Pride Month is celebrated each June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, the tipping point for the United States’ Gay Liberation Movement. The purpose of this initiative is to acknowledge the impact the LGBTQ+ community has had on history. Individuals and organizations celebrate differently, but it is common to see concerts, parades, parties, workshops, and more to recognize the month. Employers have the opportunity to deeply impact employees’ lives beyond the scope of one commemorative month by offering LGBTQ+ inclusive benefits.
Employee benefits should be comprehensive and representative of the employee population. According to the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 545,000 same-sex married couple households, 470,000 same-sex unmarried partner households, and 192,000 children living with same-sex parents in the U.S. Here are some benefits employers can offer:
- Healthcare benefits that are provided to domestic partners.
- Bereavement leave benefits that extend to the death of a domestic partner or the immediate family members of a domestic partner.
- FMLA-equivalent benefits that provide leave to employees to care for domestic partners and the children of domestic partners regardless of biological or adoptive status.
- A health plan that explicitly covers medically necessary health services for transgender people along with gender transition-related treatment.
Additional Workplace Support
Create an LGBTQ+ employee resource group. If the organization has a diversity & inclusion office or committee, be sure to incorporate LGBTQ+ diversity in the mission.
Encourage inclusive language. Employees should be recognized by their pronouns. Many organizations encourage employees to include their pronouns in their email signatures and LinkedIn profiles. Similarly, inclusive employers are removing gender-based pronouns from employee handbooks and internal company materials, choosing to replace “he” or “she” with “they.”
Visibility. The organization should outwardly celebrate Pride Month and LGBTQ+ Awareness Day. Organizations can call attention by highlighting it in the company newsletter, distributing flyers, or hosting a spirit day in the office. Additionally, the organization should incorporate inclusive hiring efforts. This goes beyond including employment non-discrimination statements regarding “gender identity” and “sexual orientation.” Some companies market their LGBTQ+ inclusive benefits to attract a more diverse hiring pool.
Pride Month extends through the end of June, but comprehensive benefits that cover the LGBTQ+ employee population last the entirety of a plan year.
If you have any questions about the above benefits, please contact your dedicated Creative Benefits, Inc. team member.