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ExxonMobil once again rejects LGBT-workplace protections

‘Existing all-inclusive, zero-tolerance policies adequate’: ExxonMobil board

ExxonMobil shareholders have rejected a measure that would have embedded LGBT non-discrimination language in the company’s equal employment opportunity policy, making it the 17th time such a resolution was defeated, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reports

The American multinational oil and gas company did offer health and pension benefits to employees in same-sex marriages after the US Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that legally married same-sex couples are entitled to the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples. But HRC says it continues to be disappointed by the company’s reluctance to have “fully-inclusive policies.”

The Washington Blade reports that ExxonMobil board guidance issued to stakeholders before this year’s vote states that the LGBT protections proposal was “unnecessary,” as the company’s  “existing all-inclusive, zero-tolerance policies” were more than adequate.

ExxonMobil’s policy specifically lists race, colour, sex, national origin and other factors as protected categories under its employment opportunity and workplace harassment provisions but includes no specific mention of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

“Over 50 years of practical experience has firmly established that there is heightened sensitivity to discrimination only when categories are enumerated,” HRC’s vice-president of communications, Fred Sainz, says.