The New York State Common Retirement Fund, which manages the pension plan for state employees, filed a resolution asking management to file an annual report on its efforts to prevent racial discrimination and sexual harassment. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Tesla in February after receiving what it said were hundreds of complaints from employees who said they were subject to racial slurs, assigned physically arduous work and denied transfers and promotions
In a response to the resolution, Tesla said it did “not tolerate discrimination, harassment, retaliation or any mistreatment of employees in the workplace or work-related situations.”
Tesla maintains that its mission is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” But shareholders have become increasingly critical of other aspects of the company’s and Mr. Musk’s behavior.
Several shareholder proposals were endorsed by Institutional Shareholder Services, which advises large investors on how to vote at annual meetings. One proposal supported by the firm, but opposed by Tesla management, would allow shareholders to nominate alternate candidates to the board.
Tesla has often faced criticism that its board, whose members include Kimbal Musk, Elon Musk’s brother, has been unable to restrain the chief executive from doing or saying things that damage the automaker.
In a response, Tesla said it has added more independent directors in recent years and that allowing shareholders to nominate members “could be exploited by corporate raiders.”