Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Nondiscrimination in the Fortune 500

Here's some great news that we received from Echelon Magazine about a recent survey nondiscrimation clauses at Fortune 500 companies. As we've said before (and will say many more times), before a company can say "we value you as a customer" to gays and lesbians, they first need to show that they value GLBTs as people. Protecting employees from discrimination is a tremendous first step...

A record 460 (92%) of FORTUNE 500 companies include gay and lesbian employees in their nondiscrimination policies, according to Equality Forum, a national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights organization. Full listings by company name, revenue, state and industry, along with letters of support from CalPERS, Citigroup, Harvard University, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation, are posted at: www.equalityforum.com/fortune500/

“When over 90% of the FORTUNE 500 companies recognize the value of their gay and lesbian employees, it is time for Congress to listen and respond,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality Forum. “Only sixteen states have laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in private employment, and no federal protection exists for gay and lesbian Americans.”

Equality Forum began contacting FORTUNE 500 companies in 2003, when 323 (65%) companies explicitly offered workplace protection to their gay and lesbian employees. In June 2005, Equality Forum entered into a collaboration with Professor Louis Thomas of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor, Yale Law School.