7 Tennessee companies get top rating from Human Rights Campaign

Seven Tennessee-based companies received the highest rating for their policies toward LGBTQ employees in the latest Corporate Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. They are AllianceBernstein, Asurion, Bass Berry & Sims, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Genesco, Haven Behavioral Healthcare, and Unum Group.

Seven other companies rated at below 40 on the group’s 100-point scale: Autozone, International Paper, Community Health Systems, Delek Holdings, Envision Healthcare, Lifepoint Health, and Tractor Supply Company. The last two received zero out of 100.

Here’s the full release from the Human Rights Campaign:

WASHINGTON – America’s leading companies and law firms are stepping up in record numbers to adopt increasingly forward-looking policies and practices to meet the needs of their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workers in the U.S. and abroad, according to the 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.

In the most rigorous assessment of LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies and practices to date, a record of more than 680 companies have been designated a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the HRC Foundation for their efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results, earning them a 100 percent rating. Top-scoring companies include seven in Tennessee.

In total, 1059 companies and law firms were officially rated in the new CEI, up from 1028 in last year’s survey. The report also unofficially rated 122 Fortune 500 companies, which have yet to respond to an invitation to participate in the CEI survey assessing their LGBTQ policies and practices. The average score for companies and law firms based in Tennessee is 70 percent. Of the 25 companies ranked, seven earned 100 points, 13 earned 90 points and above, and 15 earned 80 points and above.

For the first time, HRC this year is giving special recognition to the 11 companies that earned top marks on all three of HRC’s workplace equality assessments: the CEI, as well as Equidad MX and Equidad CL. HRC’s groundbreaking Equidad program recognizes Latin American companies and U.S. multinational companies for their work in Mexico and Chile.

“These companies know that protecting their LGBTQ employees and customers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do — it is also the best business decision. In addition, many of these leaders are also advocating for the LGBTQ community and equality under the law in the public square,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “From supporting LGBTQ civil rights protections in the U.S. through HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act, to featuring transgender and non-binary people in an ad in Argentina, to advocating for marriage equality in Taiwan — businesses understand their LGBTQ employees and customers deserve to be seen, valued and respected not only at work, but in every aspect of daily life.”

Employer Headquarters Location State 2020 CEI Rating
AllianceBernstein LP Nashville TN 100
Asurion LLC Nashville TN 100
Bass, Berry & Sims PLC Nashville TN 100
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Chattanooga TN 100
Genesco Inc. Nashville TN 100
Haven Behavioral Healthcare Nashville TN 100
Unum Group Chattanooga TN 100
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC Memphis TN 90
Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. Nashville TN 90
Change Healthcare Nashville TN 90
Dollar General Corp. Goodlettsville TN 90
Eastman Chemical Co. Kingsport TN 90
Nissan North America Inc. Franklin TN 90
FedEx Corp. Memphis TN 85
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. Lebanon TN 80
First Horizon National Corp. Memphis TN 75
HCA – Hospital Corporation of America Nashville TN 70
Regal Entertainment Group Knoxville TN 60
AutoZone Inc. Memphis TN 40
International Paper Co. Memphis TN 30
Community Health Systems, Inc. Franklin TN 20
Delek US Holdings Brentwood TN 20
Envision Healthcare Holdings Inc. Nashville TN 20
LifePoint Health Brentwood TN 0
Tractor Supply Company Brentwood TN 0

More than 260 top businesses — including 191 that earned top scores on the CEI — are also corporate supporters on the Equality Act, critically important bipartisan legislation that would finally add clear, comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people to our nation’s civil rights laws. While the Supreme Court decides whether LGBTQ people are protected by federal employment non-discrimination law, these companies are holding the line for their employees and their families.

