So a giant oil firm with the initials ExxonMobil gets two resumes for the same job. One is of a qualified candidate with a 3.98 GPA whose experience shows she volunteered at an LGBT organization. The other has lower grades but nothing to indicate that she’s not 100% heterosexual. Who gets called in for the interview?
If you guessed the candidate with the lesbian-free resume, you win. In this case, if you are ExxonMobil, you may lose, and big. Because the two resumes were fictional and now they are at the heart of a complaint filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights that contends ExxonMobil is discriminatory.
ExxonMobil has long been an irritant for LGBT workplace advocates because of its refusal to institute nondiscrimination protections in the company. The Human Rights Campaign gave ExxonMobil a negative score on its most recent Corporate Equality index. Freedom to Work President Tico Almeida told the Los Angeles Times the oil giant “stands virtually alone in the Fortune 100 in denying qualified gay and transgender Americans a fair shot to get a job based on their talents and hard work.” Freedom to Work brought the complain to the Illinois commission.
Of course, ExxonMobil insists that it would never, ever discriminate. ”Exxon Mobil’s global policies and processes prohibit all forms of discrimination, including those based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in any company workplace, anywhere in the world,” a spokesman told USA Today. “In fact, our policies go well beyond the law and prohibit any form of discrimination.”
A pretty neat trick that–having a policy that prohibits discrimination when you don’t have a nondiscrimination policy. And, just as important, don’t want one. Shareholder resolutions calling for a nondiscrimination policy have been proposed for several years now. ExxonMobil always urges a no vote.