A lawsuit alleging anti-gay bias in
hiring at ExxonMobil is still pending as President-elect Donald Trump
taps Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, for secretary of state.
The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by
Freedom to Work.
According to a complaint initially
filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, ExxonMobil was
sent nearly identical resumes from a straight and a gay applicant for
the same post. But while the gay applicant appeared to be better
qualified, ExxonMobil reached out to the straight candidate three
times and ignored the gay candidate.
In 2015, the department announced that
it had found “substantial evidence” that ExxonMobil had
discriminated based on sexual orientation, prompting Freedom to Work
to file a complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission. A
spokesman for the commission told the
Blade that the matter “is still pending.”
ExxonMobil repeatedly refused to adopt
an LGBT non-discrimination hiring policy until 2014 when President
Barack Obama issued an executive order barring contractors doing
business with the federal government from discriminating on the basis
of sexual orientation and gender identity in their hiring practices.
(It should be noted that Trump could reverse this order.)
Richard Johnson, a professor of public
administration at the University of San Francisco, told the Blade
that he was “not confident” that Tillerson “will be the person
to stand up to countries where a person can be imprisoned or killed
for being LGBT. Indeed, his track record on stopping human rights
violations is dubious at best.”