ExxonMobil has reversed its longstanding opposition to formalizing LGBT protections, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the company’s non-discrimination policies on employment and workplace harassment.
An ExxonMobil spokesperson confirmed to ThinkProgress that the policies had been updated, adding, “ExxonMobil’s policies prohibit all forms of discrimination in any company workplace, anywhere in the world. ExxonMobil supports a work environment that values diversity and inclusion, and has numerous inclusive programs and policies that help make ExxonMobil a great place to work.”
The policies indicate that they have been “modified for application in the United States.” This suggests that ExxonMobil made the change specifically because of President Obama’s executive order last summer requiring that all contractors of the federal government must have policies protecting their LGBT employees. ExxonMobil was undoubtedly the largest such contractor without a policy. The company announced in July that it would comply, but this new document is the first evidence of that compliance.
ExxonMobil, which has hundreds of millions in federal contracts, has for years resisted pressure from civil rights groups and shareholders to enumerate LGBT protections in its formal policies.
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Deena Fidas of the Human Rights Campaign called the update a “calibrated response” to maintain Exxon’s federal contracts.