According to a document seen by Reuters, the Securities and Exchange Commission has denied Apple jobs Inc’s (AAPL.O) request to exclude a shareholder proposal that would require the company to disclose investors about its use of non-disclosure agreements and other concealing measures.
In the absence of a deal with the activist, Apple will have to face a vote on the plan at its annual shareholder meeting next year. Although Apple claims that the company does not use concealing provisions, at least one former employee disputes this and has filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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 filed a response with the SEC in October, requesting that the proposal be excluded because “the company’s policy is not to use such terms. “In a letter dated Monday, the SEC denied Apple’s request, saying that the company had not “substantially implemented the proposal.”
A part-time representative for Apple declined to comment on the SEC letter. The corporation has previously stated that it “truly commits to developing and sustaining a pleasant and inclusive workplace” and that it “does not discuss specific employee problems.”
Former Apple employee Cher Scarlett said she submitted an SEC whistleblower complaint in October after seeing Apple’s answer to the SEC on the shareholder proposal, alleging that the corporation had made false and misleading claims to the regulator. She later provided documents with Nia Impact Capital, she said.
Large corporations, like Apple, frequently request authorization to bypass shareholder resolutions, which the SEC typically granted roughly half of the time.