After seventeen years of failed attempts, ExxonMobile’s board of directors has finally approved adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to ExxonMobile’s list of protected classes.
Trust and believe, however, that the change doesn’t come from a sincere change of heart.
President Obama’s July 2014 announcement that federal contractors would have to make such additions and changes to corporate policies in order to do business with the federal government.
However, we get there, though, is still a win.
Expect several anti-gay pundits to moan and whine about this later today.
In light of President Obama’s recent executive order banning workplace discrimination of LGBT employees by federal contractors, Exxon has signaled it will comply with the new guidelines.
Exxon is one of the largest corporations in the world which won over $480 million in federal contracts in 2013.
Company spokesman Alan Jeffers said Tuesday that Exxon will continue to “abide by the law.”
However, that has not been the case for years. Via Houston Chronicle:
In May, Exxon shareholders voted down a proposal for the 15th consecutive year to add such language to its equal employment opportunity statement, maintaining that the business standards stated on a company web site ensure protections without having to specifically name them.
The proposal, backed since 2010 by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli on behalf of the New York State Employees Retirement System, has never gained majority shareholder support. It won 20 percent of voters this year holding roughly $41.5 billion in Exxon stock.
Exxon has not stated whether there are plans to formally change the company’s equal employment opportunity policy.
I’m betting not. Exxon had to be brought to this point kicking and screaming.
For the 14th year in a row, oil giant ExxonMobil’s shareholders have voted down a proposal that would have provided employment discrimination protections to the company’s LGBT employees.
The Dallas Voice reports:
Shareholders voted to reject a resolution, 81 percent to 19 percent, from the New York state comptroller calling for the company’s Board of Directors to add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to the oil giant’s EEO policy. The 19 percent support for the resolution reportedly was the lowest ever.
George Wong addressed the shareholders on behalf of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. He presented the business argument that the company should recruit from and retain the widest possible talent pool. Failure to do that leads to less efficient business operations. Most Fortune 500 companies do have inclusive nondiscrimination policies including most other major oil companies, he said.
During general comments, no one else supported the nondiscrimination proposal.
ExxonMobil has the lowest score ever received by a company in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, scoring a -25 rating for rescinding LGBT discrimination protections and cancelling domestic partner health benefits when Exxon acquired Mobil in 1999.
Other oil companies, such as Chevron, BP, Shell and Spectra, have received scores of 85 or higher.
ExxonMobil shareholders have voted down a proposal to add gay and transgender employees to the Irving-based corporation’s nondiscrimination policy.
Meeting at the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Dallas Arts District, the ExxonMobil shareholders voted 80 percent to 20 percent against a resolution asking the corporation to amend “its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to substantially implement the policy.”
Mobil was one of the first companies in the world to include sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination policy and offer benefits to the same-sex partners of gay employees. But ExxonMobil rescinded those policies after the merger.
ExxonMobil maintains the lowest possible rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, with a minus-25.