Companies doing business in countries with harsh anti-LGBT laws are among the top scorers in the Human Rights Campaign’s first ever corporate LGBT scorecard to consider international operations alongside domestic ones. HRC launches its 14th annual Corporate Equality Index, which scores hundreds of companies on measures like health insurance coverage for transgender workers and employee benefits for employees’ same-sex partners.
Only one area that employers were scored on this year actually applied to work overseas: whether the company has a nondiscrimination policy covering LGBT workers that applies throughout its global operations. Some of the companies that met this requirement have operations in countries that not only make same-sex relationships or wearing non-gender conforming clothing illegal, but actively seek out LGBT people for arrest, have extreme jail sentences or flogging as penalties, or criminalize support for LGBT rights.
In such countries, invoking a company’s nondiscrimination protections might require LGBT employees to out themselves to company officers in a way that could expose them to arrest or extortion. That could mean policies on paper have little effect on the ground, or might force companies into difficult confrontations with local governments. Read more via Buzzfeed