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Apple shareholders seek civil-rights audit following employee controversies

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Shareholders want Apple to conduct a civil rights audit.
  • That's because of recent employee controversies and a lack of diversity.

A group of Apple shareholders wants the company to hold a civil rights audit over a lack of diversity at the company and a string of recent employee controversies.

As reported by MarketWatch:

Apple Inc. has declared its commitment to racial and gender equity, but it is now facing a shareholder call for a civil-rights audit amid employee controversies and slow progress in diversifying its workforce.The first-of-its-kind proposal for Apple AAPL, +1.91% comes on the heels of recent news that the tech giant is being investigated by the U.S. Labor Department for alleged harassment of and retaliation against an employee who raised concerns about workplace safety, as well as other formal complaints from former employees. It is one of several governance- and sustainability-related proposals the company's investors are expected to face at its annual general meeting in 2022.

The proposals reportedly reference claims Apple shut down internal employee-run pay surveys and the controversial hiring of Antonio García Martínez. The report continues:

SOC Investment Group teamed up with the Service Employees International Union and Trillium Asset Management on the proposal; the group filed their proposal in the fall but only recently found out it will actually be on the proxy. The SEIU's pension fund's holdings include Apple, while SOC owns 21.9 million shares of the company and Trillium said it owned more than 1 million shares of Apple as of the end of the third quarter.

The news comes on the same day it emerged that the SEC has blocked Apple's bid to stop a shareholder vote on a proposal that would see the company report on its use of non-disclosure agreements and concealment clauses, which shareholders say stop employees speaking out on issues like harassment and discrimination.

Apple's next shareholders' meeting will take place early next year.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

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.