NGLTF Takes Up Fight Against Wal-Mart in New York
A prominent gay voice has joined the chorus of those working to block Wal-Mart’s attempt to open its first store in New York City.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on Wednesday announced its opposition to Wal-Mart’s beachhead in New York City. The Task Force said in a statement that “With the expansion of Wal-Mart stores comes the expansion of antiquated employment policies that provide little to no protections for, and at times even hostility toward, their L.G.B.T. employees.” Specifically, it noted that Wal-Mart doesn’t offer health benefits to domestic partners, and doesn’t bar discrimination based on gender identity.
The DC-based Task Force’s director Rea Carey told the New York Times, “It may be a local debate for New York City, but Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the country.”
The Task Force was recruited into the battle by the openly gay president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Stuart Appelbaum.
But a Wal-Mart spokesman said the big-box giant IS welcoming to gay employees, noting its company supported LGBT employee group and its corporate culture, which he said supports diversity, inclusion and respect.
Last year, an 18-year-old gay temp filed a complaint with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission claiming a supervisor outed then ostracized him. And a former Wal-mart employee in Rochester, New York, won a similar discrimination complaint alleging he was fired because he’s gay, and because he took time off for rehab from a car accident. Wal-mart denied the claims in both cases.