Exxon to Begin Offering Same-Sex Spousal Benefits in New Jersey and Across the U.S. Amid Allegations of Sexual Orientation Discrimination

file0001068069481 morguefile username mensatic.jpgIn September, Exxon Mobil Corporation announced that the company would begin offering benefits to the legally married same-sex spouses of employees in the United States. According to a spokesperson for the company, Alan Jeffers, the change was made in response to official guidance that was issued by the nation’s Department of Labor after the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June. Jeffers stated that Exxon has not changed its criteria for benefits eligibility. He added that the oil and gas company offers same-sex spousal benefits in at least 30 nations consistent with local legal requirements.

Despite the change, Exxon has been accused of failing to adequately protect gay workers and applicants in the past. This year, the Human Rights Campaign ranked the company dead last when compared with other corporate gay, lesbian, and transgender employee anti-discrimination policies. In addition, a lawsuit alleging sexual orientation discrimination against a gay job applicant was recently filed against Exxon in the State of Illinois.

All current or potential employees in New Jersey who are members of a protected class are protected from workplace discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits an employer from discriminating based on race, religion, color, sex, or national origin. Additionally, New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate in any job-related action on the basis of any of the statute’s protected categories. LAD protected categories include sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, sex, pregnancy status, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, marital status, mental or physical disability, and others.

In New Jersey, employers may not engage in retaliation against a worker who makes a good faith complaint about alleged workplace discrimination or harassment. Someone who believes he or she suffered discrimination at work in New Jersey may file a formal complaint with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights within 180 days of the incident. A victim may also choose to file a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court. If you suffered unlawful workplace discrimination based upon your sexual preference or another protected status, you should speak with a skilled New Jersey employment lawyer about your rights.

Please call the Resnick Law Group, P.C. at 973-781-1204 or 646-867-7997 if you believe you were unlawfully discriminated against at a New York or New Jersey workplace. The hardworking employment law attorneys at the Resnick Law Group represent current and former employees in both New Jersey and New York regarding matters that involve sexual orientation discrimination and harassment. To discuss your situation with a caring advocate, do not hesitate to contact the Resnick Law Group through our website today.

More Blog Posts:

Arbitrator Recommends $4.5 Million Award for Sexual Harassment of Former Long Branch School District Worker, The New Jersey Employment Law Firm Blog, September 19, 2013
High Profile Lawsuit Demonstrates Why New Jersey Employers Should Always Protect Workers From Unlawful Sex Harassment, The New Jersey Employment Law Firm Blog, September 19, 2013
Additional Resources:

Exxon to offer benefits to same-sex couples in US, by Jonathan Fahey, West Milford Messenger

Photo credit: mensatic, morgueFile

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