Diversity in the Workplace - LGBTQ Rights
Just two proposals are pending now, one a resubmission to Cato and another new one at CorVel. The others all have been withdrawn after agreements by the companies to change their policies. The resolution is from Walden Asset Management and Trillium Asset Management, and asks each recipient to “amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.” Trillium’s version adds that the company should “take concrete action to implement the policy.”
Cato last year successfully argued at the SEC that the request for it to include LGBT protections in its nondiscrimination policy was moot because its policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of “any legally-protected classification” and federal courts have upheld LBGT protections. The company policy does not explicitly protect LGBT employees, however. In 2017, Cato unsuccessfully challenged the proposal at the SEC, which disagreed it concerned ordinary business. The proponents note the company operates in 16 states where LGBT discrimination may occur under “religious freedom” laws, and that the Justice Department in June 2017 argued that the Civil Rights Act does not cover sexual orientation, despite 2015 EEOC advice that it does. The company this year has again told the SEC it is moot. The SEC has yet to respond.