Spotlight: JUST Capital

Written by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier on 03/12/2018

JUST Capital (JC), is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) registered charity. JC was co-founded in 2013 by a group of concerned people from the world of business, finance, and civil society. From its start in 2014, JUST Capital utilized opinion polling to identify "seven sets of issues that are considered relevant measures of just corporate behavior." The seven, in rank order of importance, are workers, customers, products, environment, communities, jobs, and management and shareholders. As part of their work, JC used the MIT living wage tool as one of its metrics to benchmark companies for their degree of serving employees and corporate responsibility.

In addition to surveying the public, JC undertakes a wide range of research that seeks to measure "positive" practices of corporations listed on the Russell 1000, including how firms plan to spend their windfall from the new tax bill. Reporting (February 28, 2018, issue; (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/us/politics/spreadsheets-at-dawn-the-new-tax-battle-is-all-about-data.html) in the New York Times, JC estimated that of "the 109 companies that have announced their intentions, workers are receiving six percent of tax-related income. More than half of this income "takes the form of one-time bonuses, as opposed to permanent raises or benefits." Twenty percent of increased income is expected to go toward job creation. Of the remaining proceeds, the majority are estimated to take the form of stock buybacks or direct distributions back to investors." The data-driven results indicate that while a certain number of companies are conveying the benefits of the tax bill to workers in the form of bonuses and wage increases, others are using the savings for non-wage purposes.