In July 2019, Prudential joined more than 200 other U.S. employers in signing court brief calling for uniform federal protections.
Prudential is lauding the Supreme Court’s ruling June 15 that a federal civil rights law prohibits workplace discrimination against gay and transgender workers, extending workplace protections to millions of people across the nation.
The decision comes after the court heard several related cases to decide whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which prohibits discrimination based on religion, national origin, race, color and sex—also covers sexual orientation or gender identity. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, LGBTQ workers in fewer than half of U.S. states had full protection from discrimination. Absent these non-discrimination protections, a worker could be terminated based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In July 2019, Prudential joined 205 companies across the U.S.—representing 7 million employees and more than $5 trillion in revenue—in filing a brief as amicus curiae, or friend of the court, arguing that Title VII applies to LGBTQ individuals. The signatories said uniform federal protections will benefit companies by enhancing their ability to recruit and retain top talent, generate diverse thought and better serve their customers.
“All Prudential employees must be confident that the protections of the law extend to them, regardless of where they call home,” said Ann Kappler, Prudential deputy general counsel and head of external affairs. “As a company with employees in every state, Prudential added its support to the amicus brief in this case to ensure employees can be their authentic selves, 100 percent of the time. Our talent strategy is to recruit the best, diverse talent and create a culture where they can thrive and execute for our customers.”
Prudential has adopted inclusive policies and supported LGBTQ employees, beginning with recognizing PRIDE (then called EAGLES) as the company’s first business resource group in 1993. In 1996, Prudential added “sexual orientation” to its written nondiscrimination policy, and in 2000, it was among the first to offer domestic partnership benefits to employees. Now, its nondiscrimination policy includes gender identity and expression, along with domestic partnership or civil union status.
In 2017, Prudential joined an amicus brief filed by the Human Rights Campaign arguing businesses must be open to all in the Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case. Prudential also supported same-sex marriage in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges case.