The Illinois Department of Human Rights has agreed to investigate a discrimination claim against ExxonMobil brought by the group Freedom to Work.
The Illinois department said the investigation would take up to a year.
Tico Almeida, founder of Freedom to Work, said his group brought the charges in Illinois because that state has some of the country’s strongest protections based on sexual orientation.
In May, the organization sent similar resumes to ExxonMobil for an open position. The difference was that one applicant was lesbian while the other was straight and slightly less qualified. The company contacted the straight woman and held the job open for her even when she didn’t respond. The more qualified lesbian candidate was never contacted.
Locally, Cece Cox, CEO of Resource Center Dallas, sent a letter this week to two ExxonMobil executives — Malcolm Farrant, vice president of human resources, and David Rosenthal, vice president of investor relations and board secretary. Last year, she met with them along with LGBT executives from Dallas-area Fortune 500 companies to discuss implementing nondiscrimination policies.
“As most of my subsequent inquiries to you have gone unanswered, I am writing today to see where things stand on the matters that were discussed,” she wrote.
She references the recent ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and bipartisan Senate committee approval of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this week.
Cox’s full letter is below: