Tesla 2021 Shareholder Resolution Speech

On October 7, 2021, Kristin presented to Tesla's Board and Shareholders on the issue of Forced Arbitration.

Hello, I am Dr. Kristin Hull, Founder and CEO at Nia Impact Capital.  On behalf of Nia and our co-filers, I formally move Proposal Seven. This resolution requests that Tesla’s Board of Directors oversee the preparation of a report on the impact of the use of mandatory arbitration on Tesla employees, and on its overall workplace culture.

Why is this report needed? After this week’s headlines, and many other employee allegations of racial discrimination, we as investors need a look under the hood. 

The use of mandatory arbitration limits employees’ remedies when it comes to both harassment and discrimination. 

Precluding employees from suing in court, often keep underlying facts, misconduct and case outcomes secret, these clauses may allow harassment and discrimination to continue, hidden from other employees, and from investors.

 

Bias, discrimination and harassment in the workplace create unknown and uncompensated risks for investors, inviting unnecessary legal, brand, financial, and human capital issues to a company.

On the flip side, the benefits of a positive and inclusive company culture with diverse teams include access to top talent, better understanding of consumer preferences, fewer blind spots when it comes to leadership decisions, more informed strategy discussions, and improved risk management. A diverse workforce, and the different perspectives it encourages, has also been shown to produce more creative and innovative workplace environments.

Of particular relevance to Tesla, research shows a strong link between diversity and revenue  from innovation.  Where Companies with above-average diversity produced significantly greater revenue from innovative products or services than those with below-average diversity. 

Many technology companies, with which Tesla may compete for recruitment and hiring such as Adobe, AirBnb, Google, IBM Intel, Microsoft, Salesforce and Uber, no longer use these policies.[1] 

Tesla cannot rest on its laurels, assuming its first-mover advantage will last. Given  the allegations raised by over 100 past employees, including racial slurs, discrimination in promotions, a retaliatory culture and lack of response from human resources, investors are counting on Telsa to step up and make human capital management a priority. 

Tesla is a known leader in innovation, and it's time now for Tesla to also lead when it comes to promoting a fair and inclusive workplace. 

Tesla’s Board is asked again to complete the requested report to determine if mandatory employee arbitration is in the best interest of Tesla, its employees, and its shareholders.

 Thank you.

 

 

[1]https://forcetheissue.org/