Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace
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Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace. Melody Cranfill-Finance May 13 Lindsey Clay- Marketing May 13 Kristi Fissel - Finance May 12.

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Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace

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Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace

Melody Cranfill-Finance May 13

Lindsey Clay- Marketing May 13

Kristi Fissel- Finance May 12

As managers, we feel it vital to protect our gay, lesbian, bi sexual, and transgender workers with explicit anti discrimination clauses within our organization’s code of conduct.

“Exxon-Mobil’s Gay Problem”

  • Exxon and Mobil merged in 1999; both had conflicting company cultures and ethos

  • Prohibits sexual orientation discrimination but will not put it in code of conduct, as it is not written in federal law

  • This article is from 2006, and each year shareholders continue to vote for no explicit anti discrimination clauses for sexual orientation


Employee Handbook

“We recruit, hire, and promote team

members based on their individual

ability and experience.. We do not

discriminate on the basis of… sexual

orientation, gender identity…”

“Wells Fargo prohibits harassment

based on… sexual orientation, gender


  • Specifies on what prohibited harassment is and all the sorts of ways it can be performed, beyond legal level

  • Ethics principles in use: religious injunctions, government requirements, individual rights, and contributing liberty.

  • Wells Fargo also provides spousal benefits for same-sex couples.

Guiding behavior

  • Managers need to educate, enforce, and supervise employees on the discrimination of sexual orientation and transgender

  • It should be clear in the culture and ethos of the company, more specifically the office, that under no circumstances any behavior violating discrimination policies in the code of conduct will be tolerated

  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender employees should feel protected and that they can talk about any issues with the manager

Advantages of anti-discrimination clauses to build reputational capital

  • Does not exclude the shareholders and employees who may be a part of the GLBT community

  • Study conducted which found that companies who have instilled GLBT-friendly workplace policies were at worst affected neutrally in terms of shareholder wealth

  • An explicit and descriptive anti-

  • discrimination stance fosters a

  • more transparent organization

Disadvantages of anti-discrimination clauses to build reputational capital

  • Stake of reputational capital is relative to the critical shareholders the company attracts (ExxonMobil)

  • Added potential for legal distractions when clauses are put into code of conduct

  • Due to its controversial nature, there may be some level of public back-lash


  • Managers should be trained to anticipate issues involving sexual-orientation and gender identity discrimination or harassment before they escalate to a potential lawsuit

  • In order to be in good standing with the community, the company should be transparent about stance on anti-discrimination of sexual orientation and gender-identity and its importance.


"Employment and Hiring." Wells Fargo Team Member Handbook. Wells Fargo, Jan. 2011. Web. 13 Feb. 2011.


Gunther, Mark. "ExxonMobil's Gay Problem." Fortune 500. CNN Money, 11 May 2006. Web. 13 Feb. 2011.


"LGBT Equality at the Fortune 500."Resources & Publications. Human Rights Campaign, 1 Oct. 10. Web. 13 Feb. 11.


Malina, Mary A (10/01/2008). "Managing Sexual Orientation Diversity". Group & organization management(1059-6011), 33 (5), p. 602-603.


"Wells Fargo & Co." Employer Database. Human Rights Campaign, Jan. 2011. Web. 13 Feb. 2011. <>.

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