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United Nations Continues its Development of a Treaty Imposing Liability on Companies for Human Rights Abuses

An ongoing debate exists regarding the nature and extent to which transnational companies should be held directly and legally liable for human rights impacts. Much of this debate has involved calls for additional regulation...more

Dutch and French Legislatures Introduce New Human Rights Due Diligence Reporting Requirements

In February 2017, legislatures in the Netherlands and France took significant steps to implement mandatory due diligence and reporting rules regarding the impact of an employer's operations and supply chains on human rights. ...more

Advancing Human Rights Claims Based on Global Supply Chain Activities: Recent Developments in California and Canada

Courts in California and Canada have emerged as testing grounds for advancing claims of forced labor in global supply chains.  The plaintiffs’ approach is to make companies more accountable to “soft law” norms like the UN...more

The U.S. Issues a National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct

On December 16, 2016, the United States launched a National Action Plan (the “U.S. NAP”) on Responsible Business Conduct. The U.S. NAP seeks to operationalize the government’s role in encouraging responsible business conduct...more

Proposed French Law Would Impose New Due Diligence Obligations on Certain Employers and Their Supply Chains

On November 29, 2016, France’s National Assembly adopted the text of a bill (the “Bill”) that, if enacted, would create new due diligence obligations for large French companies regarding their subsidiaries’ and supply chain...more

The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Ranks Large Companies' Human Rights Performance

In 2011, the United Nations adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (“UN Guiding Principles”), which provide non-binding guidelines on how employers should conduct their business activities to provide...more

Certain Illinois Employers Now Required to Post Human Trafficking Helpline

A new Illinois state law requires certain employers to post notices informing employees and other members of the public of a helpline to assist any person who is subject to human trafficking. This law, effective January 1,...more

California Laws Are Being Used to Advance Human Rights Claims Based on Global Supply Chain Activities

Recent class actions have claimed that companies have violated California consumer fraud and unfair competition laws resulting from alleged forced labor in their global supply chains.  These state law claims argue that...more

In Canada, Foreign Workers Seek to Use International Norms as the Standard of Care in Negligence Claims Against Multinationals...

Non-Canadian workers are increasingly suing their employers in Canadian courts for human rights violations allegedly committed outside Canada by the companies themselves or by other entities in their supply chains. This...more

The Advent of Privately Developed Corporate Human Rights Reporting Frameworks

In response to the increasing global awareness that companies need to evaluate the effects their operations have on human rights, private entities and organizations have developed arguably competing guidance to achieve that...more

House Bill Would Require Public Disclosure of Company Policies to Combat Supply Chain Trafficking

On July 27, 2015, U.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015 (H.R. 3226) (the "Bill"). The Bill would require...more

The Final Breaths of the Alien Tort Statute

On April 17, 2013, the Supreme Court decided Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. For all intents and purposes, the decision eliminates use of the federal Alien Tort Statute ("ATS") as an employment law weapon to be used against...more

California Employers Have Another Notice Posting Obligation – Have You Posted Your Human Trafficking Notice?

Human trafficking is one of the 21st century’s buzz phrases. There is some disagreement on exactly what human trafficking means, but regardless of precisely how it is defined, it is widely accepted as a detrimental practice...more

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