Three local businesses rank high on LGBTQ measure

Three area businesses earned perfect scores in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual 2018 Corporate Equality Index.

Constellations Brands Inc., Eastman Kodak Co. and Excellus Health Plan Inc. joined more than 600 other businesses nationwide that earned the CEI’s top score of 100. Last year, 517 businesses earned perfect scores.

The index assesses lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer inclusion in major companies and law firms across the nation. HRC rated 947 companies, including 154 in New York State. The average score statewide was 95, and 113 businesses in New York earned scores of 100.

“At a time when the rights of LGBTQ people are under attack by the Trump-Pence administration and state legislatures across the country, hundreds of top American companies are driving progress toward equality in the workplace,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement. “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 operations around the globe and impacting millions of people beyond our shores.”

Griffin added: “In addition, 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 106 corporate supporters of the Equality Act. We are proud to have developed so many strong partnerships with corporate allies who see LGBTQ equality as a crucial issue for our country and for their businesses.”

The index found that gender identity is part of non-discrimination policies at 83 percent of Fortune 500 companies, up from 3 percent 15 years ago. More than 450 major employers have adopted supportive inclusion guidelines for transgender workers who are transitioning.

The CEI rates companies and law firms on detailed criteria that fall under five broad categories including: non-discrimination policies; employment benefits; demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion; public commitment to LGBTQ equality; and responsible citizenship.

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