Adam Dupuis's picture

Wal-Mart Has Perfect 100% LGBT Equality Score Suspended.

We were a little astonished when we wrote "Does HRC Reward Walmart For Having Same/Worse Bathroom Policy As North Carolina?" Now we are even more flabbergasted to find out that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has taken a step back to look at Wally-World.

The HRC as officially suspended Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s perfect score for LGBT corporate equality.  This huge alteration comes after two federal complaints alleged the world’s largest retailer hadn’t protected transgender employees from discrimination.

Wal-Mart received its first-ever perfect score last year after it agreed to add new policies favorable to transgender workers. The suspension of the rating was disclosed today as part of the advocacy group’s annual Corporate Equality Index report. The suspension is only the second in the 16-year history of the report.

The asterisked statement reads:
* During the CEI survey cycle, two Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determinations were made public in the cases of Jessica Robison (EEOC Charge
Number 511-2015-01402) and Charlene Bost (EEOC Charge Number 430- 2014-01900). These determinations pointed to significant enforcement gaps in Wal-Mart’s
non-discrimination policy, specifically with regards to sex and gender identity. Pending remedial steps by the company, the CEI rating is suspended.

What was Wal-mart's response to having their perfect score being suspended? "We are proud of our work on LGBTQ-inclusive and nondiscriminatory policies," Wal-Mart said in an emailed statement. "We’re disappointed with the HRC’s decision to temporarily suspend our score, which was going to be rated at 100 percent for the second year in a row. While we respect the HRC’s work, we are confident in Walmart’s leading practices that support our LGBTQ communities and look forward to further educating them on our policies."

“Walmart has previously received high marks on the CEI, but recent determinations by the EEOC about discrimination are cause for concern,“ Deena Fidas, director of the Human Rights Campaign’s workplace equality program, said in an emailed statement. “The CEI is not just focused on policy, but on the daily workplace experience of LGBTQ employees. We have suspended Walmart’s score at this time as they address these concerns."

Did the examination of Wal-Mart's perfect score happen because of the two instances mentioned above?  Or was it from people and publications pointing out the errors and the changes needed in the HRC grading system?

I want to bring forth a quote I mentioned in the previous story ... The people over at thepublicdisclosure.com stated,

Surely HRC would be eager to correct this embarrassing oversight, assuming that’s what it is. Yet this year’s report has an entire section listing criteria changes and adjustments for coming years’ reports. Somehow the bathroom policy is not among them, despite the proud boast that “the most significant progress in the [Corporate Equality Index 2017] has been the wide-scale adoption of transgender inclusive initiatives across businesses.” Seriously? The bathroom issue would appear too obscure to meet their “wide-scale” criteria for future improvements. Insult added to injury. The trans community can only feel stiffed once again by HRC.

It looks like a change is a comin'!  Thanks HRC for altering your stance on Wal-Mart.

h/t: bloomberg.com