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Frequently asked questions about the HRC Foundation Corporate Equality Index.
Any private sector (non-government) and for- profit employer with 500 or more full-time U.S. employees that is not owned by a larger U.S.-incorporated entity can request to participate. Businesses interested in participating in the Corporate Equality Index are encouraged to contact the HRC Foundation Workplace Equality Program at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Corporate Equality Index does not rate public sector (government) employers or businesses with fewer than 500 full-time U.S. employees.
Businesses owned by a larger U.S.-incorporated entity must be rated and represented on the CEI and its related publications as part of the larger entity. Exceptions to this policy are made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the HRC Foundation, typically only for those businesses in a temporary restructuring process (e.g., temporarily owned or taken private by a private equity firm before being spun off as an independent entity or sold), or for situations where a subsidiary entity wishes to participate under the condition that the larger entity will participate in a subsequent year.
Because the CEI currently only rates policies and practices within the U.S., businesses that serve as the U.S. subsidiary of a foreign-based multi-national business are welcome to participate.
The above lists do not include employers owned or based in countries other than the United States. Foreign-owned private companies may submit a survey on behalf of their U.S. operations, as long as they have at least 500 full-time U.S. employees.
Due to resource limitations and limited public information about private employers, it is not possible for us to actively rate most employers without a survey.
Additionally, the HRC Foundation uses the following lists of the largest and most successful U.S. employers as a basis for inviting businesses to participate in the Corporate Equality Index:
No, participation in the Corporate Equality Index survey and report is free.
Employers that have earned a 100 percent rating on the HRC Corporate Equality Index have satisfied all of the criteria for that year and are recognized as a "Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality."
These criteria have been created to encourage employers to participate in the index and to advance the best practices for LGBTQ workplace inclusion that should be expected of all large employers. The criteria have always been intended to evolve as more employers adopt existing criteria and new best practices emerge.
Current criteria for the Corporate Equality Index
1. Workforce Protections (30 points possible)
2. Inclusive Benefits (30 points possible)
To secure full credit for benefits criteria, each benefit must be available to all benefits-eligible U.S. employees. In areas where more than one health insurance plan is available, at least one inclusive plan must be available.
3. Supporting an Inclusive Culture & Corporate Social Responsibility (40 points possible)
Three LGBTQ Internal Training and Education Best Practices (10)
Businesses must demonstrate a firm-wide, sustained and accountable commitment to diversity and cultural competency, including at least three of the following elements:
Employee Group –OR– Diversity Council (10)
Three Distinct Efforts of Outreach or Engagement to Broader LGBTQ Community (15)
Businesses must demonstrate ongoing LGBTQ-specific engagement that extends across the firm, including at least three of the following:
LGBTQ Corporate Social Responsibility
4. Responsible citizenship (-25)
Employers will have 25 points deducted from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBTQ blemish on their recent records. Scores on this criterion are based on information that has come to HRC’s attention related to topics including but not limited to: undue influence by a significant shareholder calculated to undermine a business’s employment policies or practices related to its LGBTQ employees; directing corporate charitable contributions to organizations whose primary mission includes advocacy against LGBTQ equality; opposing shareholder resolutions reasonably aimed at encouraging the adoption of inclusive workplace policies; revoking inclusive LGBTQ policies or practices; or engaging in proven practices that are contrary to the business’s written LGBTQ employment policies.
No, only those questions marked with an asterisk listing a corresponding criterion number affect your CEI score. We include several informational only questions in order to identify new and best practices.
No, the HRC Foundation does not require employers to make financial contributions to HRC in order to obtain a 100 percent. The CEI survey and report is administered and run by staff of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the 501(c)(3) educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, who do not have fundraising responsibilities.
The CEI awards credit under the Public Engagement criterion in the survey. Employers that have received credit on this criterion have collectively contributed to hundreds of local, state and national LGBTQ groups and events throughout the U.S. since 2002; HRC is just one of the many recipients of such support.
If your business is eligible and you are authorized to represent your employer and its policies, please e-mail email@example.com to participate in the CEI. If you are not authorized to participate on your employer's behalf, please forward the appropriate contacts with name, position, e-mail and mailing address to us. Appropriate contacts can include professionals in:
We will make sure they receive an invitation to participate in the survey either in the current or approaching year. Please note that it is best for individuals internal to the organization to approach these contacts first, to educate them on the value of the CEI and to secure a commitment on their part to participate.
If you are not an authorized agent for your employer but wish to provide the HRC Foundation Workplace Equality Program with updated information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions of this nature are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please allow some time for the HRC Workplace Equality Program to verify your information.
The following dates are intended for planning purposes and subject to change:
On or before May 7th 2021 - All survey links released (full and recertification)
July 30th 2021 - Deadline for surveys
August through November 2021 - HRC review and validation process
December 2021 - Survey Scores finalized, communicated to participants
January 2022 - CEI 2022 Report Release