ExxonMobil is one of the U.S.’s biggest federal contractors, but also a company with some of the least LGBT-inclusive policies in the country — earning it the Human Rights Campaign’s first negative score on its Corporate Equality Index. But on Tuesday, the company announced that it will comply with President Obama’s new executive order requiring federal contractors not to discriminate against LGBT workers.
In a statement to the Associated Press, the company said that it will continue to “abide by the law,” stressing that it prohibits “discrimination on any basis.” Still, it did not specify whether it would consider updating its own policy to include workplace protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
For 15 consecutive years, ExxonMobil shareholders have overwhelmingly voted down proposals to create those protections. The company claims that it nevertheless has a “zero-tolerance” policy for discrimination, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has pointed out that this does not offer the same legal force as the regularly-rejected protections would.
Freedom to Work filed a complaint against ExxonMobil with the Illinois Department of Human Rights back in May of 2013, after résumé testing found that the company would prefer a lesser-qualified candidate over one who identifies as LGBT. The case had been dismissed in January on jurisdictional grounds, but just this month the Illinois Human Rights Commission overturned the dismissal, allowing the complaint to advance.