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HRC scores IL companies in 2016 LGBT Corporate Equality Index, P@W reacts
2015-11-19

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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released the 2016 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), an annual report assessing LGBT inclusion in major companies and law firms across the nation—including 90 in Illinois.

In total, 851 companies were officially rated in the 2016 CEI, up from 781 in the 2015 report. The average score for companies and law firms based in Illinois is 90 percent, with 41 earning 100 percent.

The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories. They are non-discrimination policies; employment benefits; demonstration of organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion; public commitment to LGBT equality; and responsible citizenship.

The Illinois companies earning perfect scores include A.T. Kearney Inc., AbbVie Inc., Aon Corp., Astellas Pharma US Inc., Baker & McKenzie LLP, Barilla America Inc., Baxter International Inc., Boeing Co., Chapman and Cutler LLP, CNA Insurance, Discover Financial Services, Exelon Corp., Faegre Baker Daniels, Groupon Inc., HERE North America LLC, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Huron Consulting Group Inc., Hyatt Hotels Corp., Jenner & Block LLP, JLL, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Kraft Foods Group Inc.

They also include Leo Burnett Company Inc., Mayer Brown LLP, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, McDonald's Corp., MillerCoors LLC, Navigant Consulting Inc., Northern Trust Corp., Orbitz Worldwide Inc., Schiff Hardin LLP, Sears Holdings Corp., Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Starcom MediaVest Group, State Farm Group, United Airlines, W.W. Grainger Inc., Walgreen Co. and Winston & Strawn LLP.

Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions Inc. and Navistar International Corp. were at the bottom of the Illinois list, with each company earning a score of 30 percent.

"Corporate America has long been a leader on LGBT equality, from advocating for marriage equality to expanding essential benefits to transgender employees," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "But this year, many leading U.S. companies have broken new ground by expanding explicit non-discrimination protections to their LGBT workers around the globe. They've shown the world that LGBT equality isn't an issue that stops at our own borders, but extends internationally." However, Griffin added there is much work left to be done in places and in companies where LGBT workers still face significant obstacles.

Pride at Work issued a statement that was disparaging of the CEI. Executive Director Jerame Davis said, "We are disappointed that the HRC Corporate Equality Index (CEI) rewards big corporations for questionable employment practices without taking into consideration the lived experiences of the LGBTQ working people in those corporations.

"It is our position that any company that takes action to stall, stymie, or otherwise undermine the efforts of their workers to unionize is preventing LGBTQ working people from achieving the full non-discrimination protections federal—and most state—law currently doesn't provide. LGBTQ working people receive far more protection under an inclusive union contract than they do under any existing state law."

The full report, including a searchable employer database, is available online at www.hrc.org/cei .

From HRC:

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ( LGBT ) civil rights organization, today released the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, an annual report assessing LGBT inclusion in major companies and law firms across the nation, including 90 in Illinois.

Corporate America, propelled by HRC and its foundation's annual Corporate Equality Index ( CEI ), has led the way on LGBT inclusion for more than a decade. As the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality, the 2016 CEI unveiled that a record 407 businesses — spanning nearly every industry and geography — earned a top score of 100 percent and the coveted distinction of "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality."

That record number of perfect scores was achieved despite demanding new criteria requiring that companies with global operations extend non-discrimination protections for their LGBT workers worldwide.

In total, 851 companies were officially rated in the 2016 CEI, up from 781 in the 2015 report. The report also unofficially rated 176 Fortune 500 companies, which have yet to respond to the CEI survey about their LGBT policies and practices. The average score for companies and law firms based in Illinois is 90 percent. Of the 90 companies ranked, 41 earned 100 percent, 7 earned 90 percent or above, and 5 earned 80 percent or above.

