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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
January 12, 2007

Alderman says 'Gay House' attack wasn't a hate crime

NYC comptroller pushes Ohio companies to add job rules

New York City--Comptroller William C. Thompson is using his power over the city�s pension funds to push companies to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their nondiscrimination policies, and two of his targets are in Ohio.

The New York City Employees� Retirement System, the city�s police and fire pension funds and the teachers and Board of Education retirement systems� funds are controlled by Thompson, who invests them in large companies.

He is using this stock ownership to press the companies to change their anti-discrimination policies.

As he has in past years, Thompson is filing shareholder resolutions with nine companies, two of which rejected the changes last year.

Exxon-Mobil has had resolutions filed six times; this year is the seventh. Robert Half International is seeing its second resolution.

Cleveland-Cliffs of Cleveland and Timken Company of Canton are getting their first resolutions on behalf of the five pension funds.

Timken is in the Fortune 500, and Cleveland-Cliffs is in the Fortune 1000, the listings of the top 500 or 1,000 companies in the nation.

The Human Rights Campaign�s Workplace Project keeps track of large employers� policies. According to HRC, Cleveland-Cliffs, an iron ore mining and processing company, has no gay- or transgender-inclusive antidiscrimination policy, and does not offer domestic partnership benefits.

Timken, a bearing manufacturer, has different results listed in HRC�s �The State of the Workplace 2005-2006� and online.

The report lists them as having a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, while a search of Timken on the website lists them as having none of the three policies.

If Timken does not have sexual orientation in its policies, it would be one of nine Ohio companies in the Fortune 500 without sexual orientation or gender identity in their anti-discrimination rules, as well as not having domestic partner benefits.

The others, according to HRC, are American Financial Group of Cincinnati, AK Steel Holding Corp. of Middletown, Hexion Specialty Chemicals in Columbus, International Steel Group in Richfield, Lubrizol Corp. in Wickliffe, Parker Hannifin Corp. of Cleveland, Wendy�s of Dublin, and Cincinnati�s Western and Southern Financial Group.

According to HRC, 149 Ohio companies of all sizes have the job policies or partner benefits, or both.

�We must aggressively demand that companies across America treat all of their employees with dignity and respect,� Thompson said. �If companies fail to adopt these measures, they are sending a direct signal that they do not value everyone equally, and in doing so are not providing shields against bias and discrimination.�

In the HRC report, 138 of the Fortune 500 companies nationwide included both sexual orientation and gender identity in their antidiscrimination polices and offered domestic partner benefits, up from 101 in 2005.



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