JPMorgan, Goldman Rank as Best Employers for Gays, Lesbians

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are among 22 financial firms that received top marks today as the best workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

The three banks were among 207 U.S. companies that offer health insurance covering medical services for transgender employees seeking sexual reassignment, according to the 10th annual Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, a nonprofit that backs civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Financial firms outperformed most other industries in adopting and enforcing non-discrimination policies, offering health insurance for same-sex partners and recruiting and retaining lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, according to the report.

“This rating reflects equal health-care coverage for all LGBT employees and their families, including full parity for domestic partner benefits not only in basic medical coverage, but in dependent care, retirement and other benefits that affect families’ financial and medical well-being,” Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, said in the report.

AmEx, Google

The Human Rights Campaign gave 88 Fortune 500 companies scores of 100 percent and the designation as the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.” Among the 190 companies that received perfect scores are financial firms including American Express Co., Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley. Google Inc., Ford Motor Corp. and Gap Inc. also received top marks.

JPMorgan is one of nine companies to achieve the highest rating for 10 straight years, along with Aetna Inc., Alcatel-Lucent, American Airlines parent AMR Corp., Apple Inc., Eastman Kodak Co., Nike Inc., Replacements Ltd. and Xerox Corp., according to Paul Guequierre, a foundation spokesman.

The 2012 index ranked 850 firms. More than half of companies in the Fortune 500 submitted surveys voluntarily and the rest were rated based on publicly available data, according to the foundation.

NYSE Euronext, owner of the New York Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., which runs the Nasdaq Stock Market, were among firms with the lowest scores at 15 percent.

“We believe the low score reflects the fact that we were not aware of the survey” and that NYSE didn’t give data to the foundation, Richard Adamonis, a spokesman for NYSE Euronext, said in an e-mail. “We have a diverse workforce and support many programs that are oriented to the LGBT community including domestic partner benefits and LGBT resource group, among others.”

Wayne Lee, a spokesman for New York-based Nasdaq, didn’t immediately return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment on the survey results.

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