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07/23/2014

Exxon, infamous holdout on fair and decent employment protections, could be running out of options

by Jeremy Hooper

Year after year, Exxon Mobil secures its notoriety when it bucks the Fortune 500 trend and chooses to reject nondiscrimination protections for LGBT workers. Thanks to President Obama's historic action, the oil giant might be running out of options:

IRVING, Texas — Exxon Mobil Corp. has said it will comply with the new protections for gay and transgender employees required of federal contractors, while still sidestepping the question of whether it will formalize that by changing the language of its corporate policy.
Exxon Mobil says it will comply with new federal protections for gay, transgender workers [AP via Republic]

I'll bet there are many within the company's high ranks who hope this will, in fact, lead to permanent policy change. Sure, the company still does well (to say the least). However, notoriety like this is not good for business. My husband and I go out of our way to avoid Exxon Mobil gas, and I know many other people who do the same. Even with billions in profits, the company would surely like a little more. But as time goes by and more people catch on to the company's continued feet-digging, resistance is only going to come at a greater cost.

With this, more pragmatic company decision makers can be like, "Oh well, the President has forced our hand." That way they can formalize the change in policy yet do it without much fallout from the wrong-side-of-history holdouts who prefer to tap rather than cap the well of inequality.

So congrats, Exxon powers that be: the President is saving you from your selves.

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