Today, on behalf of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a concerned shareholder, the ACR Project demanded that American Airlines Group, Inc. publicly retract its illegal, discriminatory policies. American’s leaders apparently adopted the illegal policies at issue after reversing a long-standing corporate policy of avoiding comment on controversial issues. In the interim, leadership has admitted that it “absolutely” considers race in hiring, specifically, pilots.
The policies now at issue, however, are far broader. They inject race into the company’s internal and external contracting, which violates both state and federal law (including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state laws where American concentrates its operations). None of this is legal or has been colorably close to it for decades. The policies will draw legal challenges. American’s admissions should assure it loses those challenges. Those cases cumulatively threaten to materially harm American’s stock value.
Internally, the company’s leaders have committed to “hire and retain” employees to “ensure the diversity of our team reflects the diversity of our customers.” U.S. law forbade such race-balancing for its own sake generations ago. Operationally, American’s leadership annually adopts ill-chosen racial quotas. In 2021, they required more “representation” for a group already exceeding the national average in the airline’s workforce. In 2022, they set thresholds for all “people of color,” despite company data showing such groups’ “representation” varied radically (for some, widely exceeding national averages, for others, dramatically missing them). To help this “progress,” American joined at least 4 racially defined McKinsey training programs. In each program training enrollees for promotions: (a) participating organizations may only enroll employees of a specified race; and (b) American controls qualifying employees’ enrollment. To further “clearly signal[ ] where the organization stands[,]” American has conditioned the compensation of its “entire leadership team” on their progress toward these racial goals.
Externally, American’s leaders made a parallel “DEI commitment extend[ing] to our supply chain.” They committed to altering the demography of the company’s suppliers, including through a discriminatory “Supplier Diversity Program” that qualifies vendors based on the race, sex, and gender of their ownership.
The ACR Project has demanded that American’s officers and directors act to retract the policies within 30 business days.
You can read the full letter, below.