Contact: Sharon Lee, (646) 879-3289 December 2, 2010
NEW YORK, NY – New York City Comptroller John C. Liu called on five companies in which the New York City Pension Funds have more than $148 million invested, including KBR, Inc. one of the largest contractors with the United States Department of Defense to protect their employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Their refusal to guarantee equal opportunities for all hurts business by excluding talented women and men, and puts their reputations and the investments of the New York City Pension Funds at risk,” Comptroller Liu said. “All employees should feel safe, respected and accepted in the workplace. This is part of a continuing effort that is good for business, the long-term interests of shareholders and the struggle for equality.”
More than 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies have policies that bar harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Comptroller Liu, on behalf of the $107 billion New York City Pension Funds, sent shareholder resolutions requesting written policies prohibiting “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression” be adopted at the Fortune 1000 companies KBR Inc., TECO Energy, Leggett & Platt Inc., Crosstex Energy, and Anadarko Petroleum.
When approached with the Funds’ request last year, during the 2010 proxy season, these firms were non-responsive, even after significant support from fellow shareholders in KBR, Inc. (48.7%), Leggett & Platt (40.4%), and Anadarko Petroleum (39.3%). The Funds, however, were able to successfully convince eight Fortune 1000 companies to adopt policies specifically banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. They were: Manitowoc Company, NACCO Industries, Inc., Old Republic International, Steel Dynamics, Inc., and Torchmark Corporation. Three companies Bon-Ton Stores, Flowserve Corporation, and Nalco Company expanded their internal policies to include protections for transgendered employees.
The City Comptroller serves as the investment advisor to, custodian and trustee of the New York City Pension Funds. The New York City Pension Funds are comprised of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System, New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund and the Board of Education Retirement System.
The New York City Pension Funds hold a combined 3,756,318 total shares in KBR Inc. (NYSE: KBR), TECO (NYSE: TE), Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE: LEG), Crosstex Energy (NASDAQ: XTXI), and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) for a combined asset value of $148,591,563.30 as of 11/29/2010.
In addition to Comptroller Liu, the New York City Pension Funds trustees are:
New York City Employees’ Retirement System: Ranji Nagaswami, Mayor’s Representative (Chair); New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio; Borough Presidents: Scott Stringer (Manhattan), Helen Marshall (Queens), Marty Markowitz (Brooklyn), James Molinaro (Staten Island), and Ruben Diaz, Jr. (Bronx); Lillian Roberts, Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME; John Samuelsen, President Transport Workers Union Local 100; Gregory Floyd, President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 237.
Teachers’ Retirement System: Ranji Nagaswami, Mayor’s Representative; Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm, New York City Department of Education; Mayoral appointee Tino Hernandez; and Sandra March, Melvyn Aaronson and Mona Romain, all of the United Federation of Teachers.
New York City Police Pension Fund: Mayor Michael Bloomberg; New York City Finance Commissioner David Frankel; New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (Chair); Patrick Lynch, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association; Michael Palladino, Detectives Endowment Association; Edward D. Mullins, Sergeants Benevolent Association; Thomas Sullivan, Lieutenants Benevolent Association; and, Roy T. Richter, Captain’s Endowment Association.
New York City Fire Department Pension Fund: Mayor Michael Bloomberg; New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano (Chair);New York City Finance Commissioner David Frankel; Stephen Cassidy, President, James Slevin, Vice President, Robert Straub, Treasurer, John Kelly, Brooklyn Representative John Dunne, Captains’ Rep.; James Lemonda, Chiefs’ Rep., James J. McGowan, Lieutenants’ Rep., Sean O'Connor, Marine Engineers.
Board of Education Retirement System: Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Mayoral: Philip Berry, Gitte Peng, Robert Reffkin, Tino Hernandez, Joe Chan, Tomas Morales, Linda Laursell Bryant, and Lisette Nieves; Patrick Sullivan (Manhattan BP), Gbubemi Okotieuro (Brooklyn BP), Dmytro Fedkowskyj (Queens BP), and Joan Correale (Staten Island BP); and employee members Joseph D’Amico of the IUOE Local 891 and Milagros Rodriguez of District Council 37, Local 372.