Other key findings revealed in the 2020 CEI:

  • The more than 680 companies who earned a 100 on the CEI represent 12.4 million employees nationally, 11.9 million globally and earn a combined estimate of $12.9 trillion in revenue.
  • Eighty-three companies participated in the CEI for the first time in 2020 with 36 debuting at a score of 100 — including Etsy Inc., Peloton Interactive Inc. and Stop & Shop, and Warner Music Group.
  • Of all Fortune 500 companies, 93% have sexual orientaiton in their U.S. non-discrimination policy, and 91% have gender identity.
  • The average CEI score for all Fortune 500 companies increased from 67 to 71 in the past year — with actively participating Fortune 500 companies having an average score of 90, up from 88 last year.

Over the last several years, CEI-rated companies have dramatically expanded their support for transgender workers. This year 89% percent of companies participating in the CEI offer at least one health care policy that is inclusive of their transgender workers, and 85% percent met stringent criteria that requires all blanket exclusions of medically-necessary care for transgender workers be removed from all health policies the company offers — up from 73% last year.

The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria in four broad categories:

  • Non-discrimination policies
  • Employment benefits
  • Supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility including public commitment to LGBTQ equality
  • Responsible citizenship

The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.

51 Responses to 7 Tennessee companies get top rating from Human Rights Campaign

  • John Treadwell says:

    Who cares?

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    I usually use 2ndvote.com to target my spending to companies that resist the authoritarians of the left, but this CEI will come in handy as well. I wonder what Tractor Supply sells? I care for my ex-wife’s lawn perhaps I will stop in and check them out. I sold my stock in O’Reilly just last Friday so AutoZone is another company I can go out of my way to patronize. Thanks Human Rights Campaign for the information.

    • John says:

      You need to evaluate the trends, Stuart. Only two companies scored 100 last year. I’d like to see the total valuation of companies scored 70+ versus those below. If anything, this proves my earlier point. Watch what Bill Lee does on the adoption bill when the free market speaks.

      • Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Sorry John, I’m a libertarian and I need to evaluate those companies and candidates for elective office on the basis of whether or not they support liberty and individual freedom vs. oppression and control. The “trend” is for this country to be less free and for the individual to be subject to more and more rules and regulations and for people to be increasingly afraid to even speak up for fear of losing their job and concern about their safety and that of their family. Bill Lee is well on his way to go from a No Record Candidate to being a Tall Grass Republican “Wet”. For the sons and daughters of liberty, the “trend” is most certainly not our friend!

        • Leslie Parsley says:

          Funny, I’ve always thought Libertarians were all mixed up and permanently set. You might take some time and explore the Cato Institute’s writings. You might even discover what Tractor Supply sells. LOL.

          A good place to start might be here: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/cato-institute/

          • Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Libertarians might very well be “. . .all mixed up and permanently set” if I had the slightest idea of what that meant I would comment further. I would think that the Libertarian position regarding all of this would be certainly against all “civil rights” laws and rulings that were conjured up since 1954 or so except perhaps narrowly crafted voting rights laws. Libertarians otherwise would be all for people patronizing whatever establishment they chose for whatever reason they chose while giving the owners of such establishments the freedom to run those establishments any way they chose subject to as few laws as possible regarding the health and safety of the public and their employees.

    • MARLE says:

      Tractor Supply is a great company. One of their ads says “Try before you buy power equipment during our Demo Days Event”. Not up to your standards of “Rent INstead of buy” ……….but close.

      • Stuart I. Anderson says:

        When I think of the keen observations and profound insights I have had in these responses and none has made anywhere near the impression on you as that aphorism about relations divorced men should have with women. What a shame!

        • MARLE says:

          Why..whaaaaatEver are you talking about, Stuart?

          But I do agree that your aphorism was profound in that you just don’t hear too many folks offering up such tripe, and in public to boot.

    • Lenny says:

      But I say unto you, That whosoever shall divorce his wife causeth her to commit adultery.

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    Bass, Berry and Sims—-this is ground zero for Republican Central Casting and for staffers in the Executive Branch. Also the lead agency for refugee resettlement. Coincidence? No. Truth? Yes. Sorry

    • James White says:

      Again with the Refugee Resettlement. There is nothing the state can do to stop anyone from coming to Tennessee to live. All the (LEGAL) refugees that live in other states, could come here tomorrow and you would never know. Heck, they can’t even stop ILLEGAL immigrants from coming over.

