U.S./World: HRC gives and takes away
Updated: November 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released their 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and one company made the grade, then was “suspended from school” over their treatment of employees.
Walmart, it seems, has mistreated its transgender employees.
Instrumental in the effort to flush this situation out was the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF).
The suspension came when it was discovered that Walmart’s lacked enforcement of the policies that are considered under the CEI.
Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis stated, “We applaud TLDEF for their extraordinary work representing transgender Walmart employees who have been mistreated by the company and thank them for their efforts to get Walmart’s score in the CEI suspended. Pride at Work has, for years, pointed out the flaws in the CEI’s scoring model because it doesn’t consider the lived experience of the working people employed by these corporations. A policy that isn’t enforced — or that is enforced haphazardly — is not really a policy an employee can count upon.”
He added, “While HRC deserves credit for doing the right thing in this case, it is unfortunate that so many LGBTQ people had to face discrimination at the Walmart’s hands before they took action. In the last CEI, Walmart received a perfect score despite the fact that the company had just settled a class action lawsuit brought by LGBTQ people who had been denied spousal benefits.
“In light of this development, it is our sincere hope that HRC will take the necessary steps to ensure the CEI is an accurate measure of a corporation’s commitment to LGBTQ equality. Until the CEI includes a mechanism to ensure these policies are followed and enforced, it is impossible to consider these scores as anything other than aspirational. The strongest way to enforce workplace protections for LGBTQ people is with a contract where employees can negotiate a fair return for their work, rather than relying on corporate-sponsored policy and enforcement mechanisms. … We believe the CEI can be made better and that it could become a true indicator of corporate commitment to the dignity and respect of LGBTQ working people.”
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About the author: Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at email@example.com and 704-531-9988, x205.