Employer Name 2015 CEI Rating

A.T. Kearney Inc. 100

AbbVie Inc. 100

Aon Corp. 100

Astellas Pharma US Inc. 100

Baker & McKenzie LLP 100

Barilla America Inc. 100

Baxter International Inc. 100

Boeing Co. 100

Chapman and Cutler LLP 100

CNA Insurance 100

Discover Financial Services 100

Exelon Corp. 100

Faegre Baker Daniels 100

Groupon Inc. 100

HERE North America LLC 100

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP 100

Huron Consulting Group Inc. 100

Hyatt Hotels Corp. 100

Jenner & Block LLP 100

JLL 100

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP 100

Kirkland & Ellis LLP 100

Kraft Foods Group Inc. 100

Leo Burnett Company Inc. 100

Mayer Brown LLP 100

McDermott Will & Emery LLP 100

McDonald's Corp. 100

MillerCoors LLC 100

Navigant Consulting Inc. 100

Northern Trust Corp. 100

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. 100

Schiff Hardin LLP 100

Sears Holdings Corp. 100

Seyfarth Shaw LLP 100

Sidley Austin LLP 100

Starcom MediaVest Group 100

State Farm Group 100

United Airlines 100

W.W. Grainger Inc. 100

Walgreen Co. 100

Winston & Strawn LLP 100

Health Care Service Corp. 95

BMO Bankcorp Inc. 90

Caterpillar Inc. 90

CDW Corp. 90

Crate and Barrel / CB2 90

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 90

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. 90

Allstate Corp., The 85

Grant Thornton LLP 85

Morningstar Inc. 85

True Value Co. 85

Motorola Solutions Inc. 80

Abbott Laboratories 75

Deere & Co. 75

US Foods Inc. 75

Zurich North America 75

CME Group Inc. 70

Hospira Inc. 65

USG Corp. 65

Illinois Tool Works Inc. 60

Perkins + Will Inc. 35

Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP 35

Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions Inc. 30

Navistar International Corp. 30

"Corporate America has long been a leader on LGBT equality, from advocating for marriage equality to expanding essential benefits to transgender employees," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "But this year, many leading U.S. companies have broken new ground by expanding explicit non-discrimination protections to their LGBT workers around the globe. They've shown the world that LGBT equality isn't an issue that stops at our own borders, but extends internationally."

Despite this progress and a new global commitment, there is much work left to be done in places and in companies where LGBT workers still face significant obstacles.

"While support for LGBT workers is growing in the U.S. and around the world, too many companies still fail to guarantee basic, vital workplace protections that allow employees to bring their full selves to work," Griffin said. "That continues to create barriers for LGBT people, especially for transgender people, who face high rates of unemployment and discrimination in hiring. These companies should look to the example set by global corporate leaders as a path forward to achieving LGBT equality for all workers, no matter where they live."

Key national findings contained in the 2016 CEI:

407 companies earned a 100 percent in the 2015 CEI, up from 366 in the 2015 report.

511 companies participating in this year's CEI now offer transgender workers at least one health care plan that has transgender-inclusive coverage. That's a 150 percent increase since 2012, when the CEI first included trans-inclusive health care as a requisite for companies to receive a perfect score;

Gender identity is now part of non-discrimination policies at 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies, up from just 3 percent in 2002;

More than 330 major employers have adopted supportive inclusion guidelines for transgender workers who are transitioning.

And 176 Fortune 500 companies were given unofficial scores based on publicly available information

Just as the CEI has successfully steered the country's top corporations, law firms and their influential leaders toward breaking new ground in workplace equality — from enacting LGBT non-discrimination policies to extending same-sex partner benefits — it has also helped companies move toward full inclusion for their transgender employees.

The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories:

Non-discrimination policies

Employment benefits

Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBT diversity and inclusion

Public commitment to LGBT equality

Responsible citizenship

The full report, including a searchable employer database is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Press release: Pride at Work reacts to release of HRC's 2016 CEI

Washington —The following is a statement from Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis reacting to the release of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2016 Corporate Equality Index.

"We are disappointed that the HRC Corporate Equality Index ( CEI ) rewards big corporations for questionable employment practices without taking into consideration the lived experiences of the LGBTQ working people in those corporations. It is our position that any company that takes action to stall, stymie, or otherwise undermine the efforts of their workers to unionize is preventing LGBTQ working people from achieving the full non-discrimination protections federal — and most state - law currently doesn't provide. LGBTQ working people receive far more protection under an inclusive union contract than they do under any existing state law.

"We believe the CEI should take the lived experience of the workers who are subject to the policies these companies are being lauded for holding into consideration when scoring these companies and we've offered to help HRC in those efforts in every way we can. The gap between a policy's existence and its implementation is vast, which is one of the many reasons unions exist — to ensure a company adopts and adheres to appropriate labor policies and practices.

"Companies like Walmart and T-Mobile continue to receive high scores on the HRC CEI despite their treatment of workers overall and, in the specific case of Walmart, the treatment of LGBTQ workers. Despite multiple LGBTQ discrimination lawsuits against the company, many other documented incidents of anti-LGBTQ bias, and our own call for the company's score to be suspended, Walmart's rating remains inconceivably high.

"Our offer to assist HRC in making the CEI more reflective of the real world environment of these workplaces remains intact."

For more information on Pride at Work's position, please read the resolution passed by our members at our convention in August addressing the flaws of HRC's Corporate Equality Index.

Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization and an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO ( American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations. ) We organize mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community for social and economic justice. In addition to national Pride at Work, more than 20 Chapters organize at the state and local level around the country.


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