  • NotStuartAnderson says:

    LifePoint and Tractor Supply should be ashamed. All employees should be treated equally, fairly and with respect, its just that simple. Its the right thing to do and it is good business. I’m glad we are at least moving in the right direction.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      In a free market economy all employees should be evaluated on any damn basis that the boss who pays the bills and salary of the employees wants to evaluate them. But then again Not, your devotion to what you regard as the “right thing to do” is much greater than your devotion to true freedom for EVERYONE and authoritarianism may very well be “good business” only because the authoritarians make it so by their zeal to be members of the zeitgeist.

  • Christina Norris says:

    Yes! to NotStuartAnderson. And to the so-called Libertarian: What about freedom for your LBGQ daughter?

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      If I had a daughter and she became a sexual eccentric, I would wish her the best and counsel her as I would any daughter to have the dignity and good taste to keep her sexuality to herself so this should never come up in the normal course of life. Now if she became a professional sexual eccentric or insisted on covering her body with artwork or acted in another way that indicated mental instability or that she was suffering from a full blown mental pathology I would expect others to exercise their freedom and, how to put it, avoid having anything to do with her. True “freedom,” after all, is a two way street!

      • MARLE says:

        Clearly God knew what he was doing when he didn’t “give” you a daughter, Stuart. I thought libertarians had a live and let live attitude even for those people who were in inferior positions, like slaves or children.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Indeed, they do MARLE, and I can’t see myself ever doing anything to interfere with my adult child’s ability to “. . .live and let live. . . .” Nor do I see myself aggravating myself at all, much less to a point of illness or life shortening worry over the bizarre lifestyle any child of mine chose to live. On the other hand, a quiet visit to my estate planning attorney to make the necessary “modifications” in my estate plans is something I can very well see myself doing as information comes to dear old dad’s attention.

          • MARLE says:

            Good thinking. God’s punishment of burning in hell for eternity for their abomination is quite as bad as it should be. You need to get a head start on things by writing them out of the will; after all they made a bad “choice”.

          • Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Such histrionics are not like you MARLE. Any child growing up in my household would have many advantages in life not afforded to the average child so I would expect my child to grow up to be a responsible reasonably well adjusted human being who would live up to dear old dads standards. On the other hand, I wouldn’t expect a clone of myself. Disinheritance would only occur for the most serious deviations from standards. Again, to be libertarian about it, my child has every right and freedom to pursue whatever path in life he/she chooses and I would have every right and freedom to have certain expectations from my child. Any serious failure to realize those expectations would reasonably lead me to look for a more deserving recipient of whatever earthly possessions I have at life’s end.

          • MARLE says:

            The “histrionics” are right out of the bible. And, of course, you have every right. You can shun, disinherit anyone you please; it is most certainly your right.

      • Lenny says:

        It is good and righteous that you would be weary of a sexual eccentric daughter. Christian fathers have been taken advantage of by sexual eccentric daughters for 5,000 years.

        GENESIS 19: And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

        • MARLE says:

          There were no Christian fathers 5000 years ago. We are in 2020 at this moment, that time being a representation of the years after the birth of Christ.

          Ergo….no Christians; just Jews to whom the book of Genesis spoke. But a great sentiment nonetheless.

  • LeeAnn C. says:

    Corporate PC police. Comply or we’ll blacklist your company and declare you discriminatory! Anti-discrimination laws already exist for fair employment practices. I have zero respect for businesses clamoring to be ‘included’ with high scores with this bunch.

  • Eddie White says:

    I wonder what the criteria is gain a high score? Is it fairness and equality, or something more, such as the promotion of a certain lifestyle?

