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Exxon Mobil Rejects LGBT Workplace Discrimination Policies For 17th Year In A Row

For the seventeenth year in a row Exxon Mobil shareholders have rejected policies protecting LGBT employees from workplace discrimination.

Exxon-mobilOnly 19.5 percent of the shareholders voted for the measure at their annual meeting this Wednesday — that’s lower than the 19.8 percent in 2013 and 20.6 percent in 2012.

Last year, the global oil and gas company began offering domestic partner benefits in accordance with the Labor Department following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

Now the company’s board says it doesn’t need protections for LGBT workers because:

“ExxonMobil’s existing global policies... prohibit all forms of discrimination, including those based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in any company workplace, anywhere in the world.”

However, their lack of LGBT protections scored the company a -25 on Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz commented:

“Over fifty years of practical experience has firmly established that there is heightened sensitivity to discrimination only when categories are enumerated. If ExxonMobil is as committed to zero-tolerance as they claim, there’s simply no reason to have fully-inclusive policies. Until then, their commitment to equality will rightly be questioned.”

A 2013 lawsuit filed by the LGBT labor-rights group Freedom to Work alleges that Exxon Mobil uses discriminatory practices to hire straight workers over equally-qualified gay ones.

Furthermore, a recent report co-authored by Freedom to Work and the HRC also shows that LGBT workers face higher incidents of workplace discrimination despite the increase of LGBT civil protections.

In the meanwhile, The Advocate has alternatives for those looking to support gas companies with greater LGBT-inclusivity, including Chevron and Shell.

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  1. I agree it's silly to resist this but to be clear, EM policies do cover sexual discrimination. There are specific examples relating to sexual orientation in the company eeo handbook. EM's position is very "technical" in that they are only using broad language in the policy. The coverage this gets every year is very misleading. I have worked for EM for 20 years and have even had to endorse termination for someone who used an anti-gay slur. It's not a progressive company by any means but not a place of fear for gay people as these articles tend to suggest.

    Posted by: CAHBF | May 30, 2014 8:20:50 AM

  2. It is nice that CAHBF hasn't been discriminated against, but it is likely that many other people have been mistreated as a result of EXXON's management stance.

    I avoid their products as much as possible, and it is regrettable that the more progressive MOBIL was absorbed by a more evil company.

    Posted by: TonyJazz | May 30, 2014 2:05:25 PM

  3. I think I've purchased about one tank of gas from ExxonMobil in the last 2 decades.

    I drive out of my way to spend at better companies (at least, as far as gas stations go). Not only do they get my business, but my slightly higher gas usage means they get more of it than ExxonMobil would have.

    Posted by: Randy | May 30, 2014 5:51:01 PM

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