America’s leading companies and law firms are meeting strengthened criteria to meet the evolving needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community around the world, according to the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.
C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. in Keene made the list with a rating of 80 out of a possible 100 percent.
The HRC Foundation has strengthened criteria to meet the needs of LGBTQ workers in the most rigorous scorecard to date. Five hundred and seventy-one companies have been designated a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality for their efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results in a 100 percent ranking.
In total, 892 companies and law firms were officially rated in the new CEI, up from 887 last year. The report also unofficially rated 135 Fortune 500 companies, which have yet to respond to an invitation to participate in the CEI survey assessing their LGBTQ policies and practices.
“The top-scoring companies on this year’s CEI are not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the United States, they are applying these policies to their global operations and impacting millions of people beyond our shores,” says HRC President Chad Griffin. “Many of these companies have also become vocal advocates for equality in the public square, including the dozens that have signed on to amicus briefs in vital Supreme Court cases and the more than 170 that have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. Time and again, leading American businesses have shown that protecting their employees and customers from discrimination isn’t just the right thing to do -- it’s also good for business.”
Other key findings revealed in the 2019 CEI:
- The number of U.S. employees with a corporate non-discrimination policy protecting them from sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination is 16.8 million;
- Gender identity is now part of non-discrimination policies at 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies, up from just three percent in 2002;
- More than 500 major employers have adopted supportive inclusion guidelines for transgender workers who are transitioning;
- 135 Fortune 500 companies were given unofficial scores based on publicly available information.
Over the past several years, CEI-rated companies have dramatically expanded their support for transgender workers. This year 83 percent of companies participating in this year’s CEI offer at least one health care policy that is inclusive of their transgender workers, and 73 percent met stringent new criteria that requires all blanket exclusions of medically-necessary care for transgender workers be removed from all health policies the company offers. Additional this year, the CEI scoring criteria requires that to earn a top score, businesses must maintain domestic partner benefits for same- and different-sex partners, and require that their supplier diversity programs explicitly include LGBTQ-owned suppliers.
The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria in four broad categories:
- Non-discrimination policies
- Employment benefits
- Supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility including public commitment to LGBTQ equality
- Responsible citizenship
The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.