Freedom to Work President Tico Almeida: "ExxonMobil's Leadership is stuck in the Past while still Profiting from our U.S. Taxpayer Dollars"
DALLAS, TX – Today, Freedom to Work – a national organization working to ban workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans – responded to ExxonMobil shareholders' vote to reject a resolution to amend official written policies to finally ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Tico Almeida, president of Freedom to Work, harshly criticized ExxonMobil’s continuation of “Neanderthal business practices that U.S. taxpayer should not have to subsidize with our hard-earned dollars.” ExxonMobil is a major contractor with the U.S. federal government, receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts per year.
Thomas DiNapoli, New York State's Comptroller, brought the shareholder resolution to today’s meeting, and Freedom to Work’s Almeida praised DiNapoli "for his strong leadership on behalf of workplace fairness for LGBT Americans and strong investments for the pension-holders in the state of New York."
On last Monday's “Viewpoint with Elliot Spitzer,” Almeida called on ExxonMobil’s leadership to adopt the “Golden Rule” by implementing LGBT nondiscrimination policies and equal benefits. The segment is available on the Current TV website, here. Also, you can view Freedom to Work's petition on Change.org, here.
“ExxonMobil should join the leaders in Corporate America who have already banned discrimination and offered equal benefits to their LGBT employees because it is both the right thing to do and the best thing for any company's bottom line,” said Almeida. “We taxpayers should not have to pay for this kind of prejudice. Today’s vote is yet another glaring reminder that we cannot wait any longer for President Barack Obama to fulfill the campaign promise he made four years ago to sign an executive policy that would require companies profiting from federal contracts to protect their LGBT employees' freedom to work without discrimination or harassment."
During a White House press briefing in April, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration was committed to “directly engaging with and educating all sectors of the business community -- from major corporations to contractors to small business -- and raising public awareness about the human and financial costs of discrimination in the workforce.” Almeida responded, "It's time for White House staff to follow through on this promise and join the campaign to persuade ExxonMobil to adopt official policies protecting our freedom to work without discrimination."
As of 2012, 85% of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their EEO policy, and ExxonMobil remains the only Fortune 10 Company to exclude it. Due to the corporation's public anti-LGBT position, ExxonMobil is currently rated -25 on Human Rights Campaign's annual "Corporate Equality Index," a rating of LGBT policies and practices of large U.S. companies. ExxonMobil is the first corporation ever to receive a negative score on the index.
Freedom to Work is a national organization committed to banning workplace harassment and career discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender Americans through public education, policy analysis and legal work. For more information on Freedom to Work, please visit: http://www.freedomtowork.org.
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