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: Amazon to conduct independent racial equity audit, led by former attorney general

Amazon.com Inc. says it will conduct an independent racial equity audit of its hourly workforce, led by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

“The focus of the audit will be to evaluate any disparate racial impacts on our nearly 1 million U.S. hourly employees resulting from our policies, programs, and practices,” Amazon said in its proxy statement to shareholders Thursday, adding that it will release the findings of the audit once it’s completed. The disclosure was first reported by Bloomberg News.

The audit will be conducted by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, where Lynch is a partner.

Amazon’s audit will not include its salaried office workers.

The disclosure came in response to a shareholder proposal calling for a third-party health and safety audit, and which asks whether Amazon is perpetuating systemic racism by putting workers of color at greater risk of workplace injuries.

Read: As Amazon shareholders call for audit of warehouse working conditions, report finds more than double the rate of injuries than at other warehouses

Amazon opposes the proposal, saying it is transparent in its safety initiatives and that the Lynch-led racial equity audit makes it unnecessary.

Amazon shareholders will vote on that proposal at the company’s May 25 annual meeting.

Amazon shares
AMZN,
+0.71%

are down more than 8% year to date, and are off more than 10% over the past 12 months, compared to the S&P 500’s
SPX,
-0.02%

nearly 8% loss in 2022 and 5% gain over the past year.

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