Memphis, TN, September 12, 2012 — An ordinance introduced by Lee Harris on the Memphis City Council would add age and disability to the non-merits factors which may not be used in employment decisions for city workers. To truly promote equal opportunity for all, the ordinance must be amended by the Memphis City Council on Sep. 18 to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Currently, no federal, state or municipal law prohibits discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) workers.
If the Memphis City Council enacts a non-discrimination ordinance which includes sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, Memphis will find itself in line with most Fortune 500 companies. Eighty-six percent of the Fortune 500 include sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination policies and 50 percent include gender identity. These employers know that LGBT-inclusive policies help them attract and retain talented professionals to the workplace. Many of these companies include various sectors of the economy and conduct business in the Memphis area:
Banking, Finance & Insurance: AFLAC*, Delloitte & Touche*, Ernst & Young*, First Horizon National*, Humana*, State Farm*, SunTrust Banks*, Wachovia Bank*
Communications & Technology: AT&T*, Comcast*, IBM*, Verizon Communications
Education & Non-Profit: Rhodes College, Southwest Tennessee Community College*, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee, Memphis Urban League, Tennessee Community Services Agency
Home Improvement: Servicemaster
Hospitality & Lodging: Caesar’s Entertainment*, Harrah’s Entertainment*, Hilton Hotels*, Marriott*
Legal: Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC
Manufacturing: Cargill*, Coca-Cola*, Kellogg*, International Paper, Medtronic*, Merck & Co.*, Nike*, Pepsi Beverages Co.*, Pfizer*, Smith & Nephew, Thomas & Betts
Restaurant and Grocery: KFC, Kroger*, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Starbucks*, Taco Bell
Retailers and Wholesalers: AutoZone, Best Buy*, Costco*, Home Depot, J.C. Penny*, Lowe’s, Macy’s*, Office Depot*, Sears*, Target*, Walgreens*, Wal-Mart*, Williams-Sonoma*,
Transportation & Shipping: Delta Airlines*, FedEx*, Pinnacle Airlines, United Parcel Service*
It’s time for the City of Memphis to catch up with the private sector by offering LGBT-inclusive workplace protections for city workers and job applicants.
*Indicates Equal Opportunity Employment policies that also include gender identity or expression. List compiled from HRC’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index: A Report Card on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equality in Corporate America and individual employers.
Contact Jonathan Cole, Vice President, Tennessee Equality Project, JMCole1970@gmail.com, 901-301-3306 for more information.