The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has denied McDonald’s’ request to exclude a shareholder proposal seeking a racial equity audit at the U.S. fast-food giant’s upcoming annual meeting.

The resolution, submitted by SOC Investment Group, asks McDonald’s to commission an independent audit analyzing the adverse impacts of the company’s policies and practices on the civil rights of company stakeholders.

SOC expressed concern regarding the lack of disclosure from McDonald’s surrounding advancement training for low-wage restaurant crew workers and allegations of sexual harassment at company outlets.

In its communications with the SEC, McDonald’s argued that the proposal is eligible for exclusion on the grounds that the company is “presently involved in litigation relating to the very subject matter of the proposal” and providing such a report may harm its legal defense.

McDonald’s is presently facing lawsuits from 238 racially and ethnically diverse current and former employees, claiming that unfair treatment and racism have impacted their careers within the company.

Black company executives have also sued McDonald’s for alleged disparate treatment based on race, while another lawsuit alleges that McDonald’s’s tiered advertising budget “based on racial stereotypes produces lower spend with Black-owned media groups.”

On April 5, the U.S. regulator denied McDonald’s exclusion request, “unable to concur” with the fast-food company’s claims.

So far this year, the SEC has denied all five racial equity audit no-action requests submitted by Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss, McDonald’s, Walt Disney Co, and Meta Platforms.

Two racial audit proposals subject to a vote earlier this year at Apple and Maximus won 53.6% and 64.2% support, respectively, Insightia Voting data reveal.