- The Human Right’s Campaign (HRC), an LGBTQ advocacy organization, says its 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) shows more employers have LGBTQ-inclusive policies over the last year. HRC says 517 employers earned 100% ratings, the highest ratings jump in the agency’s history.
- CEI criteria are based on policies, practices and benefits for LGBTQ employees as well as their family members. HRC urges companies to adopt LGBTQ-focused language into their corporate practices and procedures to support LGBTQ workers, and it encourages recruitment, hiring and retention practices that allow for a diverse and talented workforce.
- The index showed that 82% of the Fortune 500 companies represented in the index have protections for gender identity in their anti-discrimination policies. Of all businesses listed in the CEI, 92% have clear-cut, anti-discriminatory gender identity protections in the U.S. HRC says that the item with the most progress made has been the adoption of broad-scale transgender initiatives across companies.
Progress on gender identity equality among top U.S. corporations has been significant, as the index shows. Companies that want to stay competitive in recruiting, hiring and retaining a diverse, talented workforce must be all-inclusive. This means employers have to both adopt gender identity protections into their anti-discrimination policies and use LGBTQ-focused language in their practices.
Companies must also comply with anti-discrimination laws. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and some federal courts have ruled gender identity bias as sex discrimination. The 1964 Civil Rights Act protects victims of sex discrimination, which means employers charged with violating the law will have more difficulty defending their actions in court.