Human Rights Campaign, the nations largest gay-rights group, since 2002 has tracked companies that offer benefits and protections to LGBT employees with its annual Corporate Equality Index.
We need to have consistent equal protections under the law for all workers, including those that are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, said Deena Fidas, deputy director of HRCs Workplace Project.
In the last few years, Ive seen a significant uptick in Florida businesses with regard to implementing inclusive nondiscrimination policies and equitable benefits, Fidas said. Were seeing more Florida companies offering protections based on gender identity. Youre seeing more companies with whats called transgender inclusive health coverage. When medically necessary, if a transgender person needs to access mental health counseling, hormone therapies and sometimes surgery, that as part of the overall employee benefits package, those medically necessary procedures are covered.
Several large companies with big presence in South Florida receive perfect 100 scores on HRCs index.
Office Depot as a publicly traded company wants to support its entire client base, said Frantz Tiffeau, the companys senior manager of diversity initiatives. For reasons of doing the right thing, it makes sense to support [the LGBT] community. Members of employees families, the employees themselves. It makes good business sense. If they feel that support from a company, theyre going to support that company, as well. Most corporations and counterparts I deal with, its part of a standard companywide benefit in global corporations based in the U.S., both public and private.
Tiffeau, who is based in Houston, said that weve had employees say they only came to Office Depot because of the 100 percent HRC rating and what it meant to them.
American Airlines has received a 100 score every year since HRC began rating companies, spokesman Bob Witeck said.
Twelve years later, their culture is now invested in doing it. Its a no-brainer, said Witeck, a Washington, D.C.-based communications consultant who specializes in the gay marketplace. And Its bigger than just LGBT. It makes [American Airlines executives] sensitive to how that perception is and other kinds of groups and demographics.