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An Activist Investor Crusades Against Forced Arbitration at Tesla

The electric-car maker has faced multiple allegations of racial discrimination.

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Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg

When Tesla Inc.’s shareholders gather September 22 for their annual meeting, Kristin Hull will have roughly three minutes to make the case against the company’s use of mandatory arbitration for employee sexual harassment and racial discrimination claims.

Hull is the founder and chief executive of Nia Impact Capital, a social impact fund based in Oakland, California that invests in several sustainable energy companies. Tesla is its biggest name and among its largest holdings. Late last year, she filed a first-of-its-kind proposal for a Tesla shareholder resolution. The ask: for the board of the Palo Alto, California-based electric-car maker, which has over 60,000 employees globally, to prepare a report on its use of employee arbitration.