Investor Advocates for Social Justice

Tri-State CRI Submits Public Comment on Definition of “Recruitment Fees”

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As part of our work to advance human rights and ethical recruitment in global corporate supply chains, the Tri-State Coalition was pleased to have the opportunity to submit a comment on the definition of “Recruitment Fees” for the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) on Combating Trafficking in Persons. The FAR prohibits government contractors from charging employees recruitment fees. This public comment process was an important step to seek input on how “recruitment fees” should be defined and what fees should be prohibited.  The Tri-State CRI is supportive of the rulemaking process to help promote respect for human rights in global supply chains and encourages the clarity on which fees should be considered as prohibited to enable corporations to comply with the law and facilitate monitoring by investors. Some examples of the clarifications to the definition included adding in fees for medical examinations, explicitly including fees for breach of contract, and transportation costs.

We encourage companies in our investment portfolios to adopt and implement a policy  that applies to their facilities and throughout their supply chain to promote ethical recruitment. Specifically, the policy should include:

  1.  A company and its suppliers/sub-contractors shall ensure that no fees or costs have been charged, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, to job-seekers and workers for services directly related to recruitment for temporary or permanent job placement, including when using the services of private recruitment, labor broker or employment agent or performing recruitment activities directly.
  2.  Workers shall receive a written contract at the point of recruitment in their native language, stating in a truthful, clear manner their rights and responsibilities.
  3.  Employers shall not retain any documents or demand monetary deposits or other collateral as a condition of employment. Workers shall not be subject to the withholding of wages, illegal or unexplained deductions from their wages, or seizure of identification cards, passports or other travel documents, or personal belongings without their consent.

We engage with several companies on this issue: ADM, The Ford Motor Company, The Hershey Company, and Tyson Foods. We support the FAR public comment process because we believe it will support corporations who are government contractors to fully implement their policies prohibiting recruitment fees.

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