Sunrun Investors Back Harassment Report That Failed at Goldman
(Bloomberg) -- Sunrun Inc. shareholders are prompting America’s biggest residential-solar company to publish a report on how its mandatory arbitration policy impacts employees and workplace culture.
Investors backed a resolution calling for the report at Sunrun’s annual meeting on Thursday despite the San Francisco-based company asking shareholders to reject the proposal designed to curb workplace harassment and abuse. Sunrun, led by Lynn Jurich, will publish a report on its website in the coming months, a spokesman said.
“The rest of corporate America are going to have to follow,” said Kristin Hull, founder of Nia Impact Capital, the Oakland, California-based firm that filed the resolution.
Forced-arbitration policies have come under scrutiny in the wake of the #MeToo era as being one of many ways companies prevent complaints from coming to light. Arbitration is a process where employees and their employers resolve complaints and disputes using independent arbitrators instead of going to court. Wells Fargo & Co. last year joined tech giants including Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Microsoft Corp. in doing away with mandatory arbitration for sexual-harassment claims in recent years.
Sunrun’s resolution comes after a similar proposal with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. got the backing of 49% of shareholders in April. Nia Impact Capital, which owns about $3.6 million worth of Sunrun stock, said in its resolution that mandatory arbitration limits employees’ remedies for wrongdoing, keeps misconduct secret and prevents employees from learning about shared concerns. The resolution is non-binding.
The Sunrun resolution is one of two on forced arbitration that have been filed so far during this proxy season. Last year, shareholders including Nia filed three resolutions regarding mandatory arbitration with Tesla Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., according to Bloomberg data. The resolution at Chipotle passed.
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