The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, one of the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy groups, is concerned that Wal-Mart is bringing along antiquated employment practices as it sets up shop in New York City. The group claims Wal-Mart provides “little to no protections for, and at times even hostility toward, their L.G.B.T. employees.”
The task force criticized Wal-Mart for denying employee benefits to same-sex partners and for failing to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. By comparison, the group said two other chain stores with a strong presence in New York, Costco and Walgreens, did much better.
“It may be a local debate for New York City, but Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the country,” said Rea Carey, the executive director of the task force. “To have Wal-Mart as a substantial employer there, and an employer that lacks these basic protections, then a lot of people who need work, who seek work, simply won’t feel comfortable.”
Wal-Mart, however, rejects the argument that it is not welcoming to gay employees, citing its Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Associate Resource Group as a place where employees can build a sense of community.
“Diversity and inclusion are enduring values that are fundamental to our culture,” said Steven Restivo, a Wal-Mart spokesman, “which includes a focus on having respect for our colleagues and customers.”
The City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, also criticized Wal-Mart for its record on this gay issues.
“This lack of inclusion in its diversity policies is the antithesis of what we in N.Y.C. want and expect from our corporate partners,” she said in a statement. “These are yet two more reasons why Wal-Mart is a poor fit to do business in N.Y.C.”
Well, none of that certainly sounds any good. This gay blog takes umbrage with Wal-Mart for just being such an annoying word to type. A hyphen and two capitalized letters? Who has the time for this nonsense?!
But in all seriousness, are you concerned with Wal-Mart bringing anti-LGBT business practices to a diversity Mecca like NYC?