In recognition to Levi Strauss & Co.’s ongoing commitment to LGBTQ+ rights, the Human Rights Campaign awarded us this year’s HRC Corporate Equality Award.
This year, we scored a perfect 100 on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index – for the 16th year in a row – based on our LGBTQ-related policies and practices. This is an extension of our history of supporting the LGBTQ community. We were the first Fortune 500 company to extend health benefits to unmarried domestic partners more than 20 years ago, and the only California business in 2007 to join an amicus brief with the California Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage. We were also one of the first companies to come out in support of the Equality Act when it was first introduced in 2015.
“LS&Co. has been — and will continue to be — vocal advocates of equality and non-discrimination. We are incredibly proud to support the grassroots work of diversity champions such as the HRC,” said Roy Bagattini, Americas Regional President.
HRC expanded on our recent honor and why it’s more important than ever for companies like ours to stand up and speak out.
Why Recognize Levi Strauss & Co. with this honor?
HRC: The Human Rights Campaign applauds your exemplary work and dedication to equality for all Americans; including your steadfast public advocacy for LGBTQ Americans. Levi Strauss & Co’s leadership is a tremendous asset to our cause, and your commitment to the many issues facing our movement is inspiring for our members and supporters. We applaud your recent public declarations of support of the LGBTQ community across the U.S. in combating the various state anti-LGBT legislations, as well as your firm support of the Equality Act. Your support of HRC’s Project One America is helping to change hearts and minds in the Deep South, and through the Levi Strauss Legacy Grant our Youth Advocacy Program has brought awareness and funding to the on-going issues we continue to face across the country.
What does Corporate Equality mean to HRC?
Corporate Equality is about showing up every day to a job that affords LGBTQ people something that their own lawmakers do not – explicit non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Companies with 100% on the Corporate Equality Index are not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the U.S., they are applying these policies to their global operations and impacting millions of people beyond our shores. Many of these companies have also become vocal advocates for equality in the public square, including companies that sign onto amicus briefs in vital supreme court cases and have joined the HRC’s Business Coalition for Equality Act.
Why is it important to HRC that corporations like ours speak out about human rights issues?
Over the past five years, the rates of corporate engagement on matters of equality under the law and LGBTQ-related public policy have skyrocketed. As hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills have proliferated across the states over the last several years of legislative sessions, businesses have spoken out and rebuked attempts to undermine LGBTQ civil rights at record rates from state-to-state. These corporate leaders are speaking out not just on principle but also because anti-LGBTQ bills – like those that attempt to curb access to public services for transgender people, deny basic services to LGBTQ families or preempt local non-discrimination ordinances – ultimately put their employees and their families, as well as their customers, at risk. CEI-rated employers are on the record supporting broad issues of LGBTQ equality at the local, state and federal levels as well as through amicus briefs because they know equality is good for business.