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ExxonMobil to to provide same-sex couples with employee benefits

ExxonMobil, which for years has failed to offer basic non-discrimination protections to its LGBT employees and health benefits to their families, today announced it will  recognize legal same-sex marriages and offer health benefits to same-sex spouses of its employees.  Since 1999, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has called on the corporation to offer equal benefits and ban all forms of discrimination.  The oil giant has yet to include sexual orientation or gender identity in its official non-discrimination policy, despite numerous shareholder resolutions to do so.  This means an employee can still be fired or denied a promotion simply for being LGBT.

“Granting health benefits to all married couples is a step toward equality but it is certainly not the kind of leadership exhibited by ExxonMobil’s competitors,” said Deena Fidas, director of the HRC Workplace Equality Program. “There is no federal law protecting employees from discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity and ExxonMobil refuses to join the majority of their Fortune 500 colleagues in adopting their own such policies.  One has to wonder, what good are benefits for your same-sex spouse if you risk being fired for disclosing your sexual orientation in order to access them?”

In reaction to the news, Tico Almeida, founder and president of Freedom to Work, issued the following statement:
“Today is a victory for the freedom to work.  After years of stubbornly refusing, we commend Exxon for joining the majority of the Fortune 500 business leaders that already treat gay and lesbian married couples equally under employee benefit plans. It’s a shame Exxon waited until after the Labor Department issued official guidance explaining that their old policy does not comply with American law, and now it’s time to move forward.
“We’d like to begin settlement talks next week in our Illinois lawsuit stemming from evidence that Exxon gave hiring preference to a less qualified straight applicant over a more qualified lesbian applicant. It’s time for Exxon to stop wasting its shareholders’ money by running up legal bills on discrimination proceedings that can be settled right away if the corporation would simply add LGBT protections to Exxon’s official equal employment opportunity document.”

Prior to the 1999 merger of Mobil Corp. and Exxon Corp., Mobil offered health benefits to domestic partners of its employees and prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation. When Exxon acquired Mobil, the non-discrimination policy was removed and the domestic partner benefits program was closed to new employees.



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Posted by on Sep 27, 2013. Filed under Around the Nation, Breaking News, Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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