How can I find an employer’s non-discrimination policy?
The employer seeking to include its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers must maintain "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" as protected classes, in addition to federally protected classes, in its non-discrimination policy. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation provides its data on employment policies it is aware of on its searchable database but, if you're looking for the policy itself or want to see if the policy has been updated, here are some tactics to try.
Look towards the end of a job announcement. You may only find language such as: "Employer X is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and Minorities are Encouraged to Apply." If you can't find it here, you may want to call the employer, identify yourself as someone considering employment with the employer and ask for a copy of the policy in writing or electronically.
Employer Web Site
Browse through the employer's website, specifically looking for a "Careers", "Jobs" or "Diversity" section. Many employers include these in the "About Us" area of their web site. If the company has a strong consumer focus, you may have to find the "Corporate" section of the web site, first.
IBM is an example of an employer that makes it easy to find their Equal Opportunity policy -- you can get there in under four clicks from the home page.
- IBM Valuing Diversity | Equal Opportunity [www.ibm.com]
- Raytheon Company: Diversity: Our Approach [www.raytheon.com]
Investor Relations and Corporate Responsibility
Publicly-traded companies increasingly provide their Code of Business Conduct and Ethics document(s) on their web sites, and others go further by including diversity efforts and initiatives as part of regular corporate responsibility reports. These may reside on a separate web address from the employer's main web site, particularly if that company uses third-party shareholder relations services.
Search for "Investor Relations" or "Corporate Responsibility" on the website, looking for language such as "Code of Ethics," "Code of Business Conduct" or "Standards of Business Practices."
- Wendy's International Inc. - Corporate Responsibility - Ethics, from which you can access the following PDF
- Wendy's International Inc. - Standards of Business Practices [PDF], which includes the equal opportunity statement on page 10 of the PDF (page 1 of the handbook)
Search engines can be extremely useful for finding an equal opportunity statement. Here are some terms you can try in combination with the employer name:
- "sexual orientation", "sexual preference"* or just "sexual"
- "gender identity", "gender identification"*, "gender orientation"* or "sexual identity"*
- "discrimination", "equal opportunity", "equal employment", "EEO" or "EOE"
- "code of conduct", "code of ethics" or "standards of conduct"
*Please note that these terms are considered outdated and are not preferred in the context of employment non-discrimination policies and practices, but are often included in policies that were among the first to be revised.
For example, try searching for ""Best Buy" "sexual orientation"" (without the outer quotes), switching out search terms or adding search terms depending on how many results you get. More often than not, an employer will only include "sexual orientation" on their website in the context of their non-discrimination or diversity practices. However, it is important to try different phrases just in case the employer uses older terminology.
Site-specific searches. To drill even deeper, you can try a site-specific search by using the "Advanced Search" options of any search engine. For example, enter "gender identity" as a search phrase and the domain "hrc.org" (not "www.hrc.org", which could limit your search results), in the advanced options of the search engine of your choice. At the time of this writing, the following engines had advanced search options to which we could easily provide a link:
Update HRC's Employer Database
If you find employment policies and practices that are not included in our employer database, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.