Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels recognized as one of “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality”
March 27, 2019
Letter From Human Right Campaign Foundation President
“This year, the LGBTQ community has faced all-out assaults on our most fundamental civil rights from the highest levels of government. Basic decency and fairness have been flung out the window, and some of our bedrock American principles are being tested. That is why it is especially remarkable that this year has ushered in a new high watermark in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace inclusion.
In our 16th edition of the Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a record-breaking 609 employers have earned perfect 100 percent scores. From tech startups to construction companies to auto manufacturers, major businesses — employing millions of Americans — are stepping up to ensure their workplaces are fully LGBTQ inclusive. On a practical level, this means that millions of LGBTQ workers across America — as well as LGBTQ workers employed by multinational companies around the globe — are covered under non-discrimination policies and able to bring their full selves to work every day.
We also continue to see major businesses ensuring that transgender employees can expect equal protections under their non-discrimination policies, gender transition guidelines, and access to inclusive health care. The number of employers offering transgender-inclusive health care coverage leapt from 647 last year to 750 this year, including 58 percent of the Fortune 500-ranked businesses.
It’s no surprise that many top-scoring businesses are also top-performing businesses. They know that creating inclusive workplaces and communities wheretheir employees can thrive is an investment in their own competitive edge. That’s why LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies are becoming the norm in the U.S., and having an impact around the globe. Today, more than 90 percent of CEI-rated businesses have embraced both sexual orientation and gender identity employment protections for their U.S. and global operations. Businesses are also continuing to speak out when the rights of LGBTQ people come under attack. From joining the fight against anti-LGBTQ legislation in Texas to backing the federal Equality Act in record-breaking numbers, hundreds of corporate allies are raising their influential voices in the public square. Their support has been critical to fighting back against attacks on not only their LGBTQ workers, but millions of other LGBTQ people all across America who too often find themselves being attacked for cynical political gain.
Even with all of this progress, we know that inclusive policies and benefits are only part of what’s needed to ensure that LGBTQ workers can thrive from the plant floor to the corner office. Today, marriage equality and hate crimes protections are the law of the land. But the lack of consistent, explicit federal protections in employment, housing, credit, public services and other essential aspects of American life remain major barriers to full equality for the LGBTQ community. While there is much to do and many crucial civil rights battles ahead, thanks to these private sector leaders, the march towards full equality is not slowing down. ”
Chad Griffin, President
Human Rights Campaign Foundation
In this 16th edition of the Human Right Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, 609 businesses met every criteria and earned a 100 percent rating and the designation of being a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” This is the highest number of 100 percent-rated businesses in the history of the CEI. The first Index in 2002 had 13 top-rated companies.
The CEI universe includes Fortune magazine’s 500 largest publicly traded businesses, American Lawyer magazine’s top 200 revenue-grossing law firms (AmLaw 200) and hundreds of publicly and privately held mid- to large-sized businesses.
Top-rated CEI employers span nearly every industry and major geography of the United States and beyond. Of the employers in the CEI with global operations (59 percent) 98 percent extend sexual orientation and gender identity-based workplace protections throughout their international operations.
Employers featured in this report took concrete steps to ensure greater equity for LGBTQ workers and their families in the form of comprehensive policies, benefits and practices. The CEI rating criteria have four key pillars:
● Non-discrimination policies across business entities;
● Equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families;
● Internal education and accountability metrics to promote LGBTQ inclusion competency; and,
● Public commitment to LGBTQ equality.
The CEI’s framework is one of parity rather than prescription. In other words, we promote the adoption of LGBTQ-specific practices and language within existing business structures. For example, where businesses enumerate federally protected categories of workers in their non-discrimination policies (e.g. on the basis of race, religion, disability, etc.), we evaluate them on the inclusion of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” protections. In terms of benefits, we evaluate employers on the provision of health insurance coverage for same-sex spouses and partners. In addition, we assess the availability of routine, chronic care and transition-related medical coverage for transgender employees and dependents.
These principles of parity reflect low-cost, high yield investments in major businesses’ talent as well as in their broader profile as forward-looking, responsible businesses.
By using the CEI as a guide, businesses can help ensure that their existing policy and benefits infrastructure is inclusive of the LGBTQ workforce and their families, resulting in greater recruitment and retention of a talented, diverse workforce. The CEI is a key roadmap to LGBTQ inclusion but it cannot serve as a holistic assessment of any employer’s unique workplace culture or individual experiences: a CEI rating should be taken as a key evaluation metric among other factors in assessing any employer or provider of goods or services.
The most significant progress in the CEI has been the wide-scale adoption of transgender-inclusive initiatives across businesses.
● A full 83 percent of the Fortune 500 – including both companies that participate in the CEI survey and those that do not — have gender identity protections enumerated in their non-discrimination policies and 97 percent of the entire CEI universe of businesses offer explicit gender identity non-discrimination protections.
● Fifty eight percent of the Fortune 500 and over three-fourths (79 percent) of the CEI universe of businesses offer transgender-inclusive health care coverage, up from 0 in 2002 and nearly three times as many businesses as five years ago. 103 new employers offer this coverage in the 2018 report.
Over four-hundred and fifty major businesses have adopted gender transition guidelines for employees and their teams to establish best practices in transgender inclusion.
In addition to the depth of investment the top-rated businesses have made in the name of equality, the 2018 CEI shows an unprecedented breadth of new, participating businesses. This year’s CEI contains 65 new businesses that opted into the survey. A grand total of 5,093 major brands fall under rated CEI businesses.
The following report is reflective of verified data submitted to the HRC Foundation as well as independent research on non-responding businesses. Wherever credit can be verified, all ranked businesses will receive it, irrespective of their participation in the CEI survey.
The HRC Foundation has worked with hundreds of businesses to promote workplace equality for LGBTQ workers.
Employers With Ratings of 1OO Percent
Corporate Equality Index Rating Criteria
1a Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation for All Operations (15 points)
1b Prohibits Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression for All Operations (15 points)
1c Has Contractor/Vendor Non-Discrimination Standards that Include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (5 points)
2a Offers Equivalent Spousal and Partner Medical Benefits (10 points)
2b Parity Across Spousal and Partner “Soft” Benefits (10 points)
(half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)
2c Offers Transgender-Inclusive Health Insurance Coverage (10 points)
3a Firm-wide Organizational Competency Programs (10 points)
3b Has Employer-Supported Employee Resource Group OR Firm-Wide Diversity Council (10 points)
Would Support ERG if Employees Express Interest (half credit)
4 Positively Engages the External LGBTQ Community (15 points) (partial credit of 10 points given for less than 3 efforts)
Have internal guidelines that prohibit philanthropic giving to non-religious organizations with an explicit policy of discrimination against LGBTQ people (5 points)