A growing number of New Jersey's leading companies and law firms are stepping up their policies and practices to meet the needs of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers, according to an annual report from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Of the 46 New Jersey companies and firms rated in the Corporate Equality Index, half received perfect scores, compared to 19 out of 40 in the 2018 report. More than 30 earned a score of 90 or above.

"The average score for companies and law firms based in New Jersey is 86%, which is very high," said Elliott Kozuch, spokesman for the Campaign.

New Jersey's average last year was 83%.

The CEI rated more than 1,000 companies nationally on detailed criteria across four general categories: non-discrimination policies; employee benefits; supporting an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility; and responsible citizenship. The report generally rates Fortune 500 companies and American Lawyer magazine's top 200 revenue grossing law firms, but it also handles submissions from other companies.

Nationwide, a record of more than 680 companies have been designated a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. The Campaign described their Index as the "most rigorous assessment of LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies and practices to date." The 2019 report is their 18th edition.

"We've seen some really incredible strides in those 18 years," Kozuch said.

These New Jersey companies earned a perfect score in 2019:

  • ADP, Roseland
  • American Express Global Business Travel, Jersey City
  • BASF Corp., Florham Park
  • Bayer U.S., Whippany
  • Becton, Dickinson and Co., Franklin Lakes
  • Celgene Corp., Summit
  • Day Pitney, Parsippany
  • Dun & Bradstreet Corp., Short Hills
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Newark
  • Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick
  • Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton
  • Merck, Kenilworth
  • Nestle Health Science, Bridgewater
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., East Hanover
  • Pearson Inc., Hoboken
  • Prudential Financial Inc., Newark
  • Quest Diagnostics Inc., Secaucus
  • Samsung Electronics America Inc, Ridgefield Park
  • Sanofi, Bridgewater
  • Subaru of America Inc., Cherry Hill
  • TD Bank, Cherry Hill
  • Unilever, Englewood Cliffs
  • Wyndham Hotel & Resorts Inc., Parsippany

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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