Retail Goliath Wal-Mart has added transgender protections to its employee non-discrimination policy, reports the Windy City Times.
Phillip Keene, a Wal-Mart spokesperson, says the policy went into effect a few weeks ago and includes both gender identity and expression. Sexual orientation is already covered by the company’s “Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy.”
It’s a surprising turn for Wal-Mart, which has not been known to be a big friend to the LGBT community.
*In 2008, Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke signed a petition in his home state of Arkansas to prevent gays and lesbians from adopting.
*In 2009, a gay couple and their son were detained and harassed by Wal-Mart staffers who wrongly accused them of shoplifting.
*In 2010, an employee claimed he was demoted and forced to wear a yellow vest after he came out to a supervisor.
* The same year, dozens of Wal-Mart stores were found to be promoting a children’s book that suggested gay people could overcome their “sin” and convert to heterosexuality.
*The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City and other activist groups have worked to keep the big-box retailer out of the Big Apple because of its alleged homophobia.
*This year, the company scored only a 40 on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index out of a possible 100.
Adding trans protections seems like a big step, no? So, do we applaud? Boycott? Order Chick-fil-a?
It was a lot easier when Big Gay just told us what do to.