Atlanta companies falter in ranking of LGBT love

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A few high-profile Atlanta-based companies with strong reputations for being gay-inclusive failed to score a perfect 100 on a new ranking of how they address LGBT workplace policies, benefits and consumers.

What tripped up Delta Air Lines, Newell Rubbermaid, Cox Enterprises and SunTrust Banks and kept them from their usual perfect ranking in the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign? A lack of transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, which was given more weight in how it factored into the 2012 rankings. HRC released the new report on Thursday.

imageWith those high-profile companies lacking a perfect score, just six companies based in metro Atlanta notched a perfect 100: Alston & Byrd, Coca-Cola, ING North America Insurance, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, Troutman Sanders and United Parcel Service.

That’s a big change from 2009, when 11 metro Atlanta companies scored a 100: Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Newell Rubbermaid, SunTrust Banks, United Parcel Service, Alston & Byrd, Cox Enterprises, ING North America Insurance, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan and Troutman Sanders.

The Corporate Equality Index bases its rankings on five areas: equal employment opportunity, employment benefits, organization LGBT competency, public engagement and responsible citizenship.

And burned by Target’s funneling of money to an anti-gay political candidate, HRC also includes a potential deduction of up to a 25 points for an anti-gay blemish on a company’s record. The Minneapolis-based retailer received an 85 in the 2012 report.

UPS, headquartered in Sandy Springs, calls its perfect ranking “gratifying.”

image“UPS is proud to once again earn a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign for our commitment to fostering an inclusive environment for all of our dedicated employees, our customers and our vendors,” Joe Finamore, human resources sustainability director for UPS, says in a statement released by HRC.

“We believe that UPS really is one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ and it is gratifying to be recognized for the value we place on diversity, especially by an organization as esteemed as Human Rights Campaign,” he adds.

Among Atlanta companies that have notched perfect scores in the past — Delta Air Lines, Newell Rubbermaid, Cox Enterprises and SunTrust Banks – they received a score of 90 in the 2012 report, failing to gain the 10 points for transgender-inclusive health coverage.

Of the six Atlanta-area companies scoring a 100, none took part in the Atlanta Pride parade in October – one of the region’s most visible annual LGBT events. Others in the HRC rankings that did take part in the parade include Delta Air Lines, Newell Rubbermaid, SunTrust and Home Depot (photos).

Some 26 companies based in Atlanta or other Georgia cities were included in the HRC rankings:

imageAlston & Byrd, 100
Chamberlin Edmonds & Associates, 40
Coca-Cola, 100
Coca-Cola Enterprises, 75
Cox Enterprises, 90
Delta Air Lines, 90
EarthLink, 55
The Home Depot, 80
ING North America Insurance, 100
InterContinental Hotels Group America, 65
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, 90
King & Spalding, 90
McKenna, Long & Aldridge, 80
Mirant, 30
Mohawk Industries, 20
NCR, 80
Newell Rubbermaid, 90
Southern Co., 40
SunTrust Banks, 90
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, 100
Troutman Sanders, 100
UPS, 100

Four companies in Georgia did not respond to HRC for the survey. Their rankings were based on publicly-available information.

AFLAC, 30
Agco, 15
First Data Corp., 15
Genuine Parts, 15

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