A political advocacy group is hoping to use social pressure to convince Costco to sign a pledge that protects its workers from being fired over their personal political activities.
As part of its Free Enterprise Project, the National Center for Public Policy Research has been convincing companies to adopt internal rules which protect workers from repercussions for their personal religious and political convictions. With dozens of companies signed on, NCPPR is hoping to use social pressure to convince Costco to do the same.
Justin Danhof, director of the Center’s Free Enterprise Project, notes that not every state offers these sorts of protections and out of the ones that do, not all of them are strong in a legal sense.
“There’s lot of different ways to fix it,” Danhof told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We’re changing corporate policy.”
Danhof explained that the whole project was started after Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was asked to step down from his position because he donated to a traditional marriage group. Since that time NCPPR has been trying to prevent workers and company owners from getting fired simply because of their political activities outside of the workplace.
“The goal is to protect employees and civil engagement,” Danhof notes. “We can have increased civil engagement.”
The Free Enterprise Project’s main weapon is to attend shareholder meetings to specifically ask business owners to sign the pledge. However, Danhof notes Costco, along with some other companies, has rejected the idea.
“Companies like Costco decided shareholders never get to vote on it,” Danhof noted. He alleged that Costco petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the right to omit the shareholder proposal from its proxy statement. Under the SEC, a company can prevent something from being voted on if it would interfere with normal operations.
“We’re not going to leave it at that,” Danhof declared. “We’re going to reveal a lot more companies that have signed off.”
Danhof hopes that by getting more companies to sign on and getting positive attention for protecting the rights of workers, those companies that have decided not to join the pledge will feel social pressure and change positions.
TheDCNF could not reach Costco for further comment.
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