While Michigan remains a state that does not include sexual orientation or gender identity in its nondiscrimination law — the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act, some of the state’s top employers have enacted their own nondiscrimination policies and have been very outspoken about their commitment to LGBT equality in the workplace and beyond.
Eight of those companies were rewarded this year with perfect scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, an annual report card of sorts that rates American workplaces on LGBT equality.
“Whirlpool Corp. believes supporting diversity and inclusion is the right thing for businesses to do for their employees,” said Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO. Whirlpool has secured its spot at the top for the 10th year in a row.
“We believe our efforts, through policy changes and corporate culture, are just a small part of a bigger movement. We’re extremely proud to be among the index’s top companies for another year and believe everyone should have a workplace where they feel fully included for their unique identity. This latest achievement shows us we continue to offer a workplace environment our employees can be proud of.”
A total of 304 major companies across the United States earned a top score of 100 percent and a spot on the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality list.
In 2002, the first year the rating system was implemented, only 13 companies achieved a score of 100 percent.
“This year will go down in history as the year that corporate support for equality left the boardroom and reached each and every corner of this country,” wrote Chad Griffin, HRC president in the report’s executive summary. “More than ever, fair-minded companies are guaranteeing fair treatment and compensation to millions of LGBT employees in all 50 states. But beyond these business practices of internal diversity and inclusion, these same companies are fighting for full legal equality in state legislatures, in the halls of Congress and before the U.S. Supreme Court.”
He pointed out that this year more than 120 businesses joined HRC’s Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness, publicly supporting the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would provide nationwide legal protections from workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“More Fortune 500 companies implemented inclusive workplace non-discrimination policies than ever before — 91 percent provide explicit protections on the basis of sexual orientation and 61 percent on the basis of gender identity — an historic high,” Griffin pointed out. “Sixty-seven percent offer same-sex partner benefits — another record, and there has been a remarkable rise, to 28 percent, in essential health care benefits for transgender employees.
“Businesses across the South and Midwest — in states where legal equality is nonexistent — realize that enacting these policies help them to attract and retain the best and brightest LGBT workers. This year’s CEI includes over 45 new major businesses.”
Companies included on Fortune magazine’s 1,000 largest publicly traded businesses and American Lawyer magazine’s top 200 revenue-grossing law firms are invited to participate in the CEI benchmarking survey.
Additionally, any private sector and for-profit employer with 500 or more full-time U.S. employees can request to participate.
Companies’ scores are determined based on survey responses that look at a number of criteria. The five criteria categories include equal employment opportunity policy, employment benefits, organizational LGBT competency, public commitment and responsible citizenship.
For a full list of the companies and additional information on ratings, visit hrc.org.