Target, Wal-Mart Get 100% Ratings on LGBT Policies from Human Rights Campaign

By Melanie Arter | December 8, 2016 | 8:31pm EST
(AP Photo)

( – The Human Rights Campaign released its Corporate Equality Index 2017 this week, which assesses LGBT-inclusive policies and practices at major U.S. companies, and 517 of the 887 companies and firms it evaluated scored a 100 percent rating.

“This year, a record-breaking 517 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 407 last year. That’s a single-year increase of more than 25 percent -- the largest jump in the 15-year history of the nation’s premiere benchmarking tool for LGBT workplace equality,” the HRC stated on its website.

“Leadership demonstrated by these businesses, including speaking out against discriminatory laws like North Carolina's HB2, reflect more than a decade of work inside these companies to expand LGBT, and particularly transgender, workplace equality,” it added.

The index rates companies on five categories: non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion, public commitment to LGBT equality, and responsible citizenship.

Of the 887 companies and firms that were rated by HRC, 93 percent “had adopted sexual orientation equal employment policies for U.S. and global operations,” and “92 percent had gender identity equal employment policies for U.S. and global operations.”

Also, 98 percent of companies rated provided “same-sex domestic partner or spousal benefits.”

Furthermore, 73 percent offered “transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage, up from 60 percent from last year, the largest single year increase in trans-inclusive health benefits since the coverage was added to the CEI.”

Target received a 100 percent score by the Human Rights Campaign in their 2017 index, which is the same score it received in last year’s index. Target touted its 100 percent CEI rating on its website. As previously reported, the retail chain was the target of a boycott over its bathroom and changing room policy, which allowed customers to use the facilities according to their gender identity instead of their biological gender.

Twelve of the top 20 Fortune-ranked companies received 100 percent ratings from CEI, including Wal-Mart, which topped the list, Chevron, Apple, General Motors, General Electric, Ford, CVS, McKesson, AT&T, Verizon, Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and HP.

According to the report, 82 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have “gender identity protections enumerated in their non-discrimination policies.” Also, “96 percent of the entire CEI universe of businesses offer explicit gender identity non-discrimination protections in the U.S.”

Furthermore, 50 percent of the Fortune 500 companies and 73 percent “of the CEI universe of businesses offer transgender-inclusive health care coverage, up from 0 in 2002 and over six times as many businesses as five years ago.” In 2017, 136 new employers in the report offer this coverage “in a single year of employers offering transgender-inclusive health care benefits.”

Meanwhile, 387 major businesses adopted “gender transition guidelines for employees and their teams to establish best practices in transgender inclusion.”

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