SEC Allows Apple Shareholder Vote on NDAs

Joseph B. Hash

The U.S. Securities and Trade Commission has cleared the way for Apple shareholders to vote on a proposal requiring its board to overview its use of non-disclosure agreements and other concealment clauses.

In the proposal, activist investor Nia Impression Money stated Apple’s concealment clauses do not exclude “[its] workers’ legal rights to discuss overtly about harassment, discrimination, and other unlawful acts.” It proposed that the company’s board prepare a community report evaluating the opportunity hazards to Apple of having concealment clauses with no these kinds of exclusion clauses.

Apple asked the SEC for a “no-action” letter saying it would not advocate enforcement motion if the firm did not place the proposal right before shareholders at its up coming annual general conference in 2022.

But in accordance to Reuters, the fee has denied Apple’s ask for, discovering that it had not presently “substantially implemented” the underlying considerations and vital aims of the proposal.

“The SEC’s reaction to Apple could bode poorly for other corporations,” Ars Technica stated, noting that the regulator last month modified its procedures to make it tougher for corporations to attain no-motion letters underneath Trade Rule 14a-eight, which calls for corporations to contain shareholder proposals in proxy statements.

Apple told the SEC in Oct that it had fulfilled the “substantial implementation” test, in portion since there is no provision in its standard separation arrangement that “would prohibit previous staff members from talking about harassment, discrimination, or other unlawful acts in the workplace with everyone.”

However, previous Apple program engineer Cher Scarlett submitted a whistleblower criticism with the SEC a 7 days later on alleging the firm had made “false statements or deceptive statements” in its reaction to Nia’s proposal.

She hooked up a duplicate of the settlement arrangement Apple made available her that provided a “statement [that] I was authorized to say about my leaving the firm getting a particular conclusion, rather than fleeing a hostile work atmosphere after trying to workout my legal rights and enable other folks organize” underneath federal labor rules.

Nia Impression Money has told the SEC it has “received data, confidentially supplied, that Apple has sought to use concealment clauses in the context of discrimination, harassment, and other workplace labor violation statements.”

activist investorApple, Nia Impression Money, non-disclosure arrangement, Proxy statement, U.S. Securities and Trade Commission

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