Latest Human Rights Workplace Rankings Show Vast Improvement

September 20, 2006 ( - A record 138 major US companies have scored 100% in a Corporate Equality Index compiled by the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based gay rights advocacy group.

That number was up from 101 companies last year and was 10 times higher than the 13 companies with that score in 2002, the Human Rights Campaign announced in a news release, according to a Reuters report. The campaign conducts research and education programs and lobbies Congress. The Index measures the extent to which the employers offer benefits and protections to gay and lesbian employees and customers.

The highest ranked firms include in their benefits packages medical coverage and family leave available for same-sex partners, bar discrimination against transgender individuals and do not advertise in ways that disrespect gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender workers (GLBT).

In all of the policy and benefits areas that were measured, the report reveals double-digit increases in the number of companies adhering to the criteria. Among the companies surveyed in the new report, this year:

  • 75% more companies than in 2005 prohibited discrimination against transgender employees in employment practices;
  • 64% more companies than in 2005 implemented at least one wellness benefit for transgender employees;
  • 35% more companies than in 2005 extended COBRA, vision, dental and dependent medical coverage to employees’ same-sex domestic partners; and
  • 14% more companies than in 2005 engaged in philanthropic or marketing activities directed toward the GLBT community.

Almost all of the companies rated (436, or 98%) include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination polices.

“More companies are not only implementing very comprehensive workplace policies that cover gay employees and their families but more companies are doing it faster and also seeking recognition for it,” said Daryl Herrschaft, director of the group’s workplace project. Consistent high scorers since the group began the index in 2002 have been IBM Corp., Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Levi Strauss & Co and Nike Inc., he said.

The campaign looked at 1,520 companies from such lists as the Fortune 1000 and Standard & Poor’s 500 and culled enough information to rank 446 on its index.

The Campaign’s report is here .