HRC Scores Rhode Island Companies’ LGBTQ-Inclusive Workplace Policies in New Corporate Equality Index

WASHINGTON – America’s leading companies and law firms are meeting strengthened criteria to meet the evolving needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community around the world, according to the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.

The HRC Foundation has strengthened criteria to meet the needs of LGBTQ workers in the most rigorous scorecard to date. 571 companies have been designated a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality for their efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results in a 100 percent ranking — including one in Rhode Island.

In total, 892 companies and law firms were officially rated in the new CEI, up from 887 in last year’s. The report also unofficially rated 135  Fortune 500 companies, which have yet to respond to an invitation to participate in the CEI survey assessing their LGBTQ policies and practices. The average score for companies and law firms based in Rhode Island is 79 percent.

“The top-scoring companies on this year’s CEI are not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the United States, they are applying these policies to their global operations and impacting millions of people beyond our shores,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Many of these companies have also become vocal advocates for equality in the public square, including the dozens that have signed on to amicus briefs in vital Supreme Court cases and the more than 170 that have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. Time and again, leading American businesses have shown that protecting their employees and customers from discrimination isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also good for business.”

EmployerHeadquarters LocationState2019 CEI Rating
Textron Inc.ProvidenceRI30
Citizens Financial GroupProvidenceRI90
CVS Health Corp.WoonsocketRI90
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode IslandProvidenceRI100
Hasbro Inc.PawtucketRI85

Other key findings revealed in the 2019 CEI:

  • The number of U.S. employees with a corporate non-discrimination policy protecting them from sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination is 16.8million;
  • Gender identity is now part of non-discrimination policies at 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies, up from just three percent in 2002;
  •  More than 500 major employers have adopted supportive inclusion guidelines for transgender workers who are transitioning;
  • 135 Fortune 500 companies were given unofficial scores based on publicly available information.

Over the last several years, CEI-rated companies have dramatically expanded their support for transgender workers. This year 83 percent of companies participating in this year’s CEI offer at least one health care policy that is inclusive of their transgender workers, and 73 percent met stringent new criteria that requires all blanket exclusions of medically-necessary care for transgender workers be removed from all health policies the company offers. Additional this year, the CEI scoring criteria requires that to earn a top score, businesses must maintain domestic partner benefits for same- and different-sex partners, and require that their supplier diversity programs explicitly include LGBTQ-owned suppliers.

The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria in four broad categories:

  • Non-discrimination policies
  • Employment benefits
  • Supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility including public commitment to LGBTQ equality
  • Responsible citizenship

The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.