Comptroller John Liu: Pension Funds Win Victory Against Discrimination


John Liu is still reeling from the arrest of his campaign treasurer, but the embattled pol and likely 2013 mayoral candidate is pushing forward with policy-making — including an anti-discrimination push.

So comes the Comptroller and New York City Pension Funds’ announcement today that two companies in which the Funds invest, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Constellation Brands, have agreed to protect workers against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

The corporations’ decisions stem from an initiative on the part of Liu and the Funds called a “shareholder proposal.” Basically, they ask all fund-invested companies not to discriminate against employees because of their sexuality or gender ID.

Four more of these companies — TECO Energy, Inc., Crosstext Energy, Inc., Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, and Leggett & Platt, Inc.– will probably vote to adopt on this agreement as early as this spring, Liu said in a statement.

In 2011, the Fund prompted 61.7 of the shareholders of KBR, Inc. — one of the largest Department of Defense Contractors — to enact a sexual orientation non-discrimination policy. In 2010, the Fund used the proposal to get eight Fortune 1000 companies to change their ways. (Note: the Comptroller’s office just called and noted that it was 61.7 of KBR’s shareholders, not the Fund’s, as previously written).

The Comptroller’s office oversees the New York City Pension Funds.

The accounts control the retirement investments for the city’s employees, teachers, police, fire department, and Board of Education.

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