In a significant development, the SEC turned down an exemption sought by Amazon.com Inc to stop its investors from considering a shareholder proposal related to racial equity at its upcoming annual general meeting (AGM).
The SEC’s decision comes in the wake of an appeal from Amazon to block the non-binding proposal from being voted on at its AGM.
The proposal was first filed by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on behalf of New York State Common Retirement Fund in December 2020; it sought an independent audit of the company’s policies and practices on civil rights and racial discrimination.
“An independent examination of just how Amazon is addressing racial injustice in its workplace, in the wages it pays and in the products it sells, will help ensure the company is confronting institutionalized inequality and the impact on its business,” said DiNapoli. Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comments.