entitled to at least one day off in every seven-day period.
  3. Overtime: All overtime hours must be worked voluntarily by employees.  In addition to their compensation of regular hours of work, hourly and/or quota-based wage employees shall be compensated for overtime hours at such a rate as is legally required in the country(ies) of manufacture or, in those countries where such laws do not exist, at a rate not less than the employee’s regular rate of pay.
  4. Child Labor: Except as otherwise provided in the International Labor Organization’s Fundamental Human Rights Conventions, Licensees and their contractors shall not employ any person younger than age 15. Where the age of completing compulsory education is higher than the standard for the minimum age of employment stated above, the higher age for completing compulsory education shall apply.
  5. Forced Labor: There shall not be any use of forced prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or other forced labor.
  6. Health and Safety: Licensees and their contractors shall provide employees with a safe and healthy working environment to prevent accidents and injury arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or resulting from the operation of the facilities.  All relevant manufacturing and associated residential facilities shall comply with these standards.
  7. Nondiscrimination: Licensees and their contractors shall employ individuals solely on the basis of their ability to perform the job.  There shall be no discrimination of any kind in hiring, salary, benefits, performance evaluation, discipline, promotion, retirement or dismissal.
  8. Women’s Rights: Female employees shall not be disciplined or discharged because they are pregnant.  In the event a female employee is required to miss work because of her pregnancy, she shall be allowed to return to a job at the same rate of pay, and with the same benefits, that she received prior to missing work due to her pregnancy.  Female employees shall be allowed to take maternity leave in accordance with the laws of the country in which they work.
  9. Reproductive Rights: Employees will not be subject to forced contraception or sterilization as a condition of work.
  10. Harassment or Abuse: Every employee shall be treated with dignity and respect. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, or psychological harassment or abuse.  Licensees and their contractors shall not use or tolerate any form of corporal punishment.
  11. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining: Licensees and their contractors shall recognize and respect the rights of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Employees shall not be subject to harassment, intimidation or retaliation in their efforts to freely associate or bargain collectively.

IV. Compliance and Disclosure

A. Upon execution and renewal of the License Agreement and upon the selection of any new manufacturing facility that produces Licensed Products, Licensees shall provide the University with the company names, contracts, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and nature of the business association for all such facilities. All Licensed Products which bear the name, trademark, images or other indicia of the University must be accompanied by a manufacturer’s certificate indicating the name of the manufacturing facility, the country(ies) of manufacture, and a certification that the products have not been made by underage children or with forced labor.

B. At least sixty (60) days prior to the end of each contract year of the License Agreement, Licensees shall provide the University with written assurance that they (1) are in full compliance with the Code of Conduct or (2) have some non-compliant facilities and are either (a) taking steps toward compliance as outlined in the Remediation section of this Code of Conduct or (b) prepared to work out a plan for corrective action at least thirty (30) days before the License Agreement expires.


A. Licensees shall cooperate with all University-approved monitoring group(s) .

B. The University shall rely on one or more monitoring groups whose members represent the various interests of all the parties involved in the manufacturing process.

C. The University’s monitoring group(s) may conduct scheduled site visits, as well as random and unannounced checks of the Licensees’ facilities.

D. The monitoring group(s) shall establish a complaint procedure that workers can use to report violations of this Code of Conduct. Licensees and their contractors shall not retaliate against workers who report Code of Conduct violations to the monitoring group(s).

E. The monitoring group(s) shall report all findings to the University in a timely and detailed manner.

V. Remediation

A. If a Licensee is found to be in noncompliance with any condition of this Code of Conduct, the University will consult with the Licensee to establish a plan for achieving measurable progress with respect to each condition. This may include requiring the Licensee to take corrective action prior to the expiration of the current License Agreement.  Corrective action may include, without limitation, payment of all applicable back wages found due to workers who manufactured the Licensed Products or reinstatement of any worker found to have been discharged in violation of this Code of Conduct.

B. If agreement on corrective action is not reached or the agreed-to corrections are not made within the specified time period; the University shall impose additional sanctions, up to and including probation and the termination of the University’s relationship with the Licensee.  The University shall provide the Licensee with thirty (30) days written notice of termination.