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

Exxon Mobil will now not enable banners of outdoor organizations on its flagpoles, angering some workers who up to now had flown a rainbow delight flag.

The brand 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. Employees can show the delight flag and representations of different teams like Black Lives Matter on different areas of the corporate’s properties, together with on lawns or in digital areas.

“It’s a longstanding observe at our services around the globe that E.R.G. flags will be flown throughout signature months,” Tracey Gunnlaugsson, vp of human sources at Exxon Mobil, stated in an announcement. “The flags are instantly associated to our enterprise and firm help of our E.R.G.s.”

The brand for the corporate’s worker useful resource group for L.G.B.T. workers contains bubbles full of a number of colours across the phrase PRIDE. That brand has been flown at workplaces and is used on T-shirts that workers put on at Pleasure parades.

Present Exxon workers declined to remark. J. Chris Martin, a former worker who used to go the useful resource group, stated {that a} completely different flag that includes the Exxon brand 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at many firm areas final yr with out query” however that he had been instructed that approval to show that flag had been revoked “with out clarification.”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 an emblem of open-mindedness and help for long-suppressed voices,” he stated.

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

The Human Rights Marketing campaign, a company that works to finish discrimination towards lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender individuals, criticized the corporate for the coverage, saying on Twitter: “There’s no such factor as ‘neutrality’ in the case of our rights. Our flag isn’t only a visible illustration of our identities. It is usually 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 battle with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida over a brand new state new regulation, formally often called “Parental Rights in Training” — or, to its critics, “Don’t Say Homosexual.” The measure prohibits classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender id in some elementary college grades. Disney opposed the regulation, main Mr. DeSantis and state lawmakers to revoke a particular tax designation Disney loved within the state.

Exxon was lengthy thought-about a foe of homosexual 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 score within the Human Rights Marketing campaign’s Company Equality Index has risen to 85 out of 100 in 2022, from destructive 25.

Clifford Krauss contributed reporting.

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