University of Wisconsin–Madison

Labor Codes and Licensing Advisory Committee

Notice: See the new governance document for the recently renamed Labor Codes and Licensing Advisory Committee (LCLAC).

UW–Madison has contracts allowing more than 450 companies to make products bearing the university’s name or logos. We are one of four universities in the nation that actively incorporates corporate responsibility awareness and performance in licensing applications and renewals. Licensed products are made in approximately 3,300 factories in 47 countries worldwide.

As part of university standards, brands and suppliers are required to adhere to a code of conduct. The code addresses workers’ wages, working hours, overtime compensation, child labor, forced labor, health and safety, nondiscrimination, harassment or abuse, women’s rights, freedom of association and full public disclosure of factory locations.

If violations occur, a licensee has the opportunity to correct the problem or have its relationship with the university terminated.

In the past decade we have worked to resolve workers rights situations with adidas, Nike, Russell and other leading brands.

UW–Madison has been persistent in its leadership on the issue and developed innovative policies, modeled by other universities across the country.

Among them, the university is:

  • A leading member of the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC), an independent labor rights monitoring organization, conducting investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe.
  • The first to obtain direct access to the internal records of a major multinational corporation producing goods with university logos through its agreement with adidas.
  • Among the first to pursue partnerships with companies that share the university’s social conscience principles and address workers’ rights issues at the forefront of their business practices.
  • The first to endorse the principles of the Designated Suppliers Program in 2006, a proposal developed by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and the WRC to change the way that university-licensed brands select suppliers to manufacture apparel that include university trademarks or logos.
  • Among the first to propose transparency of wage information from licensees.
  • Among the first to communicate with licensees regarding implications of the expiring Multi-Fiber Agreement.

UW–Madison action on Labor Licensing Issues


Leslie Orrantia
Director of Community Relations

Committee members