Abbott Laboratories

Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.
Illinois
Pharmaceuticals Biotechnology and Life Sciences

Corprate Bias Ratings

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

Abbott Laboratories, a pharmaceutical company, has ended its business relationship with the chairman of the Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC) after he criticized the public destruction of property condoned by Black Lives Matter (BLM). By complying with Human Rights Campaign's controversial demands, Abbott Laboratories increases the risk of dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The company covers transgender-related medical costs for its employees and their children and provides specific sexual orientation and gender identity-based benefits. It also uses sex and gender ideology criteria in employee recruitment, vendor selection, marketing, and philanthropic support. The company forces employees to undergo multiple ideological trainings and uses its reputation, corporate funds, and political influence to support controversial sex and gender ideologies, organizations, and legislation. Abbott is a signatory of the Business Roundtable's 2019 Statement on the Purpose of Corporation, which promotes stakeholder capitalism. The company is a copper sponsor of Out & Equal, a corporate partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and requires unconscious bias training. For these reasons, Abbott Laboratories receives a High Risk rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.

Risk Level
Rationale

Abbott Laboratories received a score of 90 on the 2023 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a political stakeholder group. The company recruits employees based on sexual identity issues. The company discriminates against vendors that do not promote divisive sex and gender policies, indicating it prioritizes sexual issues over merit (1)(2). Abbott allegedly ended its relationship with lobbyist Matt Schlapp, CEO of CPAC, after his criticism of BLM and the destruction of public property (3). Abbott is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, which aims to demonetize advertisements and suppress content that “vilifies” individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity, discusses “debated social issues in a negative or partisan context” or spreads “hate speech” (4)(5)(6).

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

Abbott Laboratories’ HRC CEI rating indicates the company will not donate to non-religious charities unless they embrace controversial sexual identity policies (1)(2).” 

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

Abbott Laboratories’ HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company forces employees to attend multiple, controversial trainings on gender identity, sexual orientation, transgender issues, and divisive racial ideology. The company provides gender transition guidelines for its employees (1)(2). Abbott does not provide viewpoint protections for its employees (3).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Abbott Laboratories’ HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company agrees to allow a controversial stakeholder group focused on sexual identity issues to dictate marketing or advertising strategy (1)(2). By doing so, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. As a part of the company’s initiatives after the death of George Floyd, Abbott required all employees to undergo an “unconscious bias” training program centered around systemic racism (3). The CEO of Abbott, Robert Ford, is a member of the Business Roundtable and Former CEO Miles White signed its 2019 Statement on the Purpose of Corporation, which promotes stakeholder capitalism over traditional obligations to shareholders and customers (4)(5).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Abbott Laboratories’ HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company covers transgender related costs for its employees and their children, including paid short-term leave, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, chest surgeries, genital surgeries, medical visits and lab monitoring, travel and lodging. Additionally, the company has pledged philanthropic support of at least one organization or event that promotes sex and gender ideology (1)(2). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company increases health care costs and risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Abbott is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (3)(4)(5). The company is a copper sponsor of Out & Equal and a corporate partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (6)(7). Abbott has donated to a Planned Parenthood clinic in California (8).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
Rationale

Abbott Laboratories has not weaponized its PAC (1).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
January 9, 2024

Company reports are intended for educational use only. Full Disclaimer

Voting History

Date
ESG Category
Proponent
Summary of ResolutionMgmt RecTotal Vote % in Favor
4/28/23GovernanceKenneth SteinerRequest that the Board Chairman be an Independent DirectorAgainst30.50%
4/28/23GovernanceThe Province of Saint Joseph of the Capuchin Order and Proxy ImpactPrepare Annual Report Disclosing Policies, Procedures, and Expenditures.Against23.00%
4/28/23GovernanceThe Shareholder Association for Research & EducationFinancial Performance Metric for Senior Level Executives Include Legal and Compliance CostsAgainst14.40%
4/28/23GovernanceJohn CheveddenLower Ownership Threshold for Calling Special MeetingsAgainst4.30%
4/29/22GovernanceNYC Comptroller's OfficeAdopt Policy on 10b5-1 Trading PlansAgainst48.76%
4/29/22GovernanceJohn CheveddenReduce Ownership Threshold for Shareholders to Call Special MeetingAgainst47.15%
4/29/22SocialUnitarian Universalist Assoc.Report on Lobbying Payments and PolicyAgainst34.52%
4/29/22GovernanceKenneth SteinerRequire Independent Board ChairAgainst27.75%
4/29/22SocialThe Shareholder CommonsReport on Public Health Costs of Antimicrobial ResistanceAgainst11.51%
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