A record number of businesses have earned the highest possible rating for their treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers.
In its 2016 Corporate Equality Index, which was released this week, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation gave its top score of 100 to 407 businesses.
That’s more businesses than ever in the 14-year history of the index. The latest annual index was the first to require companies earning top scores to have a global nondiscrimination policy or code of conduct that specifically prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Other standards that companies had to meet to earn a score of 100 include:
- Requiring U.S. contractors to abide by companies’ existing inclusive nondiscrimination policies.
- Implementing internal requirements that prohibit company philanthropic giving to nonreligious organizations that have a written policy of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Eleven of the top 20 Fortune 500-ranked companies received top scores of 100 for their treatment of LGBT employees. They are:
- Chevron Corp.
- Apple Inc.
- General Motors Co.
- Ford Motor Co.
- General Electric Co.
- AT&T Inc.
- CVS Health Corp.
- Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)
- McKesson Corp.
- Hewlett-Packard Co.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Overall, 165 Fortune 500 businesses achieved a perfect 100 rating.
The HRC Foundation is the educational arm of the HRC, a national nonprofit that bills itself as America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBT equality.
The foundation’s latest index rated 851 businesses. Other findings from the 2016 index include that:
- 511 companies now offer transgender workers at least one health care plan that has transgender-inclusive coverage.
- Gender identity is now part of nondiscrimination policies at 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
- More than 330 major employers have adopted supportive inclusion guidelines for transgender workers who are transitioning.
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