Pentair – Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Policy (2008)
Outcome: Successfully Withdrawn
Pentair does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in its written employment policy;
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;
According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, studies since the mid-1990s found that at least one in ten gay men and lesbians experienced workplace harassment or discrimination based on their sexual orientation;
National public opinion polls consistently find that the majority of 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.
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;
Our competitors Donaldson, Dover, Graco, Harsco, Illinois Tool Works, Tecumseh Products, Tennant and Timken Company explicitly prohibit this form of discrimination in their written policies, according to the Human Rights Campaign;
Eighteen states, the District of Columbia and 171 cities and counties (including Minneapolis), have laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and in Minnesota, at least 60 major employers have sexual orientation nondiscrimination policies (see www.hrc.org/worknet);
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.
The Shareholders request that Pentair amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and to substantially implement the policy.