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 trader Nia Impression Money reported Apple’s concealment clauses do not exclude “[its] workers’ legal rights to talk brazenly about harassment, discrimination, and other illegal functions.” It proposed that the company’s board get ready a general public report assessing the possible risks to Apple of getting concealment clauses with out these exclusion clauses.

Apple questioned the SEC for a “no-action” letter indicating it would not propose enforcement action if the enterprise did not put the proposal in advance of shareholders at its subsequent once-a-year common meeting in 2022.

But according to Reuters, the fee has denied Apple’s ask for, acquiring that it had not by now “substantially implemented” the underlying concerns and essential targets of the proposal.

“The SEC’s response to Apple could bode improperly for other businesses,” Ars Technica reported, noting that the regulator final thirty day period improved its insurance policies to make it tougher for businesses to get hold of no-action letters below Trade Rule 14a-eight, which requires businesses to contain shareholder proposals in proxy statements.

Apple advised the SEC in Oct that it had achieved the “substantial implementation” examination, in section due to the fact there is no provision in its regular separation agreement that “would prohibit former staff from speaking about harassment, discrimination, or other illegal functions in the place of work with everyone.”

However, former Apple program engineer Cher Scarlett submitted a whistleblower criticism with the SEC a week later on alleging the enterprise had manufactured “false statements or deceptive statements” in its response to Nia’s proposal.

She attached a copy of the settlement agreement Apple presented her that involved a “statement [that] I was authorized to say about my leaving the enterprise remaining a personal final decision, rather than fleeing a hostile operate natural environment after attempting to work out my legal rights and help many others organize” below federal labor rules.

Nia Impression Money has advised the SEC it has “received data, confidentially delivered, that Apple has sought to use concealment clauses in the context of discrimination, harassment, and other place of work labor violation claims.”

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