CSX Officially Prohibits Gay Discrimination

December 22, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Thanks in large part to politicking by New York City's public employee pension funds, railroad and freight-hauling company CSX Corp. has agreed to prohibit discrimination against gay and lesbian employees.

The change came earlier this month when the Jacksonville, Florida-based companies added the words “sexual orientation” to its antibias policy. CSX apparently made the change after New York City’s Comptroller William Thompson Jr met with the company and told of his intentions to ask CSX shareholders to vote on the matter in 2004, according to a Newsday report.

Thompson controls five city pension funds with $78.6 billion in holdings. The largest of these, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, owns 407,761 shares of CSX. In addition, the New York City Teachers Retirement System holds 159,550 CSX shares.

Even though the move will not be necessary at CSX, Thompson says he plans to move forward with similar proposals at 10 other Fortune 500 companies.There is no evidence of overt discrimination at CSX or any of the other companies singled out by the comptroller, but Thompson told Newsday it is important for corporations to send a signal that all talented employees are welcome. So far, the comptroller has filed resolutions at:

  • Lear Corp
  • AES Corp
  • Smurfit-Stone Container Corp
  • Alltell Corp
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co
  • HCA Inc
  • Waste Management Inc
  • Southern Company.

Additionally, Thompson filed a resolution for the fourth time, at Exxon Mobil Corp.Last year, a similar resolution drew votes representing 27.3% of the energy company’s outstanding shares.