Each year, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) benchmarks businesses based on their LGBTQ-related policies and practices, ranking those who score a perfect 100 percent with the distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” It’s an honor we’ve proudly secured once again this year – for the 17th year in a row.
Yes, the recognition is one we do expect to uphold every year, but it does not diminish its impact or our efforts to keep pushing for stronger protections for our community. As the co-chairs of our LGBTQ Employee Resource Group here in the U.S., we are working hard to foster an inclusive workplace culture. We do this in part by advocating for policies – which Levi Strauss & Co. supports – that affect our community such as non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBTQ community.
We are proud of the storied history our company has in support of the LGBTQ community as well as with the HRC. In addition to our perfect scores on its Corporate Equality Index, we recently received the 2019 HRC Corporate Equality Award for our ongoing commitment to LGBTQ rights. It’s a testament to the work we’ve done throughout the decades. We were the first Fortune 500 company to extend health benefits to unmarried domestic partners more than 20 years ago, and the only California business in 2007 to join an amicus brief with the California Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage. We were also one of the first companies to come out in support of the Equality Act when it was first introduced in 2015.
Equality and nondiscrimination in the workplace are absolutely core values here and integral to how we do business, which is why it is important to celebrate moments like these recognitions while not resting on our laurels. We know that when we lead, others follow. We believe we have a role to play in helping to advance change on big issues like equal rights, and we will continue to be vocal supporters of equality and non-discrimination.