Mineral Technologies – Gender Non-Discrimination Policy (2015)
Outcome: Successfully withdrawn after the company expanded its Equal Opportunity and Anti-Harassment policies to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
Minerals Technologies Inc. does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression in its written employment policy;
According to the Human Rights Campaign, nearly seventy percent of the Fortune 100 and fifty percent of the Fortune 500 now prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression;
We believe that corporations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression 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, sixteen to sixty eight percent of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people report experiencing employment discrimination. Ninety percent of transgender individuals have encountered some form of harassment or mistreatment in the workplace;
Public opinion polls consistently find more than three quarters of people in the United States support equal rights in the workplace. In a 2011 nationwide survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, the vast majority (79 percent) of the 800 respondents supported protecting LGBT people from discrimination in employment;
Although federal law does not provide sexual orientation and gender identity employment discrimination protection, seventeen states, the District of Columbia, and more than 114 cities and counties have laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on gender identity or expression;
Minerals Technologies uses the term sexual preference in its Equal Employment Opportunity policy, but according to the Human Rights Campaign sexual orientation is the preferred term used when referring to an individual’s physical and/or emotional attraction to the same and/or opposite gender. Sexual orientation is distinct from a person’s gender identity and expression.
Our company is headquartered in New York where major employers such as Consolidated Edison, Verizon Communications, American Express, and Ernst & Young, LLP include sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in their nondiscrimination policies.
Shareholders request that Minerals Technologies amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression and to take concrete action to implement the policy.
We believe employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity diminishes employee morale and productivity. Because state and local laws are not comprehensive with respect to prohibiting employment discrimination, our company would benefit from a comprehensive, consistent, corporate-wide policy to enhance efforts to prevent discrimination, resolve complaints internally, access employees from the broadest talent pool, and ensure a respectful and supportive atmosphere for all employees. We believe Minerals Technologies will enhance its competitive edge by joining the growing ranks of companies guaranteeing equal opportunity for all employees.