Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP announced today that it has earned a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the fourth consecutive year. Annually administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the CEI survey measures lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality (LGBT) in the workplace. Fried Frank is one of only 190 US companies to achieve a 100 percent rating.
The CEI report provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large US businesses and their policies and practices relevant to LGBT employees on a scale of 0 to 100 percent. To achieve a perfect score and the distinction of "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality," companies must have fully-inclusive equal employment opportunity policies, provide equal employment benefits, demonstrate organizational LGBT competence, publicly evidence their commitment to equality and exercise responsible citizenship.
Fried Frank received a 100 percent rating based on its inclusive non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation and gender identity or expression; diversity education programs; LGBT employee resource group; outreach to the LGBT community; and health care and domestic partnership benefits, including the provision of tax gross-up payments to employees with same-sex domestic partners or spouses who are covered under Firm health insurance plans. Fried Frank is one of a small number of law firms and major corporations to address the legislative inequality that current tax laws have on LGBT employees due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
"We are proud of HRC's consistent recognition of Fried Frank as a leading law firm for LGBT equality policies, programs and practices," said Douglas Flaum and Michelle Gold, co-chairs of the Firm's Diversity Committee. "Fried Frank has a longstanding commitment to fostering a diverse workplace, including LGBT equality and inclusion, which is a core tenet of the Firm's culture."
The Firm proactively engages in a number of LGBT-related initiatives and efforts, including its annual hosting of the Michael R. Diehl Civil Rights Forum, established in 1999 in memory of a Fried Frank corporate associate who was active in LGBT rights causes and died in a tragic accident. The Firm invites civil rights leaders to engage the Fried Frank community in discussion of their important work addressing LGBT issues. Recent panel participants include two of the principle strategists behind the passage of New York's same-sex marriage legislation (2011) and ACLU attorneys who worked on the landmark Mississippi prom discrimination case (2010). Past Forums featured prominent judges, lawyers, authors and professors.
The CEI survey rates companies based on responses provided by the companies in a questionnaire and verified by researchers. A total of 850 businesses were rated in this year's CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. Fried Frank has earned the top rating of 100 percent since 2006, when it first participated in the survey.