Amazon, Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart earn perfect scores for LGBTQ policies
Retailers rose to the top of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s eighteenth annual “Corporate Equality Index” (CEI) report, which rates workplaces on their policies and treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees.
Amazon.com, Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart each earned a 100 rating and HRC’s designation as a “Best Place to Work” for LGBTQ employees. HRC promotes high CEI scores as a recruiting tool for employers. The commitment to equality such as same-sex partner benefits, transgender-inclusive healthcare and a public commitment to the LGBTQ community that comes with a top score on the CEI leads to high retention levels, the organization claims.
Kroger earned a perfect CEI score for the second year in a row.
“This recognition reinforces the people-first, inclusive culture that we’ve built at Kroger,” said Tim Massa, Kroger’s senior vice president and chief people officer, in a statement. “It’s also a testament to the LGBTQ associates and allies who have shown us what we do well and where we can improve.”
Employer-provided benefits, most notably healthcare coverage, are critical to recruitment and retention. Benefits packages, which typically account for around 30 percent of the total compensation for workers, are critical to job satisfaction. The HRC Foundation’s report called the cost of a company denying equal benefits coverage to LGBTQ employees and their families “profound.”
The HRC Foundation recommends same-sex partner benefits and transgender-inclusive healthcare as relatively low-cost ways for employers to create inclusive and equitable work environments. Most employers, according to the report, see a 3.5 percent increase in their total outlay when implementing partner and transgender benefits.
HRC president Alphonso David, speaking at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said employers have come to understand the business case for LGBTQ-friendly policies.
“These companies know that protecting their LGBTQ employees and customers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do — it is also the best business decision,” Mr. David said. “In addition, many of these leaders are also advocating for the LGBTQ community and equality under the law in the public square … businesses understand their LGBTQ employees and customers deserve to be seen, valued and respected not only at work, but in every aspect of daily life.”
- Corporate Equality Index 2020 – Human Rights Campaign Foundation
- HRC President Alphonso David Releases Corporate Equality Index Report at World Economic Fourm in Davos – Human Rights Campaign Foundation
- Kroger Named One of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality for the Second Consecutive Year – The Kroger Co./PRNewswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the current state of LGBTQ affairs within the retailing industry? Do you find the business case for extending employer-provided benefits to LGBTQ employees, their partners and families compelling?