AT&T INC. | Report on respecting workforce civil liberties at AT&T INC.

2.36% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI)
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders request the Board of Directors conduct an evaluation and issue a report within the next year, at reasonable cost and excluding proprietary information and disclosure of anything that would constitute an admission of pending litigation, evaluating how AT&T’s policies and practices impact employees and prospective employees based on their religion (including religious views) or political, social and environmental view, and the risks those impacts present to Company’s business.
Supporting statement
"SUPPORTING STATEMENT: AT&T (Company) employs more than 160,000 people.1 It should respect its employees’ speech rights and religious freedom. Company legally must comply with many laws prohibiting discrimination against employees on many grounds, including religion and sometimes political affiliation.

Respecting diverse views and beliefs allows Company to attract the most qualified talent, promote a healthy and innovative business culture, and contribute to a healthy economic market and marketplace of ideas.

Despite this, the Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index (2023) (VDSBI)1 found rampant corporate discrimination by religion, viewpoint and other characteristics, and that 78% of scored companies discriminated against religious nonprofits, and 63% supported legislation undermining fundamental First Amendment freedoms. AT&T scored only 10 percent on the VDSBI, in part because it reserves the right to deny service to customers who express views opposed by AT&T executives, pressures stakeholders to discriminate as those executives wish, and supports legislation that would roll back longstanding statutory protections of religious liberty.2 AT&T actively supports the “Equality Act,” which would repeal viewpoint protections while forcing American life into alignment with fringe theories that harm, among others, women, girls and small children3 Likewise, it opposed common-sense voting-integrity provisions that most Americans of all surface-characteristic categories support.4 These unnecessary, divisive stances alienate many current and potential employees and other stakeholders.

The business dangers of viewpoint conformity are clear. Company bottom-lines, and thus shareholder value, decrease when ideological lockstep makes the risks of hyperpartisan behavior invisible. Bud Light revenue fell $395 million in North America in a year because it took a hard partisan position on hot-button political and social issues.5 Target’s market cap fell over $15 billion for parallel reasons.6 And Disney stock fell 44 percent in 2022 – its worst performance in nearly 50 years – amid its decision to pursue extreme partisan agendas.7

Meanwhile, companies’ potential liability for discrimination was sharpened by the recent Supreme Court decisions in Students for Fair Admission v. Harvard and Groff v DeJoy. The Company must act now to assess and correct potential shortcomings. Corporations have recently lost such illegal discrimination actions, paying $10 to $25 million in damages, plus litigation costs. The risk of these suits is rising. AT&T has a proven record of discrimination on illegal grounds and of active campaigns against religious liberty.8 With more than 160,000 employees, Company could face thousands of religious and other discrimination cases if it doesn’t correct course, putting billions of shareholder assets at risk.

Lead Filer: The National Center for Public Policy Research

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