For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
New Report Shows Major Increase in Basic Workplace Protections for Gay, Transgender Employees
Among Fortune 500 Companies, Transgender Protections Quadruple Since 2003
Nearly 90 Percent Protect Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Employees
HRC Foundation Releases New Workplace DVD Resource, "Understanding Transgender Issues"
WASHINGTON- The number of Fortune 500 companies that ban workplace discrimination for transgender Americans has risen 60 percent since Jan. 2006 and has quadrupled since 2003, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's "State of the Workplace for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Americans 2006-2007," released today. The report also showed steady growth in the number of employers offering domestic partner benefits over the last year.
"It took the gay civil rights movement nearly two decades to see the growth that the transgender community has seen in the last five years in terms of workplace protections," said HRC Foundation President Joe Solmonese. "Fortune 500 companies are moving decisively to protect the entire GLBT community from workplace discrimination and it is time for our nation's laws to catch up."
Since Jan. 2006, the number of Fortune 500 companies that include gender identity in their non-discrimination policies went from 78 to 125. In 2003, only eight companies had such policies. Employers across industries have added protections for transgender workers. In the aerospace and defense industries, Honeywell, Northrop Grumman and Boeing followed Raytheon's 2005 announcement that it will protect transgender employees from discrimination. Other companies that expanded their non-discrimination policies include Internet giants Google and Yahoo! supermarket giants Safeway and Costco pharmaceutical firms Merck, Eli Lilly and DuPont and Marriott, Hilton and Starwood among hotels.
Last year, the HRC State of the Workplace report broke news and reported that - for the first time - a majority of Fortune 500 companies provide benefits to same-sex domestic partners. Since then, 17 more companies have added the benefits bringing the total to 267 - or 53 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Nearly 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies include workplace protections based on an employees' sexual orientation, according to the report - up from 51 percent in 1995.
"This is a clear indication that successful, mainstream American businesses can do well while also doing the right thing for their transgender employees," said Daryl Herrschaft, director of the HRC Foundation's Workplace Project.
In conjunction with the release of The State of the Workplace report, the HRC Foundation also released a new educational DVD entitled,
"Understanding Transgender Issues: Donna Rose's Story." The 45-minute DVD was based on a presentation that Donna Rose, a transgender educator and a member of HRC Board of Directors and Business Council, first gave at the Eastman Kodak Co. in Rochester, NY.
"As an educator, I find that people are generally eager to learn and ask respectful questions about the issues that transgender people face at work. This video gives them that chance in a safe and convenient way" said Donna Rose.
A copy of the report can be viewed here.
The DVD can be viewed online at: www.hrc.org/transgender/dvd.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.