Apple shareholders defy company, approve civil rights audit plans
What you need to know
- Apple shareholders have defied the company in a vote over civil rights audits.
- Shareholders passed a resolution urging Apple to conduct a third-party audit examining civil rights policies.
- It could impact the handling of issues such as employee management, privacy, and more.
Apple shareholders have defied the companies recommendations and voted to pass measures that could see Apple conduct a third-party audit pertaining to civil rights, as well as a measure to report on concealment clauses used by the company when dealing with disgruntled employees.
Shareholders voted at the company's annual shareholders' meeting on March 4, passing the resolution by a narrow margin.
Back in December it was reported that Apple would face a vote on the matter amidst calls for the company to conduct a new civil rights audit. News at the time cited "employee controversies" and "slow progress in diversifying its workforce." From Apple's official shareholders' meeting proxy statement:
The proposal cited racial inequality, pay equity, privacy (especially Apple's child safety measures and CSAM scanning), and more. Apple recommended voting against the move, at the time stating it was "committed to respecting human rights, including civil rights, and to ensuring everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We work every day to put people first—by being a force for equity and opportunity, creating an inclusive and diverse work environment, respecting the human rights, including the civil rights, of everyone whose lives we touch, and empowering them with accessible technology." The company had claimed it already fulfilled the objectives of the proposal in several ways.
Founder of the #AppleToo movement Cher Scarlett, who filed a labor complaint against the company, said the passing of both measure were "huge wins for past and present employees." "The shareholders voting this way proves that our voices matter, she said — "it's unusual that two proposals went against the direction of the board, and that is directly related to the advocacy around these issues." She continued:
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9