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Walgreens, Target, Sears, Supervalu, Costco get high marks for gay, lesbian employee policies

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Several retailers got top scores from a gay-rights organization for their efforts to prevent discrimination against and to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

The Human Rights Campaign released its 2013 Corporate Equality Index, which gives companies ratings of up to 100% based on their policies regarding LGBT employees and also released a buyer’s guide for LGBT consumers.

Walgreens, Target, Supervalu and Sears Holdings received 100% ratings; while Costco Wholesale received a 95% rating; Safeway and Kroger received 85%; Rite Aid, CVS and Walmart received 60%; Ahold received 55%; . Meanwhile, Dollar General received 45%; BJ’s Wholesale received 35%; Family Dollar received 30%; and Meijer received 25%. Winn-Dixie received a 15% rating, while A&P, Harris Teeter and Publix received 0% ratings.

In the Buyer’s Guide, Delhaize, Sears, Supervalu, Target and Walgreens got 100% scores, while Costco got a 90% rating. Kroger and Safeway got 85% ratings, while Walmart, CVS and Rite Aid got 60% ratings, and Ahold got a 55% rating. BJ’s and H-E-B got a 35% and 40% rating, respectively, while Meijer and Family Dollar respectively received 25% and 30% ratings. Winn-Dixie and Weis Markets got 15%, while A&P, Harris Teeter and Publix got 0% ratings.

Companies were evaluated based on policies like spousal and partner medical benefits, non-discrimination policies, efforts to recruit LGBT employees, marketing to LGBT consumers and support for LGBT organizations and philanthropic efforts.

The report noted that 83% of employers on the list had an LGBT employee-resource group or diversity panel, compared with 78% in 2008 and 40% in 2002, while 89% offer health insurance for same-sex domestic partners.

 

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Disney sets home release dates for animated adventure ‘Wreck-It Ralph’

BY Jason Owen

NEW YORK — Walt Disney Animation Studios announced the debut of the hit arcade-game-hopping adventure “Wreck-It Ralph." Disney will release an HD digital and HD digital 3D version early on February 12, 2013, a company first. Then on March 5, the company will broaden the release to the four-disc Blu-ray combo pack, two-disc Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, SD digital and On-Demand.

From Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Wreck-It Ralph” takes viewers on a hilarious journey. For decades, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) has played the bad guy in his popular video game. In a bold move, he embarks on an action-packed adventure and sets out to prove to everyone that he is a true hero with a big heart. As he explores exciting new worlds, he teams up with some unlikely new friends including feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman). The film is directed by Emmy®-winner Rich Moore.

Featuring an all-star voice cast including Jack McBrayer as the voice of Fix It Felix, Jr. and Jane Lynch as the voice of Sgt. Calhoun, plus breakthrough bonus features that take viewers even deeper into the world of video games, Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph” has something for every player. Over an hour of all-new bonus material is featured on the Digital and Blu-ray Combo Pack, including deleted and alternate scenes, the theatrical short “Paperman,” plus much more.


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Health takes top spot among New Year’s resolutions, survey finds

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON — People making New Year’s resolutions, mostly centered around health, this year say they behave more responsibly than they did five years ago compared with those not making them, according to a new survey.

The online survey, by Liberty Mutual Insurance, included more than 1,700 adults, gauging how Americans define personal responsibility and how their perception of it varies with age, marital status, gender and whether they have children.

The survey found that 46% of respondents defined personal responsibility as "doing what’s expected of you or what you’re supposed to do" compared with 31% who defined it as "admitting to or owning mistakes" and 23% who defined it as "doing something especially hard or challenging."

The survey also found that fitness, exercise and healthy eating were among the top resolutions, with 46% of respondents creating resolutions around fitness and exercise and 37% creating diet-related resolutions. Meanwhile, 26% had resolutions concerning family and 22% had resolutions concerning spirituality or managing personal finances.

Parents were more likely than non-parents to make resolutions, with 46% of parents making them, compared with 33% of non-parents, and 50% of mothers making resolutions, compared with 41% of fathers. In addition, 58% of those aged 18-34 were likely to make resolutions, compared with 22% of those aged 50-64, and 47% of singles were likely to make a resolution, compared with 30% of married people.

 

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