Benefits for Gay Couples: Since June, after a contested US Supreme Court ruling, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), has been pressured by gay employees to extend health benefits to their couples. "Today's announcement by ExxonMobil shows the tide is continuing to turn in corporate America," New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement, highlighting the decision made by the largest publicly traded company.
Changes in corporate America, concerning same sex marriage have already been on their way for quite some time. Companies like Apple and Accenture, have a history for offering domestic partner benefits to gay couples, and are some of the pioneers concerning recognition of sexual diversity at the workplace.
"After years of stubbornly refusing, we commend Exxon for joining the majority of the Fortune 500 business leaders that already treat gay and lesbian married couples equally under employee benefit plans," Tico Almeida, founder and president of the LGBT organization Freedom to Work, said in a statement.
Exxon’s late recognition of same sex marriages has been excused as compliant with US law. However, the ruling in June gave an important push to federal agencies to offer benefits to same sex couples who married legally. The decision made by the US Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, which had defined marriage as the union between two individuals of different sex.
Hence, the company presented the change in internal policy, as a response to changes in federal law. "We have made no change in the definition of eligibility for our U.S. benefit plans. Spousal eligibility in our U.S. benefit plans has been and continues to be governed by the federal definition of marriage and spouse," it said in a statement announcing it would recognize "all legal marriages."
On a note besides the aforementioned benefits for gay couples, Exxon and Rosneft OAO (LSE:ROSN), have contracted CB&I UK and Foster Wheeler Energy for the initial phase for the construction of an LNG plant in Russia’s far east. The project comes as an alternative to Gazprom OAO (OTC:GZPFY)’s monopoly like exports to Asia.
Disclosure: Jodor Jalit holds no position in any of the mentioned stocks.