HRC suspends Walmart’s Corporate Equality Index score

HRC Corporate Equality Index 2018

Last week the Human Rights Campaign released their 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for 2018. Thanks to a successful effort by the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, HRC has suspended the score of Walmart citing their lack of enforcement of the policies that are considered under the CEI.

“We applaud TLDEF for their extraordinary work representing transgender Walmart employees who have been mistreated by the company,” Pride at Work Executive Director, Jerame Davis said, “Pride at Work has, for years, pointed out the flaws in the CEI’s scoring model because it doesn’t consider the lived experience of the working people employed by these corporations. A policy that isn’t enforced — or that is enforced haphazardly — is not really a policy an employee can count upon.

“While HRC deserves credit for doing the right thing in this case, it is unfortunate that so many LGBTQ people had to face discrimination at the Walmart’s hands before they took action. In the last CEI, Walmart received a perfect score (100) despite the fact that the company had just settled a class action lawsuit brought by LGBTQ people who had been denied spousal benefits.”

LGBT workplace advocates are asking HRC to take the steps to ensure the CEI is an accurate measure of a corporation’s commitment to LGBT equality in the futurre. Some advocates consider the current scoring system “aspirational,” rather than accurate. They have said the strongest way to enforce workplace protections for LGBT people is with a contract where employees can negotiate a fair return for their work, rather than relying on corporate-sponsored policy and enforcement mechanisms.

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