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Maria Piontkovska

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On April 21, the US Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) published a request for comments on supply chains for the production of agricultural commodities and food products under the America’s Supply Chains Executive Order (the “Supply Chain EO”) that President Biden signed on February 24, 2021. (See our blog post on the Supply Chain EO for more background.) Agricultural commodities and food products is one of the six industrial sectors the supply chains of which are subject to review pursuant…

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has taken a major step towards exercising its significant power to require companies to disclose greater information relating to ESG and climate impacts. On March 4, 2021, the SEC announced that it has formed a Task Force focusing on climate and ESG disclosure issues. The Task Force is a part of SEC’s Division of Enforcement and will be led by Kelly L. Gibson, the Acting Deputy Director of Enforcement.…

Last week the US Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a notice requesting information and comments on the following three reports on child labor and forced labor practices in foreign countries published by the US Bureau of International Labor Affairs (“ILAB”): (1) the 2019 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report (TDA report); (2) the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor (TVPRA List); and (3) the List of Products Produced…

Corruption and sourcing-related human rights risks are top of mind for many companies, and for good reasons. Both risk categories potentially carry substantial legal and PR risks and can be outside of a company’s direct control to the extent they are implicated by the conduct of third parties. However, corruption and responsible sourcing risks are often managed by different corporate functions. Corruption risks traditionally fall under the ambit of the legal/compliance department, whereas responsible sourcing…

Governments around the world continue to signal that companies should prepare for a future where responsible sourcing programs that include supply chain human rights due diligence become a legal obligation. On February 20, 2020, the European Commission published a report titled “Study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain” (“the EC Study”) which examined the need for a EU-level regulation of corporate due diligence obligations aimed at identifying, preventing, mitigating and accounting for human…

On March 9, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that in response to the hand sanitizer shortages caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus, New York State will purchase hand sanitizer from a company that employs prison labor.  According to Cuomo, the goal is to make 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer a week.  This hand sanitizer will reportedly be provided to state schools and prisons. The announcement has been met with criticism from politicians…

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has reiterated its commitment to combating child and forced labor in supply chains, with an apparent regional focus on South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The U.S. government’s continued push on labor violations in corporate supply chains is further evidence that companies should be considering how well their compliance programs cover detection and deterrence of these abuses in their supply chains. On January 27, 2020, the DOL announced that…

Although the SEC currently does not require public companies to disclose any environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) information, including human rights issues and labor practices, historically, Congress mandated additional disclosures due to public policy considerations. On July 11, 2019, a discussion draft of the Corporate Human Rights Risk Assessment, Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019 (“CHRRA Act”) was introduced at a hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets. The…