Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI) recognizes the importance of respecting and promoting human rights globally. People First, one of the Company’s core values, is a fundamental commitment to this principle. Our approach to protecting and safeguarding human rights outside the United States is informed by the International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
We strive to avoid adverse human rights impacts from the outset by embedding principles related to respect and dignity throughout our business and integrating them into our company policies and relevant procedures. Ethical conduct and strong business relationships are key to preventing or mitigating adverse human rights impacts in our operations, products or services by our business relationships.
We are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for our associates, visitors, suppliers and contractors, maintaining respectful workplaces and upholding equal opportunities for every associate. We also go beyond our own operations to protect the rights of the workers who make our products.
Health & Safety
Aligned with our “People First” values, we strive to continuously improve our workplaces to reduce the risk of injury and other negative health consequences. Our efforts include incident and hazard reporting, data analysis, standard operating procedures aimed at reducing injury risk, associate and management training, the promotion of best practices and the measurement of key safety metrics, including rules and regulations issued under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA Act).
Equal Opportunity Protections
We provide an inclusive workplace that prohibits discrimination, retaliation and harassment. The Company expects every associate to be treated and treat others with respect and dignity. We uphold equal opportunities in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. Every associate can expect fair treatment and equal opportunities whatever their race, color, national origin, religion, ancestry, sex and gender (including identity/expression), military and veteran status, physical ability, medical condition, genetic information, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, age or any other category protected by federal, state or local law or because of the individual’s association with a member of a protected group or connection to an organization or group related to a protected group.
Minority, Women & LGBTQIA+ Equality
We are committed to the protection of minority, women and LGBTQIA+ rights. We outline our approach in our statement on Equality, and we are aligned with and/or signatories of:
- CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion
- United Nations Global Compact
- The UN Free & Equal Campaign
Code of Conduct, Compliance & Training
Whether in our corporate offices, in our more than 500 store locations and other facilities, or among our overseas offices, we take pride in keeping a work environment that complies with employer responsibility standards. We comply with all national, state, and local laws regarding wages, benefits and hours worked, and we recognize the rights of workers to make an informed decision as to whether to associate or not with any lawful organization, consistent with applicable laws. We conduct compliance training for executives, managers, and associates, and we expect everyone in the company to follow our Code of Conduct, regardless of rank or position.
Our business partners and suppliers are bound contractually and ethically by the WSI Vendor Code of Conduct and Implementation Standards, which were informed by the conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. WSI’s Vendor Code of Conduct and Implementation Standards are essential parts of our Social Compliance Program.
Specifically, we abide by the UK Modern Slavery Act, Australian Modern Slavery Act and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, and we are committed to prohibiting child labor, forced labor, and trafficked labor of any kind. Our social compliance program focuses on continuous improvement, and we adopt programs to address our human rights exposure.
The Social Compliance Program implements the requirements for health and safety, labor, and environmental practices in our global supply chain factories. We offer support to help our factories prevent and mitigate adverse impacts, and we build initiatives to address any potential breaches of human rights, as outlined in our audit process. We are committed to enabling the remediation of negative impacts that may occur.
Reporting & Grievance
We understand the importance of associates knowing their rights and addressing violations when necessary. WSI’s Ethics Hotline is available to team members and factory workers in our major overseas sourcing regions and high-risk countries with concerns about potential violations of WSI’s Code of Conduct or Vendor Code of Conduct. The processes and contacts which ensure independence and protection of anonymity for reporting grievances, including any concerns related to human rights, are disclosed to associates, suppliers, and workers.
We report on our program performance through semi-annual updates to our Board of Directors and in our annual Impact Report to shareholders and the public.