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SPECIAL REPORT BY:

EQUALITY FOR ALL

Congratulations to K&L Gates for being recognized as a leader in providing equal access to benefits to its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) employees.  The Human Rights Campaign Foundation just released its Corporate Equality Index, which ranks law firms on employer benefits and protections for LGBT employees.  K&L scored 100 points on the equality index,  and was designated a “Top Law Firm for Equality.” 

A closer inspection of this list reveals that other firms either based here in Pittsburgh or operating a satellite office in or nearby Pittsburgh and also scoring 100 points include:  Littler Mendelson, PC; Morgan Lewis & Bockius; Orrick, Herrigton & Sutcliff, LLP (Wheeling); and DLA Piper.
 
While not scoring 100 points on the index, some local employers (including those with in-house legal departments) did have scores indicating progressive LGBT policies:  Bayer Corp. (90 points–does not provide transgendered inclusive health insurance); American Eagle (80 points–does not provide transgendered inclusive health insurance, provides limited access to “soft” benefits for domestic partners”, has limited engagement in the LGBT community); Duane Morris (85 points–does not provide transgendered inclusive health insurance, provides limited access to “soft” benefits for domestic partners); Pepper Hamilton 90 (does not provide transgendered inclusive health insurance); PNC Financial Services Group:  90 (does not provide transgendered inclusive health insurance); Reed Smith 90 ((does not provide transgendered inclusive health insurance);
 
And finally, there were some downright abysmal scores:  H.J Heinz 65 (no transgendered health benefits, does not have a firm wide organizational competency program, offers limited employer supported affinity groups and has limited engagement with the LGBT community at large); PPG Industries:  60 (does not prohibit discrimination based on Gender Identity of Expression, does not offer domestic partners “soft” benefits”, does not offer transgendered inclusive health coverage), does not have a firm wide competency program, does not have employer-supported employee resource group or firm wide diversity council);
 
Keep in mind, this report only includes large employers.  As we all know, Pittsburgh is awash in small to midsize firms–some of whom undoubtedly have LGBT friendly policies, some of whom could use a little work and some of whom have never considered the issue.  Maybe this would be a good project for the ACBA?
 

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