Freedom to Work, a national workplace discrimination organization, filed a complaint against Irving-based ExxonMobil today charging it with violating Illinois’ ban on anti-LGBT workplace discrimination.
The lawsuit comes one week ahead of ExxonMobil’s annual meeting in Dallas, where shareholders will again consider a resolution to add LGBT employees to the company’s nondiscrimination policy.
Two test resumes were submitted for a position with the company, according to the complaint. One was an LGBT applicant who was highly qualified for the position. Another was a less-qualified straight woman.
Exxon responded by treating the better-qualified LGBT applicant far worse than the less qualified non-LGBT applicant, the suit alleges. On three occasions, Exxon contacted the non-LGBT and less-qualified candidate for an interview, and Exxon even suggested that it would hold open the job for the non-LGBT applicant.
The better qualified LGBT candidate was never contacted by Exxon about the position.
“Exxon broke the law, defies industry standards and continues to betray the American people’s sense of fairness,” said Tico Almeida, president of Freedom to Work in a press release. “This case is one more reminder that Exxon stands virtually alone in the Fortune 100 in denying qualified gay and transgender Americans a fair shot to get a job based on their talents and hard work. Exxon must obey the Golden Rule and do onto others as they would want others to do onto them.”
ExxonMobil shareholder resolutions to add LGBT protections have been voted down every year since 1999. ExxonMobil is the only company that has ever received a negative score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. The company rescinded domestic partner benefits and discrimination protections for gay employees after Exxon and Mobil merged.
More coverage of the meeting in Friday’s Dallas Voice. Freedom to Work’s full press release is below.