On January 1, 2012, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB 657) went into effect in the State of California. Under the law, large manufacturers and retailers are required to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking within their supply chains. The law's underlying purpose is to educate consumers, so they can make informed decisions and purchase goods from companies that responsibly manage their supply chains.
At Upbound Group Inc. (formerly known as Rent-A-Center, Inc. and including its subsidiaries, “Upbound”), we hold ourselves and our vendors accountable to high ethical standards wherever we do business. Our merchandising team has implemented new contracts with our suppliers to ensure our products are produced ethically by our suppliers and in accordance with Upbound’s Supplier Code of Conduct which suppliers are subject to as a condition of doing business with Upbound. Under Upbound standards, our suppliers are expected to treat their employees and contractors with fairness, respect and dignity and promote a work environment that is safe and healthy, and free of discrimination, harassment, forced labor, corporal punishment or other forms of physical coercion. They also mandate that workers receive fair wages and benefits in compliance with all applicable local laws. Upbound suppliers also warrant that all the products they provide to Upbound are manufactured in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations and standards – both of the United States as well as their country of origin.
Upbound currently sources products from vendors with which Upbound has had long-standing relationships and known business practices. Where new sources of product have been considered, Upbound has engaged third-party suppliers to conduct on-site assessments of facilities, labor practices, working conditions, and product compliance to qualify as a supplier for Upbound. Going forward, Upbound, or its qualified third-party auditors, may conduct audits of select current suppliers to verify compliance with Upbound’s standards upon evidence or indication of non-compliance. Any such audits will be prioritized based upon a risk-based approach, which takes into consideration, among other things, the general conditions of the country where the factory is located and any intermediary suppliers and/or distributors. Upbound has a zero-tolerance policy regarding forced labor. If forced labor is found in the supply chain for any Upbound supplier, that supplier will be immediately disqualified from doing business with Upbound until such practices are eliminated.
Upbound does not currently require specific training on Human Trafficking for coworkers responsible for sourcing and merchandising decisions. All Upbound coworkers with responsibility for sourcing goods are made aware of our Supplier Code of Conduct and all provide that document to any supplier engaged in negotiations for a new supply agreement with Upbound. Additionally, all coworkers, regardless of their job duties receive annual training on Upbound Code of Conduct.