Best Companies list hits gay rights milestone

@CNNMoney January 20, 2012: 5:10 AM ET
For the first time, all 100 firms in Fortune's 2012 Best Companies To Work For list have non-discrimination policies for sexual orientation.

More and more companies are adopting gay-friendly policies.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- For the first time ever, all 100 firms on Fortune's Best Companies To Work For list this year have non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation.

In 2008, 95 of the top 100 Best Companies to Work For had such policies in place, and by 2011 that number was up to 99.

"It's been gathering strength over the 15 years that we've done the survey," said Milton Moskowitz, a co-author of the list. Similar progress has been made in benefits for same-sex domestic partners, which are now offered by 89 of the 100 companies listed, up from 70 five years ago.

"It's not surprising to me that the places that are ranked the best to work are also the ones that are going to respect and value their employees," said Michael Cole-Schwartz, communications manager at the Human Rights Campaign, an organization that advocates on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Some 86% of Fortune 500 companies now have non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, according to the HRC, up from 61% in 2002. And 60% of these firms now offer health benefits for same-sex domestic partners, up from 34% a decade ago.

"The evolution is clearly in the direction of equality in the workplace," Cole-Schwartz said. To top of page

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