Why an LGBTQ-Inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Policy?
The HRC Foundation (HRCF) seeks a clear declaration of non-discrimination toward LGBTQ employees by including both "sexual orientation" and "gender identity or expression" in an employer’s primary non-discrimination or EEO statement. HRCF does not view anti-harassment or other corporate statements alone as sufficiently inclusive policy of non-discrimination towards employees and job applicants.
An employment non-discrimination policy that explicitly bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity ensures equal treatment for LGBTQ employees and also sends a welcoming message to LGBTQ job applicants, helping employers retain and recruit a diverse, talented staff.
In areas without a state law explicitly prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination, adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to a non-discrimination policy affirms an employer’s commitment to workplace equity and inclusion.
Please note that the recommended term is "gender identity or expression." Although a person's gender expression, or external expression of gender, differs from their gender identity, or internal sense of gender, in law and policy the term "gender identity" is often defined or at least understood to include an individual's gender expression. To ensure that expectations are clearly communicated to employees and potential applicants, we recommend employers use the term "gender identity or expression" in policies and other communications.
To receive credit in CEI Criteria 1a and 1b (30 points):
- Criterion 1a: Employer must submit an official non-discrimination or EEO policy that includes “sexual orientation” for all operations (15 points)
- Criterion 1b: Employer must submit an official non-discrimination or EEO policy that includes “gender identity” or “gender identity or expression” for all operations (15 points)
Note on “All operations”: For those companies with locations outside of the United States (with 100 employees), non-discrimination policy must also extend to those global operations. Companies without LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination policies for existing global operations will lose 5 points per criterion (1a and 1b).