Expeditors International of Seattle said Wednesday that its board of directors approved changing its employment policy to include protecting employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Expeditors International said Wednesday that its board of directors approved changing its employment policy to include protecting employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The Seattle-based global logistics company, which has 12,000 employees, acknowledged that a shareholder proposal to amend the policy has been introduced for the past three years.
At the annual meeting in May, the resolution appeared to fail, with 50.5 percent against. The company said it reviewed the results in light of a recent bylaw change, concluding that “abstentions which were counted as votes against this proposal should have been considered non-votes.” Excluding abstentions, the resolution passed with 52 percent in favor. While the resolution was voluntary, the board met this month, unanimously agreeing to the change.
Trillium Asset Management had introduced the resolutions along with Seattle’s Pride Foundation, which advocates for gay rights, as one of many shareholder activist campaigns aimed at changing corporate-employment policies.
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In a statement, Pride Foundation Executive Director Audrey Haberman said, “We know that all workers, and the company overall, benefit when a company provides a fair workplace for its employees.”
The foundation had appealed to all nine board members, including University of Washington President Mark Emmert, a newly appointed director. When the foundation met briefly with Emmert in October, he indicated the policy was about to change, said foundation communications director Zan McColloch-Lussier.