Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Policy – Amgen, Inc. (2013)
Outcome: Successfully Withdrawn
Whereas: Amgen does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in its written employment policy;
Over 50% of Fortune 500 companies have adopted written nondiscrimination policies prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
We believe that corporations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity have a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining employees from the widest talent pool.
According to an analysis of surveys conducted by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, 16 to 68 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people report experiencing employment discrimination.
While federal law does not provide gender identity employment discrimination protection, sixteen states and the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.
50 Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in California, where Amgen is headquartered, have policies that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.
Amgen has operations in, and makes sales to institutions in states and cities that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And while Amgen’s headquarters is located in the state of California, which affords gender identity protections, Amgen has operations in states such as Kentucky and Maryland and foreign countries that fail to afford the same protection, placing Amgen’s employees at risk. We believe a consistent global policy is required. Of the companies surveyed by the Human Rights Campaign, 42 percent have distinct global codes of conduct that are inclusive of both sexual orientation and gender identity.
National public opinion polls consistently find more than three quarters of the American people support equal rights in the workplace for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) employees. For example, in a 2011 poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a vast majority (77 percent) of voters support protecting LGBT people
from discrimination in employment, reaching across party and ideological lines.
Resolved: The Shareholders request that Amgen amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and to substantially implement the policy.
Supporting Statement: Employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity diminishes employee morale and productivity. Because state and local laws are inconsistent with respect to employment discrimination, our company would benefit from a consistent, corporate wide policy to enhance efforts to prevent discrimination, resolve complaints internally, and ensure a respectful and supportive atmosphere for all employees. Amgen will enhance its competitive edge by joining the growing ranks of companies guaranteeing equal opportunity for all employees.