HRC Blog

Dallas Morning News to ExxonMobil: Listen to HRC and Protect Your LGBT Employees from Discrimination

Post submitted by Paul Guequierre, HRC Staff

The Dallas Morning News editorial board weighed in on the controversy surrounding ExxonMobil’s refusal to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the company’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies, with a scathing editorial in this morning’s paper.  The piece rightly points out that, based on the HRC Foundation Corporate Equality Index (CEI), corporate America is now leading the way in extending benefits to LGBT employees.  But one major corporate player is missing from the table.

While a large majority of Fortune 500 companies scored very well on the CEI for including sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies, the editorial notes:

“The one glaring exception to this positive trend remains Irving-based ExxonMobil. It is the only company to get a negative rating in the index, out of 636 that were scored, including all those on the Fortune 500 list. By comparison, half of the companies in the top 20 of the Fortune 500 list received perfect scores, Chevron among them.”

ExxonMobil has fought to keep sexual orientation and gender identity out of its EEO policies since 1999, when Mobil Corp, which had employment protections and domestic partner benefits in place, was acquired by Exxon Corp, which did not.  The newly formed ExxonMobil stripped sexual orientation from the EEO policies and cut off domestic partner benefits for new employees.  This year the company asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to allow it to omit a resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity, sponsored again by New York state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, from its shareholder meeting.  The SEC gave ExxonMobil a resounding no.

For the past 13 years, we have called on ExxonMobil to reinstate inclusive EEO policies, barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and to offer domestic partner benefits.  Today we could not agree with ExxonMobil’s hometown newspaper more, when it says:

“ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded oil and gas company in the world, should heed the call this time around. By explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, the company will join the growing community of corporations that now view this as an essential and even indispensable part of doing business.”

Read the full Dallas Morning News editorial, Corporate America’s rainbow revolution, here.

Image credit: Ildar Sagdejev/ Wikimedia Commons

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