Utah Companies Lag When it Comes to LGBT Anti-Discrimination

Aug 27, 2012

All but a handful of the nation's Fortune 500 companies now voluntarily include protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. That makes most major companies more inclusive than Utah. Here in the Beehive State a person can still lose his/her job for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.

When the Equality Forum first started polling the Fortune 500 in 2004, about 2/3 had anti-discrimination policies that included sexual orientation and gender identity. Today, that number has grown to 95%.

Equality Forum Executive Director Malcolm Lazin says that it's one sign of changing times:

"I think what is obviously encouraging is that in the last 2 years we have seen sexual orientation and gender identity included in the federal hate crime bill."

The only Utah-based company in the Fortune 500, Hunstman International, includes sexual orientation protection as part of its human resources policy.

Lazin says in the past week 2 more companies have added language to their rules protecting LGBT workers from discrimination, bringing the total to 479.