Six Tennessee companies earn perfect score for workplace inclusivity

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The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has released the results of its annual Corporate Equality Index, a survey of companies nationwide as it regards LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies.

The average score for companies and law firms based in Tennessee is 85 percent. Of the 16 companies ranked, six earned 100 points, nine earned 90 points and above, and 12 earned 80 points and above.

The six companies that earned the full 100-point grade are:

Nissan North America Inc. (based in Franklin)

Unum Group (Chattanooga)

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC (Memphis)

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC (Nashville)

FedEx Corp. (Memphis)

Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport)

Ranking just short of the full 100 are:

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (Chattanooga) (score: 95)

HCA – Hospital Corporation of America (Nashville) (score: 90)

The complete list is below. 

The Corporate Equality Index (CEI) rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories: Non-discrimination policies; Employment benefits; Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion; Public commitment to LGBTQ equality, and; Responsible citizenship.

Nationally a record-breaking 609 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 517 last year — a single-year increase of 18 percent. This record sets a new high water mark for corporate leadership over the 15-year history of the CEI. In total, 947 companies and law firms were officially rated in the new CEI, up from 887 in last year’s.

The full report is available online and in a PDF file.

“At a time when the rights of LGBTQ people are under attack by the Trump-Pence Administration and state legislatures across the country, hundreds of top American companies are driving progress toward equality in the workplace,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The top-scoring companies on this year’s CEI are not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the United States, they are applying these policies to their operations around the globe and impacting millions of people beyond our shores. In addition, many of these companies have also become vocal advocates for equality in the public square, including the dozens that have signed on to amicus briefs in vital Supreme Court cases and the 106 corporate supporters of the Equality Act. We are proud to have developed so many strong partnerships with corporate allies who see LGBTQ equality as a crucial issue for our country and for their businesses.”

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Photo: Kesha at the 2016 HRC Nashville Annual Dinner