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CVS Health Board Members Should Be Fired for Discriminatory Policies, Say Investors

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

CVS NYSE:KSS Board Diversity Board Seats Virtual Annual Meetings

Washington, D.C. – The director of the Free Enterprise Project (FEP) presented a shareholder proposal at CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS)’s annual meeting today, requesting an audit of the company’s policies that he believes are discriminatory. He also called on investors to hold board members accountable for the company’s equity agenda.

Auditing CVS’s Policies

“What we are asking the company for is a report that focuses on whether, in its myriad diversity, inclusion and equity efforts, the company is discriminating against employees that it has not honored with the label ‘diverse,’” FEP Director Scott Shepard said at the virtual meeting while presenting the proposal.


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Shepard noted that in its quest for so-called “equity,” the company has shown preference to employees who are female or members of certain racial groups. He added that on top of the legal and moral conundrums that such policies raise, they are further compounded by the current demographics found within the company’s workforce:

CVS admits that nearly half of its pharmacists are “racially or ethnically diverse,” as are 58 percent of total employees, while more than 70 percent are women. Yet CVS still maintains special programs that target the advancement of these already overrepresented groups while excluding and diminishing groups that are genuinely underrepresented. And it sponsors mandatory employee-training programs during which white, male and Christian employees are called out for special condemnation.

Yet with all that, the company is happy to report that there is a Black Colleague Support Group that non-blacks can join as allies, but somehow no White or Male Colleague Support Group to push upper management to stop this torrent of discrimination and hostility against the surface-characteristic groups that, as CVS itself acknowledges, are genuinely statistically underrepresented at CVS.

FEP’s proposal was not approved, but Shepard urged CVS Health investors to hold board members accountable for the company’s policies:

I will grant you that there are a few white men who should be dismissed from CVS – those who sit on the board, who, with the other board members, should all go for countenancing, encouraging and sponsoring discrimination on the forbidden grounds of race, sex, orientation and ethnicity.

In the 2022 edition of “Balancing the Boardroom,” FEP advised investors to vote against every member of CVS Health’s board of directors.

Shepard’s supporting statement can be read here and heard here.

“CVS Health publishes pie charts, graphs and statistics that break down its workforce by skin color, sex and sexual orientation,” said FEP Associate Ethan Peck. “All we’re asking of CVS is to be as forthright with its shareholders about the effects of its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) program as it is about the skin pigmentation of its workforce.”

Conservative investors can learn more about how corporations are discriminating in the name of equity by downloading FEP’s 2022 editions of the “Investor Value Voter Guide”and the “Balancing the Boardroom” guide. Other action items for investors and non-investors alike can be found on FEP’s website.


About the Free Enterprise Project

Launched in 2007, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism, the preservation of free markets that respect shareholder and other property rights, and the confluence of big government and big business. Over the past four years alone, FEP representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings – advancing free-market ideals about health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, it annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America. FEP also lodges lawsuits in defense of shareholder rights and free markets, participates in regulatory proceedings and contributes to legislative and regulatory reform aimed at reining in out-of-control corporate executives, protecting the corporate world for people of all viewpoints and backgrounds and pushing corporate America back to its genius and its job: business, not left-wing activism.

FEP activity has been covered by media outlets including the New York TimesWashington PostUSA TodayVariety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP’s work was prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).

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 at https://nationalcenter.org/subscribe/.

Follow us on Twitter at @FreeEntProject and @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.

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