Amazon Will Undergo A Racial Audit
mazon.com Inc. stated that it has agreed to be subject to an independent equity audit. This will allow them join companies such as Tyson Foods Inc., Citigroup Inc., and Tyson Foods Inc. for these reviews.
The audit — an analysis of companies to see whether their businesses cause and perpetuate discrimination — will be led by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, a partner at law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Amazon said in a proxy statement filed Thursday.
The review will measure any disparate racial impacts on Amazon’s U.S. hourly employees resulting from policies, programs and practices, the world’s largest online retailer said. The Seattle-based company said it will publish the audit’s results once completed.
The New York State Common Retirement Fund requested a racial auditor in a shareholder resolution filed with Amazon 2021. The request cited alleged discrimination of the company’s Black and Latinx workers, their low wages and exposure to dangerous working conditions, including Covid-19, as well as air pollution from distribution facilities located in minority neighborhoods.
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While the proposal failed, it garnered 44.2% of votes, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, the highest of all racial-audit resolutions filed in last year’s shareholder meetings. The New York pension plan filed a similar proposal for Amazon’s May 25 annual meeting.
Amazon advises shareholders not to vote for the resolution as the company conducts an audit. The proxy statement was filed last week, according to a company spokesperson.
Amazon is joining other businesses, such as Citigroup that agreed to do racial audits. The company cited its efforts in funding historically Black colleges, universities, and running leadership programs for minorities. They also channeled tens to millions of dollars to close the racial gap.
Apple Inc. shareholders backed a call last month for the tech giant to undergo a civil-rights audit — the first time such a resolution passed. Airbnb Inc. performed a racial audit in 2016 as the company that first did it. Starbucks Corp. and Facebook Inc. were next.
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