It’s been a landmark year for LGBT rights by any standard, but Human Rights Campaign decided to show the receipts in the form of their annual standard of inclusive excellence: their 2014 Corporate Equality Index.
According to the CEI, this year the number of businesses to receive top ratings “leapt” from 189 to 304, including Apple, Microsoft, Disney, General Mills, Google, Target and AT&T. Meanwhile, a record 300 companies publicly supported marriage equality legislation at the federal and state levels. HRC reports:
More Fortune 500 companies implemented inclusive workplace non-discrimination policies than ever before — 91 percent provide explicit protections on the basis of sexual orientation and 61 percent on the basis of gender identity, a historic high. Sixty-seven percent offer same-sex partner benefits, another record.
The extent to which corporate America has adopted a full framework of LGBT inclusion was further evidenced by the rapid rise in workplace protections, health care benefits and practices for transgender employees. In just four years, the number of major employers covering medically necessary sex reassignment surgery for employees has gone from 49 to 340, including 28 percent of the Fortune 500. In addition, over 260 major employers have implemented more robust and supportive inclusion guidelines for their transitioning employees.
“This will go down in history as the year that corporate support for equality left the boardroom and reached each and every corner of this country,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Not only do fair-minded companies guarantee fair treatment to millions of LGBT employees in all 50 states, but now those same companies are fighting for full legal equality in state legislatures, in the halls of Congress and before the U.S. Supreme Court.”
To read the HRC’s full report, click here.