McDonald's has tapped a third-party firm to conduct an assessment of its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
The move comes after SOC Investment Group urged the fast food chain's board of directors to conduct an audit analyzing "the adverse impact of McDonald's policies and practices on the civil rights of company stakeholders" and provide recommendations for improving its civil rights impact.
SOC emphasized that McDonald's should consider input from civil rights organizations, franchisees, corporate and franchise employees, suppliers and customers.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, over 273 million shares voted in favor of the proposal at McDonald's annual meeting May 26, compared to approximately 217 million shares that voted against it.
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McDonald's initially attempted to exclude the proposal from its 2022 proxy materials, telling the regulator in a Jan. 23 letter that an audit would require it to take action that would "harm its legal defense in multiple pending lawsuits" and interfere with its business operations. However, the request was denied by the regulator, which said the proposal "transcends ordinary business matters."