FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2020
SEC Should Mandate Disclosures on COVID-19 Risks and Responses
The Securities and Exchange Commission should create new disclosure requirements that would allow investors to analyze how companies are acting to protect workers, prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, and responsibly use any federal aid they receive, according to a letter signed by 98 investors, state treasurers, public interest groups, labor unions, asset managers and securities law experts.
The groups wrote:
“Investors are becoming increasingly aware that businesses that take appropriate action to protect workers and supply chains are ensuring their ability to continue operations at an appropriate capacity through the crisis. Businesses that institute responsible worker safety and health practices are also helping to limit the damage to their suppliers and customers.
“Businesses that fail to adequately protect workers risk putting their customers in danger as well. In consumer-facing businesses, for example, if workers are not provided appropriate personal protective equipment or paid sick leave there is risk that they might infect customers as well as be put in danger themselves. Failure to adequately protect workers can also undermine the functioning of supply chains and lead to declines in productivity or, worse, the need to temporarily shut down operations …
“Investors, however, are being forced to rely on news reports to try to understand how the crisis is impacting companies in their portfolios and how those companies are responding. The SEC must act to require companies to provide consistent, reliable data to investors about the economic impact of the pandemic on their business, human capital management practices, and supply chain risks.”
The full letter can be found here.