Shareholder support rises for arbitration review at Tesla

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(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The TESLA logo is seen outside a dealership in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S., April 26, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

By Ross Kerber and Hyunjoo Jin

(Reuters) – Automaker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc on Wednesday said in a securities filing that support for a shareholder resolution on how it handles arbitration matters rose to 46% of votes cast at its annual meeting last week, up from 27% for a similar proposal in 2020.

The nonbinding resolution had asked Tesla’s board to study the impact of its use of mandatory arbitration to resolve workplace complaints of harassment and discrimination. The issue drew more focus after a jury award of $137 million to a Tesla contract worker last week over workplace racism.

Tesla had opposed the resolution, arguing arbitration can benefit both parties of a dispute. The company did not immediately comment on the shareholder vote.

Kristin Hull, CEO of Nia Impact Capital who filed the resolution, called the higher support this year “a huge improvement as we educate folks on why this matters for building an innovative team with a diverse and inclusive company culture.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk owns 23% of Tesla’s shares, according to its proxy statement, meaning the measure would have passed aside from his votes, Hull said.

Wednesday’s filing showed among the two company directors up for re-election last week, James Murdoch received support from 70% of votes cast, and Kimbal Musk, Elon Musk’s brother, received support from 80% of votes cast.

Shareholder support rises for arbitration review at Tesla

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