'ExxonMobil is wasting resources by refusing to write down a policy it says it already has,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - ExxonMobil shareholders voted today with record support for a shareholder resolution to amend the company's written equal employment opportunity policy to include the category of sexual orientation. The non-discrimination resolution received the highest vote of all the resolutions this year. The percentage of shares voted in favor of the proposal has grown each of the last seven years, with 29.4 percent of shares were voted in favor of the policy this year - representing more than 1.55 billion shares.
"ExxonMobil is wasting resources by refusing to write down a policy it says it already has," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "ExxonMobil is the only Fortune 50 company not to include sexual orientation in its primary non-discrimination policy. With companies now adding protections based on gender identity and expression, it's past time for ExxonMobil's leaders to give up their stubborn refusal to enact such policies."
In May 2004, 28.9 percent of shares were voted in favor of the policy. ExxonMobil stands alone among oil companies in the Fortune 100 in failing to include sexual orientation in its non-discrimination statement, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Workplace Project.
A total of 414 companies in the Fortune 500 - or 83 percent - include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies and 54 include gender identity.
BP Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Corp., Shell Oil Company, Sunoco Inc., Valero Energy Corp., Marathon Oil Corp. and Williams Companies Inc. all have non-discrimination statements inclusive of sexual orientation.
Mobil Corp. offered such written protection, and domestic partner benefits, to its employees however, upon its 1999 merger with Exxon, the basic non-discrimination protection was removed and the domestic partner benefits program closed to new employees. Twenty-four members of Congress, and thousands of stockholders and consumers, wrote to ExxonMobil Chairman Lee R. Raymond in December 1999 to protest the policy reversals. In January 2000, stockholders and activists protested at a company facility in Houston, causing the facility to close for the day.
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