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If you've ever wondered how your employer stacks up in terms of fair and inclusive LGBT workplace policies, the Human Rights Campaign has a way to measure that.
The HRC's 2013 Corporate Equality Index is out, and it rates some of the nation's largest businesses on their policies and practices as they relate to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. Besides the individual ratings, the Index provides some insight into what makes a company LGBT-friendly.
If you work for a large company, you might be able to find your employer on the HRC list. But even if you don't, the Index lists the policies most important to achieving LGBT workplace equality.
In ranking the companies, HRC looked at whether equal employment and benefits policies included LGBT individuals and their spouses, according to the Index. Researchers also looked at the companies' commitment to, and competency in dealing with, LGBT issues.
In the 2013 report, more than 250 companies received a 100 percent score for LGBT equality in their policies. (That includes Thomson Reuters, FindLaw.com's parent company.)
Companies are required under U.S. law to have equal-opportunity employment and non-discrimination policies. That means they can't discriminate in hiring or firing based on a number of factors such as race, sex, nationality, and religion. Under federal law, sexual orientation is not a protected class, although under some state laws, it is.
Corporations are required to toe the line when it comes to not discriminating. But companies that go above and beyond to show their commitment to equality in all areas of employment are more likely to treat all employees well. That doesn't mean all of them do, however.
If you feel your workplace discriminates against you based on a protected status, you might want to talk to an attorney about your options. Everyone has a right to be treated fairly at work.