  • David Collins says:

    I am still amused when someone refers to someone who has a different sexual orientation than heterosexual as having “chosen” that orientation. They no more “chose” that orientation than someone born blind “chose” to be blind, or someone born autistic “chose” to be born autistic. I was born club-footed and I can tell you I certainly didn’t choose to be born that way and have to learn how to walk on crutches before later learning to walk without them. It’s the same way with one’s sexual orientation. If a person is gay–he or she was born that way it wasn’t a choice. And they should not be treated differently because of it.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Well David, maybe yes and maybe no. If what you say is true, there would not be so many testimonials we hear from people who were homosexuals and became heterosexuals. Mental abnormalities like physical abnormalities sometimes can be cured even if you were born with them. It is a “choice” insofar as the victim or sufferer has to choose to be cured or at the very least, try to find a cure.

      In any case, there is no reason why anyone’s sexual orientation has to be a matter of public knowledge unless the individual for some reason wants it to be public. There is, therefore, no reason why anyone should be treated differently because of their sexual appetites. If people behave in a strange or weird manner, however, it is perfectly reasonable for individuals who are uncomfortable by such behavior to avoid those who manifest such behavior. Reasonable, but of course, it’s not politically correct to say so.

      • MARLE says:

        Ok, that whole diatribe is just wrong, in so many ways it makes pointing them out nearly impossible.. I am beyond surprised by you, Stuart.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          OK, you harrumphed your disagreement with me and the record will through eternity so read. Unfortunately, not much else is gained by your response. At the very least wouldn’t it be so much better if you chose my most egregious “wrong” and explained its shortcomings?

          • MARLE says:

            Ok ….testimonials of conversion are not plentiful as a percentage. Most are as a result of religious based conversion therapy whereby drilling them on the biblical concepts of abominations plus throwing in the horrors of hell are primo ingredients.

            If this isn’t a choice, as most inside and outside “the life” say it isn’t then why should a Pete Buttigieg or Anderson Cooper have to “hide” his relationship from the public? Can’t go to dinner and share a glass of wine or a dessert. Can’t acknowledge a life-committed partner from a podium; can’t hold hands in a park or at a movie. All public displays that are commonplace among heteros.

          • Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Well, to use David’s examples, there are no testimonials of people born blind, autistic or club-footed being convinced that they can see, communicate effectively or walk normally. There are a number of testimonials regarding moving from homosexuality to heterosexuality. How this was brought about is nowhere near as interesting as the fact that it was brought about.

            To repeat, “. . .there is absolutely no reason why anyone’s sexual orientation has to be a matter of public knowledge unless the individual . . . wants it to be public” which is, unlike race, obviously true. You are not disagreeing with me so much as you are complaining that if the homosexual announces his/her sexuality by word or action he/she will thereby suffer from certain social sanctions. Both of us, of course, are correct! In a free society if you are a member of a minority or even on occasion a majority group of any kind certain people will shun you. So what, that’s life! In the case of homosexuality its your choice of whether or not to expose yourself to such treatment, that’s my point.

            What the article referred to is employment and unless you are in the public’s eye one’s sexuality is certainly besides the point unless one goes out of one’s way to point it out. It therefore should be a nonissue. I realize that “norming” sexually eccentric behavior is high priority for sexual eccentrics and for those of on the left who have been desperately trying to recapture the excitement of Selma, Birmingham and the 60’s for decades by making this their new “civil rights” cause. Put me down as bored and unsympathic.

          • MARLE says:

            Of course you should be able, in a free society, to shun anyone you want to .

            Left-handed people, who claim they were born that way, and don’t want to be right handed…. EVER. If that offends your sensibilities to see someone writing half upside down with their left hand then you should move far away from them. Far Far Away.

            You can do the same with gays. I am just surprised when I find people who want to.

          • MARLE says:

            And those testimonials about conversion are simply self-report with no verification of any true change in orientation. Of the few who do claim conversion how many of those FEW are Merely an outward conforming to the norm OR outright lying about it OR feeble-minded self delusion~ remember we’re dealing with people You regard as once-perverts.

          • Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Sort of like man made global warming, you don’t know who to believe but much like man made global warming I choose to believe the side that results in the maximum amount of individual freedom for the maximum amount of people.

          • MARLE says:

            Well the freedom seems pretty lopsided. Either stay in the closet or become a social pariah (assuming everyone acted like you).

            Doesn’t sound like maximum freedom to me. Nor does it seem very libertarian.

          • MARLE says:

            I think the libertarian position would be to give them equal opportunity. Pete, and Anderson, and Ellen Degeneres, and Shephard Smith were’t reaching into my pocket for special funding like single mothers (Head of household status), or farmers, or Real Estate developers (1031 Exchange loopholes) or the thousand other special interest groups who are looking for subsidies or handouts/carveouts of one kind or another.

            Of all the “groups” that get on my nerves they bother me the least.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          BTW, I am “surprised” if not somewhat dismayed that people can stand to listen to rap or Bartok but it takes all kinds I guess.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          I don’t think there is a libertarian position in what at the end of the day is aesthetic preferences other than to allow everyone to have them AND TO EXERCISE THEM.

  • Eddie White says:

    My observation is that the gay and lesbian community is not looking for equality, they are looking for preference…particularly from politicians and business who both are often intimidated.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Of course, it turns out that way Eddie because in attempting to force people to regard the eccentric as normal they find they can’t accomplish that without using the coercive power of the state which ends up giving them “protected” status which often turns into preference.

      • MARLE says:

        What on earth is eccentric about Anderson Cooper, Ellen Degeneres, Shepard Smith, Pete Buttigieg and thousands of other gays who do are non-flambouyant, fully clothed professionals in all walks of life……not the stereotype half-naked riding on a gay pride float types you seem to be alluding to.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Well, off the top of my head I would guess, assuming that they have given an accurate description of their proclivities, the fact that instead of being sexually attracted to members of the OPPOSITE sex they are attracted to members of the SAME sex. That makes them members of a very small cohort of individuals (around 5% of the population) who have those same sexual attractions. Their sexual orientations are, therefore, eccentric. In other ways they are apparently normal to the extent that show biz people/politicians can be said to be “normal”.

  • MARLE says:

    Falling into categories that are in a cohort of 5% or less of the population makes you eccentric? Now that is a metric I have never seen applied to the term.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      The Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary says that “eccentric” is an adjective that is used to describe someone/something as “deviating from an established pattern or from accepted usage or conduct.” Rather than some nasty label that is often used when referring to those who deviate from the sexual norms practiced by 95% of the population, I find “eccentric” is a relatively respectful label that captures it perfectly and is a “metric” that should come into general use despite, or should I say “because,” it is so politically incorrect.

      • MARLE says:

        So left handed people are eccentric? Now I know you are not that dumb.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          No, about 10% of the world’s population is left-handed, INCLUDING ME! In accounting once you reach 10% that is regarded as a “material” amount so I would not say left handed people are eccentric. That is in contrast to less than 5% who are homosexual. Besides, from these chats I’m sure the last thing in the world you would dream of calling me is “eccentric.”

          MARLEE, I assure you I am indifferent as to what anyone wants to call the people who I call sexual eccentrics so long as no one makes our society even uglier than it need be by being purposely nasty. If you want to use the rhetoric of the left and call them LGTQRSV or whatever go to it. I simply avoid using politically correct labels or terms approved by the left because they are mindless and aesthetically displeasing and I have a very low threshold of being aesthetically displeased.

  • MARLE says:

    I have never, to repeat, heard of children with childhood cancer, people gifted by genetics with particularly beautiful voices, or the like called eccentric b/c they are less than 5% of the population. That is the problem with using a Webster definition and trying to apply it broadly, You have to have a “feel” for the language to understand how to use “big words”.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      “Eccentric” isn’t a particularly “big” word, but it does perhaps have a very slightly negative connotation insofar as the individual/thing to which it is applied is a little weird or mysteriously strange as well as being unusual. OK? It still fits the way I applied it perfectly

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