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Washington, D.C. – Shareholder activists with the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) presented a shareholder proposal on Wednesday morning at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting. The proposal asks Apple to prohibit discrimination based on viewpoint or ideology in its written EEO policy.

FEP’s proposal at Apple (Proposal #4) requests that the Board of Directors issue a public report detailing the risks associated with omitting “viewpoint” and “ideology” from its written equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy.

FEP’s proposal states in part that:

Apple does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on viewpoint or ideology in its written EEO policy…

There is ample evidence that individuals with conservative viewpoints may face discrimination at Apple.

In general, Silicon Valley is hostile to right-of-center thought. At the 2019 annual meeting of Apple shareholders, an audience member told company CEO Tim Cook about her close friend who works at Apple and lives in fear of retribution every single day because she happens to be a conservative. What she described was the textbook definition of a hostile work environment. Apple has also refused requests to increase the viewpoint diversity of its board. This also signals to employees that viewpoint discrimination is condoned if not encouraged.

Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard

In a supporting statement addressed to CEO Tim Cook and the Apple board during the meeting, FEP Director Scott Shepard said:

You claim the company doesn’t discriminate by viewpoint, and thus you don’t need to add protection against it to your EEO policy.

Meanwhile, though, you discriminate against employees by viewpoint all the time. The Viewpoint Diversity Index reveals that you refuse to match employees’ charitable contributions to religious institutions in your giving program. Only political giving, which isn’t charity, and giving to a fraternity or sorority are likewise forbidden. Giving to quasi-religious causes such as to climate-catastrophist groups, though, is just fine.

Shepard went on to explain that Apple has built viewpoint discrimination into its governing policies, as by embracing equity-based discrimination and forbidding “hate.” It then requires all employees to conform to these policy positions. And if they’re investigated for straying, the company forbids them from discussing the company’s viewpoint enforcement.

The policies also forbid “hate” by employees — but it turns out that “hate” at Apple means not supporting the Apple party line.

“The 1792 Exchange discovered that the Company uses its assets to raise money for the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that labels as hateful many non-leftwing organizations for simply daring to oppose the woke orthodoxy. Apple thus funds labeling majority positions as hate, which it then forbids. It doesn’t make viewpoint discrimination non-discriminatory if you build the discrimination right into your formal policies, or label any positions different than the partisan, discriminatory company line as ‘hate.’ It makes it so much worse,” added Shepard.

“Apple discriminates by viewpoint throughout its organization, thus excluding vast talent pools,” said Shepard. “Innovation requires genuine respect for conflicting ideas and opinions, across the board. Apple pretends to offer that, but the facts are different.”

During the meeting, Apple’s Board of Directors declined FEP’s request to review the company’s EEO policies.

“Forty years ago, Apple introduced itself to the world with an ad proclaiming its products the defense against a 1984-style future. Come 2024 and they’re using Orwell’s grim vision of the future as a user’s manual,” concluded Shepard.

More information about this proposal, as well as other key votes, can be found in FEP’s Proxy Navigator Guide.

To be notified when the companion Proxy Navigator app is available, subscribe here.


The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors. Contributions are tax-deductible and may be earmarked for the Free Enterprise Project. Sign up for email updates here.

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Author: The National Center