As You Sow has submitted a proposal to The Coca-Cola Company seeking information regarding the impact of legal regulations on reproductive rights in the United States. This topic the governance expert expects to be raised at other companies during his 2023 proxy season.
Specifically, the proposal would detail the known and potential risks or costs posed by enacted or proposed state policies that would severely limit reproductive rights for Coca-Cola’s Board of Directors next year, and prevent lawsuits and costs. We are demanding the release of a report detailing our strategy beyond regulatory compliance. Businesses may deploy to minimize or mitigate these risks.
In a statement of support, As You Sow said the board’s analysis included the impact on employee hiring, retention, and productivity, and the company’s impact on states proposing or enacting restrictive laws and strategies. It wrote that it could include decisions about closing or expanding businesses (such as defending public policy). Political contributions policies and human resource or education strategies related to each company.
Among other things, the group notes that U.S. states have introduced hundreds of laws restricting access to abortion, and states that ban abortion may find it more difficult to recruit employees. In a 2021 survey, 64% of consumers said employers should make reproductive health care accessible to their employees, and 42% said reproductive health care should be made public. said they are more likely to buy from brands they support.
neither first nor last
The proposal was submitted after being overturned by the United States Supreme Court. Law vs Wade Governance experts also expect other reproductive rights measures to be introduced in the upcoming proxy season.Edward Green, Georgeson’s managing director, told Corporate Secretary’s sister publication IR magazine A number of post-Roe proposals on human capital management and employee benefits are due this fall.
Such proposals may attract attention. For example, a month after leaking a draft court ruling that suggested invalidating Roe, nearly a third of the votes cast at TJX Companies’ annual shareholder meeting upheld. The parent company of TJ Maxx has detailed the known and potential risks and costs posed by enacted or proposed state policies that severely restrict reproductive rights, and will provide legal and regulatory compliance guidance that the company may develop. We will release a report detailing our strategy beyond mitigate these risks.
Trillium Asset Management, which submitted its proposal in late 2021, wrote in its supporting statement: [Roe] If weakened or overturned, as is widely expected, TJX employees will face difficulties in accessing abortion care. bear the costs incurred.
Following the vote, Trillium Chief Advocacy Officer Jonas Kron said in a statement: TJX’s board had urged shareholders to vote against the proposal. The company did not respond to a request for comment at the time.
Meredith Benton, principal and founder of Whistle Stop Capital, which is backing the As You Sow petition, said that Coca-Cola has discussed reproductive rights with Coca-Cola in the past when it proposed alignment of values. He has said that he has. The latest resolution has not been discussed with the company.
Coca-Cola’s options include negotiating with As You Sow or requesting SEC no-action relief for omission of the proposal from the proxy statement. Benton points out that the SEC has denied such requests for similar configuration proposals at other companies. Coca-Cola said he filed his 2022 proxy statement on March 11.
Requests for comment from Coca-Cola were not returned.