Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination and Harassment Discrimination

We are committed to ensuring that the people who make our clothes are not subject to any form of discrimination. Our COVC prohibits any form of discrimination during hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, color, gender, nationality, religion, age, maternity status, marital status, indigenous status, ethnicity, social origin, disability, sexual orientation, HIV/AIDS status or membership in worker organizations, including unions or political affiliation.

We conduct assessments of all branded apparel suppliers on a regular basis to check for any signs of discrimination in hiring or promotion decisions, contract terms, labor practices, payroll records or tests or medical exams workers may be asked to take. We know that enforcing our discrimination standards requires significant time and attention, especially because the majority of garment workers are women, while the vast majority of supervisors and managers are men. 

Our team also identifies common risks and best practices for pregnant or nursing women, including rearranging working hours, adjusting overtime hours and offering greater flexibility for break times.

Prevention of Sexual Harassment

Women constitute between 60 and 80 percent of India's apparel workforce. During regular assessments of the facilities we work with in India, we have found serious violations pertaining to gender-based discrimination and harassment, which are known to be systemic issues in India. We recognize this as an urgent issue that all relevant stakeholders must invest more time and resource into addressing.

To do our part, Gap Inc.’s Supplier Sustainability team is working with our suppliers in India — covering over 100,000 workers — to help them build an environment where they clearly define and implement policies on Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) and create an Internal Complaints Committee, both of which are required under Indian law, though inadequately enforced. We aim to help our suppliers raise awareness among both male and female employees about this issue, and about their rights and responsibilities under the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013.

As a first step, we conducted sensitization programs with all of our suppliers in India, and have provided them with guidance on the relevant legal requirements. We also have defined time-bound goals, such as commitments from our vendors to train 100 percent of their employees on this issue, and have identified expert organizations for them to partner with in implementing this work. As a result, regular training and awareness also provided to all their employees to enhance understanding of the issues, the various forms it can take, its root causes and their roles and responsibilities. Regular trainings are provided to Internal Complaints Committees to strengthen their understanding and capabilities to address sexual harassment cases. To review progress, Gap Inc. assessments include components on POSH and determine areas for improvement, if needed, within a remediation plan.

Given the urgency and importance of this issue, we are now developing regional strategies to address this issue in other key sourcing countries, and will be launching similar trainings in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam in 2018 and 2019.