September 01, 2004
Category: Domestic Partners
Home Depot Announces Domestic Partner Health Insurance After HRC Reveals Pets Already Covered
'The Home Depot is finally putting its people first,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign learned Thursday that the Home Depot has announced it will offer domestic partner health insurance a day after HRC publicly denounced the company's policy to cover employees' pets but not their partners.
"The Home Depot is finally putting its people first," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques, after learning that Home Depot put out a memo at close of business Wednesday announcing the change.
The Human Rights Campaign's WorkNet project revealed Wednesday that Home Depot, based in Atlanta, was one of four Fortune 500 companies that offered pet insurance but not DP health insurance despite published policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation - and one covering gender identity. The others are: Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kan. Waste Management of Houston and Ecolab of St. Paul, Minn.
"We now call on Sprint, Ecolab and Waste Management to recognize that good business is putting an employee's partner above the family pet," Jacques added.
Home Depot had been slated to earn a failing grade on HRC WorkNet's Corporate Equality Index, to be released later this month. The addition of domestic partner health insurance benefits will raise its score to 71 percent - which is also Sprint's tentative score. Waste Management is slated to receive 43 percent Ecolab will not be scored because the company has never replied to the HRC questionnaire. The index measures how equitably companies treat their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors.
"The only things keeping Home Depot from a perfect score are the absence of a non-discrimination policy covering gender identity and the lack of an official gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender diversity council or employee resource group," said HRC Education Director Kim I. Mills, who oversees WorkNet. "We will continue to work with the company to ensure all its employees get equal treatment."
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.