DECEMBER 22, 2014: Trillium Asset Management (Trillium) has filed a shareholder proposal with ExxonMobil* (XOM) asking the company to amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to substantially implement the policy. The proposal was co-filed with the New York State Comptroller’s office.
Exxon merged with Mobil in 1999 and stripped away the LGBT non-discrimination policies that had been in place at Mobil. Trillium filed its first shareholder proposal with ExxonMobil on the issue in 2001.
In 1995, Trillium was the first investment firm to sponsor a shareholder proposal asking a company to add sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy.
“We believe that companies and workers benefit from consistent, corporate-wide efforts to prevent discrimination, ensuring a respectful and supportive atmosphere for all employees,” said Brianna Murphy, Trillium’s Vice President Shareholder Advocacy and Corporate Engagement.
“ExxonMobil stands out among Fortune 500 companies for its refusal to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “Companies that fail to enact equal rights policies risk limiting their ability to attract and retain the best and brightest employees, thus potentially damaging their bottom line.”
With the recent evolution in favor of allowing same-sex marriage in the U.S., it may be difficult to believe that in more than two dozen states people can still be legally denied a job, or fired, simply because of their sexual orientation. In more than 30 states, employment discrimination based on gender identity is still legal. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced that the Department of Justice will take the position in litigation that the protection of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends to claims of discrimination based on an individual’s gender identity, including transgender status.
For More Information: Randy Rice, Trillium Asset Management, (617) 515-6889, firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: The views expressed are those of the authors and Trillium Asset Management, LLC as of the date referenced and are subject to change at any time based on market or other conditions. These views are not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. These views may not be relied upon as investment advice. The information provided in this material should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. It should not be assumed that investments in such securities have been or will be profitable. To the extent specific securities are mentioned, they have been selected by the authors on an objective basis to illustrate views expressed in the commentary and do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for advisory clients. The information contained herein has been prepared from sources believed reliable but is not guaranteed by us as to its timeliness or accuracy, and is not a complete summary or statement of all available data. This piece is for informational purposes and should not be construed as a research report.
*In addition to engaging with our core portfolio companies, Trillium also conducts advocacy on selected companies (identified with an “*”) that are not in our core portfolios but are held as legacy positions in client portfolios. These are companies that may not meet our minimum social and environmental criteria, but that we still seek to improve. The information provided in this material should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. It should not be assumed that investments in such securities have been or will be profitable.