More Companies Than Ever Offer Same-Sex Benefits

Photo (cc) by tedeytan

A total of 304 major U.S. businesses got a perfect score of 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2014 Corporate Equality Index – a vast improvement over the first-year results of 13 with a score of 100 in 2002.

True, the number of businesses that participate or are rated in the survey has grown substantially since the early years, but the sizeable increase of those with a perfect score reflects a major change in thinking. Corporate America is in some ways a lot more progressive than it appears.

“That’s up from 252 perfect scores last year and 189 two years ago,” CNNMoney says. It adds:

A perfect “corporate equality” score means a company has a nondiscrimination policy in place protecting LGBT employees, provides same-sex partner health benefits, offers transgender-inclusive medical insurance, publicly supports LGBT equality and has organization-wide LGBT initiatives.

Those policies of nondiscrimination are all the more important because protection from discrimination for LGBT people is still not the law of the land.

The 2014 Corporate Equality Index report is full of interesting information, whether you’re looking for a new job or you want to see if a particular corporation is in line with your thoughts about equality. Toward the end, there’s a list of all the companies that were included and their scores, broken down by the type of business they are — financial institution, food company, tech company, etc. It’s an easy resource to consult.

These are big companies and you’ll recognize many on the list. For example, Wal-Mart, which will begin providing health insurance to same-sex partners of employees in 2014, got an 80 percent. Ford and General Motors each got 100 percent, as did JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. Many tech companies, like Google and Microsoft, also had perfect scores.

Exxon Mobil was at the bottom with a -25. Yes, that is a minus. Companies get 25 points deducted “for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish on their recent records,” the report says. Exxon Mobil was the only company on the complete list that earned that mark of shame.

Exxon Mobil announced in late September — months after the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down the odious Defense of Marriage Act, that it would extend spousal benefits to married same-sex couples, but the oil company doesn’t have a policy specifically banning discrimination against LGBT employees. Shareholders refuse to approve it.

Overall, many of America’s biggest companies look pretty progressive. The report says:

A record 299 of the Fortune 500-ranked businesses have official CEI ratings based on submitted surveys (as compared to 293 last year), with an average rating of 83. One hundred and twenty-five of the Fortune 500-ranked businesses achieved a 100 percent rating, with 13 of the top 20 Fortune-ranked businesses at this top score.

Ninty-one percent of the Fortune 500 include “sexual orientation” in their nondiscrimination policies and 61 percent include “gender identity.” The majority of the total Fortune 500 — 67 percent — offer equivalent medical benefits between spouses and partners and 28 percent offer transgender-inclusive health care benefits, including surgical procedures.

The biggest U.S. corporations are invited to participate in the rating, but any company with 500 or more U.S. employees can ask to be included. “The number of employers rated from the first CEI to the present has expanded from 319 to 734,” the report says.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Beware These 5 Common Work-From-Home Scams
Beware These 5 Common Work-From-Home Scams

You can spot scammers and con artists with a little know-how.

10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More
10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More

Think you’re a savvy shopper? Find out how retailers persuade you to dig more deeply into your wallet.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors

These accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts
5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts

These discounts may save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars a year.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.