This excerpt taken from the VZ DEF 14A filed Mar 17, 2008.
GENDER IDENTITY NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
Whereas: Verizon does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in its written employment policy, yet Verizons policy already does explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation;
Over 30% of the Fortune 500 companies have adopted written nondiscrimination policies prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity, as well as 400 leading private sector companies and eighty-five U.S. colleges and universities, according to the Human Rights Campaign;
Ninety-three City and County Governments and twelve States have passed clear gender identity and expression legislative protections including California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington;
Over 350 U.S. based human rights organizations including the Equality Project Investor Coalition (that advocates for gender identity protections as part of its Equality Principles benchmark), and every U.S. State civil rights advocacy group has endorsed national legislation explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as gender identity.
Our company has operations in, and makes sales to institutions in States and Cities that currently prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation;
We believe that corporations that prohibit discrimination both on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity have a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining employees from the widest talent pool;
Resolved: The Shareholders request that Verizon Communications amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, and to substantially implement this policy.
Supporting Statement: Employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity diminishes employee morale and productivity. Because state and local laws are inconsistent with respect to such employment discrimination, our company would benefit from a consistent, corporate wide policy to enhance efforts to prevent discrimination, resolve complaints internally, and ensure a respectful and supportive atmosphere for all employees. Verizon will enhance its competitive edge by joining the growing ranks of companies guaranteeing equal opportunity for all employees.