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March 17, 2010

Category: Benefits, Diversity Programs, Equal Opportunity

Human Rights Campaign Foundation Honors 305 Major U.S. Employers as 2010 &quotBest Places to Work fo

Credit Suisse and Kimpton Hotels receive 2010 Innovation Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, honored 305 employers as its 2010 'Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" at the Sixth Annual LGBT Workplace Awards Seminar and Reception held last night. The event, hosted by Time Warner and held at the Time Warner Center in New York City, featured Don Lemon, Anchor and Reporter for CNN and special guest Tim Gunn, Chief Creative Officer for Liz Claiborne, Inc. and host of the Lifetime Network show Project Runway.

"We're happy to honor these companies who have taken strong actions that constitutes tangible, significant civil rights progress," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "With our recent launch of our 'Best Places to Work' iPhone application and with other resources coming soon, anyone, anywhere at anytime will be able to find out how a company ranks on LGBT inclusion. By mandating equal opportunity in hiring, ensuring equal compensation through medical and family benefits, and promoting informed work forces and equal work places, these companies continue to push progress forward. The federal law has to catch up."

Companies receiving the "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" distinction scored 100 percent on the HRC Foundation's 2010 Corporate Equality Index, the national standard evaluating policies, practices and diversity efforts relating to LGBT workers. The Index consider non-discrimination policies, benefits, diversity training and other internal resources for LGBT workers, as well as external support for LGBT consumers and job seekers. Released in early September of 2009, the 2010 Corporate Equality Index report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei. A full list of the 2010 "Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality can be found online at www.hrc.org/placestowork.

In addition to receiving the distinction of "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality," both Credit Suisse and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants were awarded the 2010 Innovation Award for Workplace Equality. This award honors a specific program that a business has implemented to further LGBT inclusion in their workplaces. Criteria for the award include originality, degree of innovation and a senior leadership support for the goal of fair treatment of LGBT employees.

Credit Suisse was recognized for its "Open Perspectives" program. The program was designed to educate LGBT MBA students about being "out" in their careers within the financial services sector and more specifically, how Credit Suisse's culture supports LGBT employees. The other recipient, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, received the award for its work in developing a model health insurance policy that includes coverage for transgender employees.

"We are both thrilled and humbled that the Human Rights Campaign Foundation selected Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for its Workplace Equality Innovation Award," said Niki Leondakis, chief operating officer of Kimpton. "At Kimpton, we are committed to a culture that includes everyone, one that celebrates the individuality of our guests and employees alike. As a result, we have the unique vantage point of our entire employee base that has helped us build our LGBT program and offerings."

This is the second year that HRC has honored companies with this award. More information on the Innovation Award for Workplace Equality and the winning programs is available online at www.hrc.org/innovation.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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