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Freedom to Work Exxon

Freedom to Work Exxon

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Published by Lia Seremetis

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Published by: Lia Seremetis on May 22, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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PRESS RELEASE CONTACT:For Immediate Distribution Steven Fisher, (202)587-4936May 22, 2013 SFisher@rabengroup.com
 Freedom to Work files charge with Illinois Human Rights Department alleging a violation of 
 state’s LGBT employment discrimination law
May 22, 2013 -- Springfield, Illinois
Exxon Mobil is charged with workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act according to acomplaint filed today with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. The complaint was filed byFreedom to Work, a national non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating workplacediscrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans, which
conducted groundbreaking testing to reveal Exxon’s discrimination against LGBT employees.
Freedom to Work is represented in the case by Christine E, Webber and Peter Romer-Friedman
of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, one of the nation’s leading law firms that represents
 plaintiffs in civil rights and employment issues.According to the discrimination charge filed today with the state of Illinois, Freedom to Work submitted a
 pair of “test” resumes from fictitious applicants in response to an Illinois
-based job
listing on Exxon’s web site in December, 2012. The paired resumes were very similar in
experience, education and skills except one resume indicated that the applicant identified asLGBT. In fact, the resumes were written to make it clear to Exxon that the LGBT candidate had better qualifications in terms of experience, education and skills than the other candidate.Exxon responded by treating the better-qualified LGBT applicant far worse than the lessqualified non-LGBT applicant. 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 jobfor the non-LGBT applicant. The better qualified LGBT candidate was never contacted byExxon about the position
Exxon’s far worse treatment of the better qualified LGBT applicant constitutes a violation of 
Illinois law that bans employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“Exxon broke the law, defies industry standards and continues to betray the American people’ssense of fairness,” said Tico Almeida, President of Freedom to Work. “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”
 For years, Exxon has repeatedly refused to the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies,including all major ones in the gas and oil industry, that have adopted and implemented explicit policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Thecompany refuses to provide benefits to same-sex married partners in states where such marriages
are legal and it also repealed protections for Mobil’s employees when the companies merged in
Because of Exxon’s hostility to providing rights and benefits to its LGBT employees, Exxon
scores a “negative 25” on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, the leading
 benchmark for corporate equality practices.
“This case shows why Exxon must adopt and implement a policy banning discrimination based
on who you are or who you lo
ve,” said Peter Romer 
-Friedman, an attorney at Cohen Milstein
who represents Freedom to Work. “All qualified people should have a fair shot to get a job at
Exxon. On behalf of all Americans who support workplace fairness, we will hold Exxonaccountable a
nd stop this global corporation from discriminating in the future.”
On May 29, 2013 Exxon will hold its annual shareholder’s meeting in Dallas, Texas, where
shareholders will vote on a resolution introduced by New York State Comptroller Thomas P.DiNapoli, to force Exxon to adopt a corporate policy banning discrimination based on sexualorientation and gender identity. Freedom to Work launched a Change.org petition that urgesExxon to end its discriminatory workplace policies, which can be viewed here:http://goo.gl/z4yjZ
Exxon’s policies not only affect the company’s employees throughout the United States, but also
affect the American taxpayer. Exxon wins hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts
every year, which means that taxpayer dollars are fueling the company’s discriminatory policies.
“Taxpayers are subsidizing policies that betray core American values of fairness and equality,”added Almeida. “It’s crucial that we stop wasting millions of 
taxpayer dollars on Exxon’srefusal to follow basic corporate workplace standards.”The paired “testing” method that Freedom to Work employed in Illinois is a longstanding
 practice that civil rights organizations have used to root out illegal discrimination in employmentand housing, including discrimination based on race, sex, disability, and national origin. In thiscase, Freedom to Work partnered with the Equal Rights Center, one of the most experiencedcivil rights organizations that conducts employment and housing testing. This is the first timethat a civil rights group has filed a legal action based on testing that involved a LGBT jobapplicant.
“Based on the Equal Rights Center’s 30
-years of testing experience, and nearly 2,000 testsconducted in the last year, our testing methodologies are recognized and accepted by the civil
rights community, government agencies, and the courts,” added Donald L. Kahl, executive

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