The American Civil Rights Project (ACR Project), on whose board I serve, is investigating whether the officers and directors of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. have breached their fiduciary duties by violating civil rights laws that protect against racial and other forms of discrimination. The ACR Project has issued this Shareholder Alert explaining the situation and inviting interested shareholders who have held Lowe’s stock since before July 13, 2021 to contact the Project by clicking here.
The investigation of Lowe’s stems from the company’s “Making It … With Lowe’s” promotion. Through this promotion, 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[.]”
So far, so good. But Lowe’s doesn’t offer this chance to all struggling small businesses. Rather, it has decided to exclude 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.”
Thus, Lowe’s has chosen to base its decision as to which small businesses it will work with on the basis of the race, ethnicity, sex, and gender of those who own small businesses.
But federal law prohibits racial discrimination in contracting. And numerous state laws prohibit such discrimination not just on the basis of race but also on the basis of almost all of the statuses Lowe’s has chosen to exalt.
In August, the ACR Project warned Lowe’s of these issues by letter. However, Lowe’s has knowingly retained the discriminatory terms and conditions of its promotion.
Hence the Shareholder Alert through which Lowe’s shareholders can contact the ACR Project by going here.