HRC Blog

ExxonMobil Refuses to Explicitly Protect LGBT Workers

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) continues to obfuscate its non-discrimination policy – saying that it doesn't allow discrimination of any form, and that it doesn't need to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity because U.S. law doesn't require it. It has been more than 10 years since Exxon Corp. purchased Mobil Corp., closing partner benefits to any new enrollees and removing sexual orientation from Mobil's non-discrimination policy. Each year since, shareholders have filed a resolution to add sexual orientation and, more recently, gender identity to the company's equal employment opportunity policy. Each year, the company has opposed it. Today, the vast majority of the Fortune 500 companies have amended their equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. More than 40 percent have done the same with respect to gender identity. But ExxonMobil refuses to do the same, and repeatedly insists that broader "all-inclusive" non-discrimination language in the company's policies, training that purportedly includes "sexual orientation" and a statement from the CEO are sufficient to protect LGBT employees (read the Board's statement against the proposal). Although these are encouraging steps, at the end of the day ExxonMobil still refuses to include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in the company's EEO policy and employee handbook. We ask simply: Why not? This year's shareholder vote takes place on May 26. Find out more at

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