Exxon Bans Outside Flags, Like the Pride Banner, From Company Flagpoles

Exxon Mobil will not permit banners of out of doors organizations on its flagpoles, angering some staff who in the previous had flown a rainbow delight flag.

The new coverage permits solely authorities flags and people representing Exxon Mobil and its worker useful resource teams, that are employee-led affinity organizations which are typically blessed by employers. Workers can show the delight flag and representations of different teams like Black Lives Matter on different areas of the firm’s properties, together with on lawns or in digital areas.

“It is a longstanding follow at our amenities round the world that E.R.G. flags may be flown throughout signature months,” Tracey Gunnlaugsson, vp of human sources at Exxon Mobil, stated in an announcement. “The flags are immediately associated to our enterprise and firm assist of our E.R.G.s.”

The emblem for the firm’s worker useful resource group for L.G.B.T. staff contains bubbles full of a number of colours round the phrase PRIDE. That emblem has been flown at places of work and is used on T-shirts that staff put on at Pride parades.

Current Exxon staff declined to remark. J. Chris Martin, a former worker who used to move the useful resource group, stated {that a} totally different flag that includes the Exxon emblem on a rainbow background “was flown at many firm areas final yr with out query” however that he had been instructed that approval to show that flag had been revoked “with out clarification.”

“I’m additionally instructed that the worker useful resource teams have been consulted solely in a perfunctory approach concerning this matter, primarily based on momentary discomfort with displaying a logo of open-mindedness and assist for long-suppressed voices,” he stated.

“While they could say no person has misplaced something, the symbolism is unmistakable,” he added.

The Human Rights Campaign, a corporation that works to finish discrimination towards lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender folks, criticized the firm for the coverage, saying on Twitter: “There’s no such factor as ‘neutrality’ in terms of our rights. Our flag isn’t only a visible illustration of our identities. It can also be a staple of allyship.”

The choice, first reported by Bloomberg News, got here as firms have more and more been pressed to be extra outspoken on cultural and political points. Disney, lengthy quiet on such issues, has been in a combat with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida over a brand new state legislation, formally often known as “Parental Rights in Education” — or, to its critics, “Don’t Say Gay.” The measure prohibits classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identification in some elementary college grades. Disney opposed the legislation, main Mr. DeSantis and state lawmakers to revoke a particular tax designation Disney loved in the state.

Exxon was long considered a foe of gay rights, significantly after it merged with Mobil and eradicated that firm’s insurance policies that barred discrimination primarily based on sexual orientation and supplied advantages to same-sex {couples}. Exxon has since reinstituted these insurance policies, and its ranking in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index has risen to 85 out of 100 in 2022, from unfavourable 25.

Clifford Krauss contributed reporting.

Source link