Code of conduct for trademark licensees

The UC Code of Conduct (pdf) provides guidance to companies granted permission to use the university’s name and other trademarks in how workers throughout the supply chain should be treated. The UC Code aligns with the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service. Trademark licensees are required to agree to the UC Code as a condition of the licensing agreement between the licensee and university. A breach of the UC Code may jeopardize the status of the license agreement. The university’s expectations of trademark licensees includes:

Specifically, the code ensures minimally acceptable standards for:

  • Workplace environment: Establish and commit to clear standards
  • Staff training: Identify and train appropriate/qualified staff
  • Committed suppliers: Share commitment to workplace standards with suppliers and workers in the supply chain
  • Grievance mechanisms and confidential channel for workers: Ensure access to grievance procedures and confidential reporting channels
  • Internal monitoring: Conduct workplace standards compliance monitoring
  • Management of compliance information: Collect, manage, and analyze workplace standards compliance information
  • External verification: Allow for independent and credible third party verification and fulfillment of UC, FLA and/or other programmatic requirements


The UC Code of Conduct for Trademark Licensees Committee is transitioning to a Steering Committee model with broader representation and oversight. Under the new model, the steering committee will be composed of:

  • One undergraduate student representative (nominated by the University of California Student Association)
  • One graduate student representative (nominated by the University of California Student Association)
  • Two faculty members nominated by the Academic Senate
  • Administrative representatives (Licensing Directors) from all 10 UC Campuses and UCOP

Governing membership

UC is a member of:

  • Fair Labor Association, which is managed by a tripartite board made up of colleges/universities, civil society organizations and brands. The FLA “has helped improve the lives of millions of workers around the world. As a collaborative effort of socially responsible companies, colleges and universities, and civil society organizations, FLA creates lasting solutions to abusive labor practices by offering tools and resources to companies, delivering training to factory workers and management, conducting due diligence through independent assessments, and advocating for greater accountability and transparency from companies, manufacturers, factories and others involved in global supply chains.”
  • The Worker Rights Consortium, “is an independent labor rights monitoring organization, conducting investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe.” Their board is composed of representatives from United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), labor rights experts, and colleges/universities. It is their purpose “to combat sweatshops and protect the rights of workers who make apparel and other products. The WRC conducts independent, in-depth investigations; issues public reports on factories producing for major brands; and aids workers at these factories in their efforts to end labor abuses and defend their workplace rights.”

UC is a member of both organizations as compliance is monitored and enforced in different, yet complementary, ways.