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Number of Companies with Top Rating for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Workers Jumps By One-Third

The 2009 edition of the CEI reports 259 businesses achieved a perfect score, a one-third increase over last year when the number was 195. The 259 top-rated businesses collectively employ more than 9 million full-time employees. These workers are protected from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression because of their employers’ policies on diversity and inclusion, training, health care, and domestic partnership benefits.

“The 2009 Corporate Equality Index shows that corporate America understands that a diverse workforce is critical to remaining successful and competitive,” said HRC Foundation President Joe Solmonese. “In the absence of a federal law that prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, it is up to employers to take a lead and implement policies that ensure all their employees are protected.”

Transgender workers have made major gains since the Corporate Equality Index was first published in 2002. That year, just 5 percent of rated businesses provided employment protections based on gender identity or expression. The 2009 Corporate Equality Index reports that figure has increased twelve-fold: 66 percent of rated businesses now prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression, a 28 percent increase over the last year.

Other major findings in the 2009 Corporate Equality Index include:

- Of the 255 Fortune 500 companies rated in the CEI, 120 received perfect scores. The average rating of Fortune 500 companies was 83 percent.
- In 2006, the first year law firms were invited to participate in the CEI, 13 achieved a score of 100 percent. That figure has leapt to 64 in the latest edition, eclipsing banking and financial services firms.
- Ninety-nine percent of CEI-rated employers offer employment protections on the basis of sexual orientation.

The full report is available at www.hrc.org/cei.
 

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