Atlanta continues to lead on workplace equality while the rest of the state continues to lag behind. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released its annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI) and Atlanta has earned a perfect score for the third year in a row.
According to a statement released by HRC, the average score for cities in Georgia is 33 out of 100 points, which falls below the national average of 56.
Here’s how other cities in Georgia faired in HRC’s rankings:
Avondale Estates: 41
North Druid Hills: 12
Jeff Graham, Executive Director of Georgia Equality applauded Atlanta’s commitment to ensuring the city is a place where its LGBT employees can thrive professionally and free of discrimination.
“Once again, we’re very proud of Atlanta and their score of 100. It proves that municipalities in Georgia can go well beyond state law in protecting their LGBT employees, citizens and visitors from discrimination,” said Graham. “And while their score has yet to be adjusted, it’s important to note that just last week the Savannah City Council voted unanimously to improve and expand their nondiscrimination protections for city employees and those doing business with the city to include sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Savannah now becomes one of only fourteen jurisdictions in Georgia to include sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes.
Forty-seven cities earned perfect 100-point scores, up from 38 in 2014. Atlanta’s perfect score was awarded as a result of a set standard of LGBT inclusiveness with exemplary policies ranging from non-discrimination laws and equal employee benefits, to cutting edge city services, according to HRC.
“Across our country, cities and towns both big and small aren’t waiting for state or national leaders to move LGBT equality forward,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. ”
“In what has been an historic year for equality, a record-breaking number of municipalities this year have earned top scores in our Municipal Equality Index for their inclusive treatment of their LGBT citizens and workers. They are making a powerful statement that no one should have to wait for full equality – the time is now.”
In November, Griffin chose Atlanta to release the results of HRC’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality. Of the 24 Georgia companies ranked, 13 earned 100 percent, 3 earned 90 percent or above, and 1 earned 80 percent or above.
The MEI rates cities based on 41 criteria falling under five broad categories that include: employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage, contracting non-discrimination requirements, and other policies relating to equal treatment of LGBT city employees.