The nation’s barometer for workplace equality -- the HRC's Corporate Equality Index (CEI) – was released this week. In the 2013 CEI a record 252 businesses achieved the top rating of 100 percent, earning the coveted distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.” By comparison, 13 businesses earned a 100 percent in the first CEI 11 years ago. The policies, benefits and practices businesses must implement to earn a perfect score are best-in-class demonstrations of corporate commitments to LGBT workers.
The top rated businesses span across industries, geographies, and size.
“Corporate America continues to raise the bar in workplace fairness,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “LGBT-inclusive workplace policies are not only the right thing to do and good business practices, they are the new normal. Americans have spoken, and as we celebrate our victories at the ballot box, we hope Congress will follow corporate America’s lead and create a level playing field – including passing fully-inclusive workplace non-discrimination legislation.”
This year’s report at a glance:
• A record 74 major businesses and law firms publicly supported pro-equality legislation at the state and federal levels – including those that took an active role in the marriage campaigns this fall.
• The 2013 CEI saw the largest growth in the survey’s history with 54 new businesses participating. The number of employers officially rated in the CEI has skyrocketed from 319 in 2002, to 688 this year, a jump of 116 percent.
• This year’s CEI marks the first time a majority of Fortune 500 companies have nondiscrimination policies that cover gender identity (from 50 percent to 57 percent), while an astonishing 84 percent of overall CEI participants cover gender identity.
• Transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage continues to rise. Now in its second year as a mandatory criterion for a company to earn 100 percent, 287 (42 percent) participating companies offer comprehensive healthcare coverage to their transgender workers, up from 19 percent last year.
While basic protections for LGBT employees have become the norm, record numbers of American businesses have also updated their larger benefits packages, adding “soft benefits” for LGBT workers, including things like retirement benefits to domestic partners and relocation assistance. With benefits accounting for roughly 20 percent of an employee’s compensation, companies recognize this as a matter of equal pay for equal work.
Over the past 11 years, the CEI has become the gold standard for corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees and their families. The CEI rates companies on 40 such policies and practices. A total of 889 businesses have been rated in the 2013 CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. This year a record 293 of the Fortune 500-ranked businesses have an official CEI rating, with the other 201 rated based upon publicly-available data.
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