Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Including gender identity or expression in anti-discrimination policies is common among Memphis-area employers

FedEx is the largest employer in
Memphis to protect workers
from discrimination based
on gender identity.

Tennessee Equality Project and other allies in the community call on the Memphis City Council to amend the proposed non-discrimination ordinance one more time to add gender identity or expression. These additional non-merit factors are also included in the anti-discrimination policies of several Memphis-area employers. 

The number of Fortune 500 companies and other employers that include gender identity or expression in the anti-discrimination policies increases each year. 80% of CEI-rated employers provide employment protections on the basis of gender identity or expression — the highest figure to date. The proportion of employers offering these protections has increased dramatically since the first CEI 2002 when just 5 percent of rated businesses included gender identity in their non-discrimination policies. Now eight in ten rated businesses afford workplace protections on the basis of gender identity.

This list of employers comes from HRC's Corporate Equality Index (CEI), company websites, and reliable employees of  these companies. A large number of Memphis-area companies include gender identity or expression in employment non-discrimination policies (this list is not exhaustive): 

AFLAC; AT&T; Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC; Bank of America; Best Buy; Burger King; Caesar’s Entertainment; Cargill; Coca-Cola; Comcast; CostcoDelloitte & Touche; Delta Airlines; Ernst & Young; Family Dollar Store;  FedEx; First Horizon National; Harrah’s Entertainment; Hilton Hotel; Home Depot; Humana; Hyatt Hotels; J.C. Penny; Kellogg; Kroger; Macy’s; Marriott; Medtronic; Merck; Nike; Office Depot; OfficeMax; Pepsi Beverages Co.; PetSmart; Pfizer; Raymond James; Sears; ServiceMaster; Staples; Starbucks; State Farm; SunTrust Banks; Target; UnitedHealth Group; Wachovia Bank; Walgreens; Whole Foods Market; Wells Fargo Bank; Wal-Mart; Williams-Sonoma; and United Parcel Service.

In addition, most employees of Federal Government agencies are also protected from discrimination based on gender identity or expression. See http://www.opm.gov/diversity/Transgender/Guidance.asp for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management  policy guidance regarding the employment of transgender individuals in the Federal workplace. Some of the Federal Agencies that protect their transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace include the US Postal Service, the Social Security Administration, the IRS, Secret Service, the FBI, and the VA Hospital . 

It's hard to drive through any part of the City of Memphis without running across an employer that offers LGBT-inclusive workplace protections. The City of Memphis would be in good company to add these protections to its employment non-discrimination ordinance.

- Jonathan Cole

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