Shareholders in the home solar panel company Sunrun today approved a measure aimed at discouraging the company from continuing to use a pre-Me too era practice that keeps sexual harassment and discrimination complaints confidential.
In a short, pre-recorded statement, Nia Impact Capital CEO Dr. Kristin Hull emphasized that keeping sexual harassment and discrimination complaints private obscures key features of a company in which shareholders have a natural interest, including reputation and workplace culture. She also characterized mandatory arbitration as undermining the company's diversity and inclusion goals.
Nia Impact Capital was the lead filer on the resolution.
The resolution directs Sunrun's board to oversee the preparation of a public report on the impact of the use of mandatory arbitration on Sunrun’s employees and workplace culture.
Shareholders in Sunrun approved the measure despite a recommendation from Sunrun's leadership that they vote against it. The exact tally of the vote was not shared by the company.
"This will change everything," impact investment leader Meredith Benton of Whistle Stop Capital told Grab Your Wallet shortly after the vote. Benton pointed to recent progress made in the area of diversity reporting among publicly traded companies and how much it has already cleared the path for added transparency in corporate America.
Over the last three years, more than 350 large companies have gone on the record to say they don’t use the practice of forced arbitration for sexual harassment disputes. Prior to 2018, only a handful had made publicly known their processes for handling such claims.
Nia Impact Capital reportedly plans to bring another forced arbitration related resolution to Tesla at some point in the future.
What You Can Do
- Though the measure has passed and a report will likely be created, it will still have impact for you to encourage the company to simply drop the damaging, pre-Me Too era practice of forced arbitration. Simply send an email the public relations department at Sunrun at email@example.com