US: Situation for LGBT people working for larger employees is improving

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The situation for LGBT people working in larger corporations is improving in the US, following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down DOMA six months ago.

The Corporate Equality Index (CEI), released this week by the Human Rights Campaign, found that over two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies and 90% of all large employers now offer health insurance, and other benefits to same-sex domestic partners of their employees.

Among those soon to offer the benefits were WalMart, Hormel Foods LLC and Wendy’s International Inc, which will all extend their benefit programmes to same-sex couples next year.

This is the 12th time the CEI has been released, and this time it found that a record number of businesses had adopted policies which bar discrimination against trans workers or job applicants.

Those with anti-discrimination protections made up 61% of the Fortune 500 list, which is up from 57% a year ago, and 86% of all of the 737 companies which it evaluated.

Deena Fidas, who directs the campaign’s Workplace Equality Program said: “There is no more succinct way to say we have arrived than the Wal-Mart story,” she said. “The stores and restaurants that you find across strip malls and along highways in every pocket of the country and that are serving demographics that are more senior in age and more rural, cutting across what conventional wisdom would tell you, are places where you now find LGBT-inclusion.”

The CEI rates private companies on their policies which affect LGBT workers and consumers.