“So when we talk about the guiding principles in business and human rights, government has a duty to protect human rights. Companies have a responsibility to respect human rights,” says Jonathan Drimmer, Partner at Paul Hastings, LLC and Senior Advisor to Business for Social Responsibility. “As companies think about this in terms of their human rights obligations, they can come up with reasonable rules to fulfill their responsibility.”

Companies in the current U.S. political landscape are facing increasingly complex, high-stakes decisions related to cultural issues, civic participation, free speech, informed civic discourse, and the rule of law. In a recent Corporate Political Responsibility Taskforce Expert Dialogue, Drimmer shared his expertise and thoughts for businesses looking to align their political influence with commitments to values, purpose, sustainability, and stakeholders. According to Drimmer, the fields of business and human rights could provide a roadmap for company leaders seeking practical ways to reduce risk and act on corporate political responsibility. 

Drimmer noted the escalating challenges that U.S. business leaders face. “Civic participation of companies right now is at an inflection point,” he said. “Should companies speak out on social issues? If so, when and how is that decided? What motivates it? Is it really within the sphere of what a company should be doing or should they be more focused on the prospect of profit maximization?”

Read more key excerpts from the dialogue in The Fulcrum