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Ohio Corporations Among Best In Nation For LGBT Equality

Stonewall Columbus

Ohio is one of the nation’s leading states when it comes to equal treatment in the workplace in terms of sexual identity, according to a new report.

The Human Rights Campaign released its 2018 Corporate Equality Index, which looks at LGBTQ inclusion in major companies and law firms. Thirty-two Ohio employers took part in the voluntary survey, getting an average score of 91 percent.

Deena Fidas, one of the study’s authors, says there are four specific criteria that go into determining an employer’s score.

“Number one, consistent non-discrimination protection,” Fidas says. “Number two, equitable benefits, so including spousal and domestic partner benefits and also transgender-inclusive health-care coverage. Number three, in terms of the criteria, internal training, education and accountability around LGBT inclusion. And lastly, public engagement with the community.”

Ohio does not have laws explicitly prevention discrimination in housing or employment based on gender identity or sexuality, though some cities passed ordinances extending protections.

However, Fidas says Ohio’s major employers have been leaders in adopting LGBTQ inclusion benefits since the group’s work began in 2002. Among Ohio’s high performers were Columbus-based American Electric Power, New Albany-based Abercrombie & Fitch, Dublin-based Cardinal Health, and Columbus-based Huntington Bancshares.

To be eligible, businesses needed to be a private company with 500 or more full-time U.S. employees.

In September, a group of over 200 companies signed on to Ohio Business Competes, a nonpartisan group committing itself to nondiscrimination in the workplace.

Ryan is a senior multimedia journalism student at Kent State University with experience in print and radio journalism. He is working toward a Bachelor's Degree in Multimedia Journalism. During the school year, Landolph works for Kent State Student Media with Black Squirrel Radio, where he is a sports director and radio host. Additionally, Landolph covers Cleveland sports for FanSided's Factory of Sadness.