Warner urges SEC to improve worker training, human capital management disclosures at public companies
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) has urged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to require companies to disclose more information regarding their investment in workers, such as turnover rates, amounts spent on employee training opportunities, and whether workers are considered full-time employees or contractors.
Sen. Warner’s letter comes as the SEC considers public comments regarding its proposed modernization of Regulation S-K, the set of SEC rules that establish disclosure requirements for public companies.
“As our nation continues to evolve and our economy becomes more knowledge-based, workers are easily becoming the most valuable asset a company can have. Human capital can affect a company’s potential, and when properly cultivated, can boost its ability to adapt, innovate, and compete,” said Sen. Warner, regarding the letter he sent to the SEC. “I appreciate the SEC’s commitment to fostering a culture of increased investment in our workers, but urge it to take this effort a step further by requiring companies to disclose exactly how they’re investing in their labor force.”
The SEC’s current proposed rule would require that companies broadly disclose human capital resources, measures, and objectives, but not necessarily specific metrics, which can be valuable for potential investors across a variety of industries.
In the letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, Sen. Warner applauded the SEC’s efforts and urged the SEC to take additional steps, including requiring disclosure of specific metrics related to worker training, turnover rates, and full versus part-time workers. This kind of information can be easily compared across industries and companies, and can help shareholders better understand risks to company performance, and potential long-term systemic risks to the economy.
Sen. Warner has been an outspoken advocate of investing in our workers, and ensuring they are adequately equipped to participate in the 21st century labor force. Earlier this year, the SEC announced this proposed rule following advocacy by Sen. Warner, who last year urged the Commission to heed the calls of investors and utilize its rulemaking authority to require companies across the board to provide further details relating to human capital management.