Shipping giant FedEx will begin
offering health benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian workers,
local Fox affiliate My Fox Memphis reported.
FedEx, which is headquartered in
Memphis, announced the change last week but the policy won't take
effect until January 1, 2012.
“It's a huge deal,” Will Batts,
executive director of Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, told
Gay employees in California have
received similar benefits from the company since lawmakers approved
an expansion of a domestic partnership law in 2003.
The lopsided policy was responsible for
downgrades in FedEx's rank as a top employer by gay rights groups.
In 2007, the company was dropped from Diversity Inc.'s annual Top 50
Companies for Diversity list.
Batts says the change will help the
company attract and retain a more diverse workforce, a boost for the
city of Memphis.
“One of the things we've learned
about cities is that the more diverse they are the more they attract
creative people, the more they attract people that are innovative and
motivated to improve their communities,” he said.
The change comes at the request of