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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Record 94% of FORTUNE 500 Companies Provide Sexual Orientation Discrimination Protection

via Equality Forum

13 of the 30 Noncompliant Companies Headquartered in Texas

Equality Forum, a national and international gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights organization, announced that 470 (94%) of the 2007 FORTUNE 500 Companies voluntarily include sexual orientation in their employment nondiscrimination policies. Equality Forum collaborates in this project with Professor Louis Thomas, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor, Yale Law School.

According to Gallup’s May 10-13, 2007, Values and Beliefs Poll, 89% of U.S. citizens believe that gays and lesbians should have workplace discrimination protection. There is no federal workplace protection based on sexual orientation and only 20 states include sexual orientation nondiscrimination in their workplace statutes.

“When 94% of the FORTUNE 500 Companies and 89% of the public support workplace equality, Congress is derelict by its failure to include GLBT citizens in federal workplace discrimination protection,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum. “There is no cost to provide sexual orientation protection. Corporations and shareholders benefit from a workplace where merit, not intolerance, prevails.”

Of the 30 FORTUNE 500 Companies that are noncompliant, 13 (43.3%) are headquartered in Texas. “When it comes to equality, Texas is a lone and tarnished star,” Lazin stated.

In fall 2003, when Equality Forum began contacting FORTUNE 500 Companies, 323 (64.6%) companies provided sexual orientation protection. Equality Forum made the business case to the 177 (35.4%) CEOs, HR Directors and all members of the Boards of Directors of companies not offering that protection.

For the full press release and the FORTUNE 500 Project Web site, which categorizes all FORTUNE 500 companies by rank, state and industry, please visit: www.equalityforum.com/fortune50

UPCOMING EVENTS:
GLBT History Month: October 2007
Equality Forum 2008: April 28 to May 4, 2008

ABOUT EQUALITY FORUM

Equality Forum is a national and international GLBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates GLBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high impact initiatives and presents the largest annual international GLBT civil rights forum. For more information, visit: www.equalityforum.com

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