On behalf of shareholders, the American Civil Rights Project, a national civil rights organization, is investigating allegations that the officers and directors of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) have breached their fiduciary duties. If you are an interested shareholder who has held Lowe’s stock since before July 13, 2021, please click here and tell us how to contact you.
Early this summer, Lowe’s rolled out the “Making It … With Lowe’s” promotion. Through the related terms and conditions, Lowe’s offers “small businesses across America struggl[ing] to get their products in front of a company or business leader who can help propel them forward” the chance to “pitch their products directly to Lowe’s[.]” But not all struggling small businesses – Lowe’s decided to exclude from the promotion any and all struggling businesses not “at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more of the following diversity classifications: Minority, Women, Veteran, Disability or LGBTQ.”
Lowe’s has chosen to deny small businesses an offer to contract with it expressly based on the race, ethnicity, sex, and gender of those small-businesses’ ownership. Federal law has prohibited racial discrimination in contracting since 1866; numerous states’ laws prohibit not just racial discrimination in contracting, but discriminatory contracting based on almost all of these statuses.
The ACR Project is deeply skeptical that adopting and retaining a company policy of intentionally violating both many states’ and longstanding federal law could be consistent with the fiduciary obligations of Lowe’s officers and directors. The ACR Project warned Lowe’s of these issues through a letter sent in August. Despite that warning, Lowe’s has knowingly retained the discriminatory terms and conditions for the promotion, which remains under way.
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