Trillium’s LGBT Non-Discrimination Proposal at JB Hunt Receives Majority Vote
MAY 11, 2016: Shareholders sent a strong message to J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) management as 54.7% voted in favor of Trillium’s LGBT non-discrimination shareholder proposal at the company’s recent annual meeting.
J.B. Hunt’s management advised shareholders to vote against our proposal which simply asks the company to:
“…amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and to take concrete action to implement the policy.”
Federal law does not provide employment discrimination protection based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Nor do 27 states, including Arkansas where J.B. Hunt is headquartered. However, many Arkansas businesses, including Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods & Dillard’s have implemented policies that protect their gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgendered employees from discrimination in the workplace.
As reported by the World Economic Forum, 93% of Fortune 500 companies have included sexual orientation in their workplace policies.
Institutional Shareholder Services, which is the leading provider of proxy voting advice, recommended a vote in favor of our proposal, stating:
The addition of such a policy would benefit shareholders by establishing the company as an inclusive workplace; and the proposed policy could also enhance the company’s ability to attract and retain talent and help the company avoid potential controversies and liabilities.
In response to the strong results of the stockholder vote, J.B. Hunt immediately announced the formation of an internal task force to study, compile and identify the practical effects of amending its equal employment opportunity policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The Company will present its findings and recommendations to the Board of Directors at its next regularly scheduled meeting on July 21, 2016 for approval and implementation.
Trillium believes that companies and workers benefit from consistent, corporate-wide efforts to prevent discrimination, ensuring a respectful and supportive atmosphere for all employees. We are hopeful that J.B. Hunt will take this opportunity to provide an inclusive work environment for all employees.
For more information: Brianna Murphy, Trillium Asset Management, (617) 532-6662, firstname.lastname@example.org
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