The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has denied Apple Inc’s bid to exclude a shareholder proposal that would require the company to inform investors about its use of non-disclosure agreements and other concealment clauses.
Apple Park in Cupertino, California
Julia Love and Stephen Nellis for Reuters:
The move means that Apple will have to face a vote on the proposal at its annual shareholder meeting next year, barring a deal with the activist. Apple has said its policy is not to use concealment clauses, but former employees dispute that.
In September, investor Nia Impact Capital filed a shareholder proposal calling for Apple’s board to prepare a “public report assessing the potential risks to the company associated with its use of concealment clauses in the context of harassment, discrimination and other unlawful acts.”
Apple in October filed a response with the SEC saying it wanted to exclude the proposal because “the company’s policy is to not use such clauses.”
After viewing Apple’s response to the SEC on the shareholder proposal, former Apple employee Cher Scarlett said she filed an SEC whistleblower complaint in October alleging that the company had made false and misleading statements to the regulator. She said she later shared documents with Nia Impact Capital.
Former Apple employee Ashley Gjovik also filed an SEC whistleblower complaint in October alleging Apple made false statements to the agency.
Technovanguard Take: If Apple has nothing to hide, then nothing would be revealed if the proposal were to pass.
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