Expeditors International – Implement Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Policy (2008)

Outcome: 52.3%

Expeditors International does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in its written employment policy;
Our direct competitors EGL and UPS explicitly prohibit this form of discrimination in their written policies; in Washington where Expeditors is headquartered, a number of major employers have this policy, including Microsoft, Starbucks, Safeco, Weyerhauser, Washington Mutual, Costco, Expedia, Nordstrom and others (see www.hrc.org/worklife);
Nearly 90% of the Fortune 500 companies have adopted written nondiscrimination policies prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, as have 98% of the Fortune 100 companies, according to the Human Rights Campaign;
We believe that corporations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation have a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining employees from the widest talent pool;
National public opinion polls consistently find more than three quarters Americans support equal rights in the workplace for gay men, lesbians and bisexuals.

  • According to a September 2005 survey by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs, 57% of heterosexual respondents consider it extremely or very important that a company have a written non- discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, compared to only 43% in 2002. Additionally, only 47% believe that senior executives at their companies welcome, hire, and encourage a diverse workforce.
  • A March 2003 Gallup poll found 88% of respondents favored equal opportunity in employment for gays and lesbians.

The State of California and twelve cities, including Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles have adopted legislation restricting business with companies that do not guarantee equal treatment for lesbian and gay employees, and similar legislation is pending in other jurisdictions;
Our company has operations in, and makes sales to institutions in states and cities that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation;
Eighteen states, the District of Columbia and 171 cities and counties (including the cities of Seattle, Olympia, Burien and Tacoma), have laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation;
The Shareholders request that Expeditors International amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and to substantially implement the policy.
Employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation 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. Expeditors International will enhance its competitive edge by joining the growing ranks of companies guaranteeing equal opportunity for all employees.

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