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 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 go beyond our 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).
We have aligned our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including health and safety commitments to:
- Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, in which we outline our commitment to supporting healthy children, families and factory workers; and
- Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation, in which we define access to water as a human right aligned with our commitment to 100% responsibly sourced cotton
Equal Opportunity Protections
We provide an inclusive workplace that prohibits discrimination, retaliation and harassment. The Company expects every employee to be treated and treat others with respect and dignity. We uphold equal opportunities in compliance with federal laws, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission laws and guidance. 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 familiar 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 & LGBTQ+ Equality
We are committed to the protection of minority, women and LGBTQ+ rights. We outline our approach in our statement on Equality, and we are aligned with and/or signatories of:
- CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, in which we committed to implementing and expanding unconscious bias education and training among other actions, such as establishing and expanding associate networks for underrepresented communities;
- UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality, in which we committed to women’s representation at high levels of leadership—including 50%+ at the VP level and above and 50%+ of board members—and throughout our supply chain, including a partnership with HERproject to promote gender equality through workplace programs;
- The UN Free & Equal Campaign for LGBTI rights, in which we committed to promoting and championing equal rights and fair treatment of LGBTI people in our workplace
Code of Conduct, Compliance & Training
Whether in our corporate offices, in our more than 600 store locations, or among our overseas offices, we take pride in keeping a work environment that complies with employer responsibility standards. We comply with all national as well as 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 employees, and we expect everyone in the company to follow our Code of Conduct, regardless of rank or position. Associates acknowledge their understanding and commitment to the Code of Conduct yearly, and associates, including management, receive regular training on compliance with anti- bribery/corruption laws and company policies.
Supply Chain Workers
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 prohibit child labor, forced labor and trafficked labor of any kind. 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.
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 as well as factory workers with concerns about potential violations of WSI’s Code of Conduct or Vendors 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 semi-annual updates to our Board of Directors and in our annual Impact Report to shareholders and the public.