Equality advances evident at retail and CPG

Nineteen of the nation’s leading retail and CPG companies received perfect scores on the 2013 Corporate Equality Index compiled by the Human Rights Campaign.

The Human Rights Campaign released its 2013 Corporate Equality Index, which gives companies ratings of up to 100% based on their policies regarding LGBT employees and also released a buyer's guide for LGBT consumers. According to the equality advocacy group, a total of 1,848 companies were invited to submit applications, of those 530 actually did so and of those 252 received scores of 100%.

Among the retailers receiving perfect scores were Best Buy, Gamestop, Gap, The Limited, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Sears, Staples, Target and Walgreens. Costco received a 95% rating; Safeway and Kroger received 85%; Rite Aid, CVS and Walmart received 60%; Ahold received 55%; . Meanwhile, Dollar General received 45%; BJ's Wholesale received 35%; Family Dollar received 30%; and Meijer received 25%. Winn-Dixie received a 15% rating.

In the Buyer's Guide, Delhaize, Sears, Supervalu, Target and Walgreens got 100% scores, while Costco got a 90% rating. Kroger and Safeway got 85% ratings, while Walmart, CVS and Rite Aid got 60% ratings, and Ahold got a 55% rating. BJ's and H-E-B got a 35% and 40% rating, respectively, while Meijer and Family Dollar respectively received 25% and 30% ratings. Winn-Dixie and Weis Markets got 15%, while A&P, Harris Teeter and Publix got 0% ratings.

Companies were evaluated based on policies like spousal and partner medical benefits, non-discrimination policies, efforts to recruit LGBT employees, marketing to LGBT consumers and support for LGBT organizations and philanthropic efforts.

The report noted that 83% of employers on the list had an LGBT employee-resource group or diversity panel, compared with 78% in 2008 and 40% in 2002, while 89% offer health insurance for same-sex domestic partners.

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