The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, announced their inclusion ratings for five Delaware companies.
DuPont and TD Bank were among the 517 businesses nationally given a perfect score of 100 and named “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.” Among the national companies that were ranked tops were Wal-Mart Stores, Apple, General Motors, Ford Motor Co., CVS Health, Verizon Communications and Fannie Mae.
Only three other Delaware companies were ranked – Navient and AstraZeneca were given 90 scores. Sallie Mae, with a score of 35, was dinged for not having prohibitions on discrimination based on gender identity or expression for all of its operations, not assuring their contractors and vendors have prohibitions, having benefit parity for only some of its benefits, not offering transgender-inclusive health coverage or “firm-wide organizational competency programs,” and either not positively engaging the LGBTQ community outside the company or not having internal guidelines that prohibit donations to non-religious groups with explicit policies of discrimination against LGBTQ people.
“We are committed to and value diversity, not only internally but also extending to those with whom we do business. We provide the same competitive benefits offerings to all classes of benefit-eligible employees and coverage includes same-sex spouse and same-sex domestic partnerships. Also, our policies protect against gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination which it doesn’t appear that was captured in the report,” said Richard Castellano, spokesman for Sallie Mae.
Ratings were based on the foundation’s own survey, which some companies did not return, business foundations’ gifts to anti-LGBTQ groups, accounts of allegations of discrimination, individuals’ and unofficial LGBTQ employee groups’ reports, and the foundation’s 11-year-old Workplace Project, which maintains a database of business policies that affect LGBTQ workers and their families. Of the 2,106 businesses invited to take part in the survey, 750 submitted surveys and 887 were rated.
Gender identity is now part of non-discrimination policies at 82 percent of Fortune 500 companies, according to the report, and 387 major employers have adopted supportive inclusion guidelines for transgender workers who are transitioning.