Publix Discriminates Against LGBT Employees, Gay Rights Activists Argue

Publix_Logo.jpg
Publix Super Markets: great for deli sandwiches. Bad for gay employees.

That's according to the Human Rights Campaign and several local LGBT activists. Publix does not provide benefits to domestic partners, they point out. Nor does it have non-discrimination policies in place to protect LGBT employees.

"I think it's still 1965 in their eyes," says David Cary Hart, a retired CEO of Drake Business Schools and LGBT activist. "They have absolutely no sensitivity to this issue whatsoever."

Hart points to Publix's zero rating on the HRC's Corporate Equality Index to back-up his claim that the super market chain -- Florida's second largest private employer with 160,000 on the payroll -- is behind the times.

When he complained about Publix's lack of policies to protect LGBT employees from discrimination, a spokeswoman replied:

As a company we are inundated with survey requests across multiple industries and actually participate in very few due to the volume. We feel that our reputation, our customers and our associates are the best testimonials of who we are as a company. We do focus on a few surveys that we feel encompass the broadest range of topics, such as the "Great Places to Work", which captures not only facts about our organization but the voices of our associates as well. By not responding to the HRC survey we annually receive a score of zero.

Nicole Krauss, a Publix spokeswoman, told New Times something similar in an email statement.

"Publix does not participate in surveys, and we have no knowledge that our score of zero in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index survey would be for any other reason than for lack of participation," Krauss said. "In the five states in which we currently operate, same sex marriage is not recognized as a legal union. Publix is recognized as a great place to work and employer of choice based on the many benefits we offer our associate owners. We follow all laws in the cities and states in which we operate."

Thumbnail image for Publix_surfside_fl.jpg
via Alexf/Wikimedia Commons
But Hart claims that's B.S. He points out that almost every single other company on the Fortune 1000 participates in the survey.

Walmart, for instance, jumped from a score of 40 in 2011 to a current score of 80 (out of 100) by extending benefits to domestic partners and adopting policies to protect gay, lesbian, and transgender employees.

"The excuse that Publix gets all these surveys and can't do them all, that's just nonsense," Hart says.

"We have solicited a survey response from the company for years and have not received one," says Deena Fidas from HRC. "In addition, we have not been able to verify through independent research that the company meets any of the scoring criteria."

Other LGBT activists also have an issue with Publix. Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, says her organization has received many complaints from LGBT employees at the grocery chain.

"What they have described is a company that is insular and slow to move" on LGBT issues, Smith says.

She describes the super market chain as "shockingly conservative" in some ways, but adds that "some people in upper management are at long last starting to move in the right direction."

Smith says Publix has no choice.

My Voice Nation Help
55 comments
frederickgnp
frederickgnp

I am in agreement of the overwhelming homophobia with Public's Super Market's Policies, I just started dating someone that is employed their and boy, I came to visit him at work and his face turn white in shame of me entering his space, for I had no clue of the homophobia problems.   I felt so sorry for him, for He clearly was trap in a cage of homophobia and my heart goes out to him in his walk.


I had not clue of  the politics and after doing some research I found this article.  I just moved from California back to Jacksonville, Florida and the city has change in progressive way of diversity, however on the Human Rights of LGBT community, it seems worst and doug in for a long battle with Public Super Market being a major player of denial in true kindness and diversity to our public at large.  Most distasteful and distrustful in the spirit behind the food basket.  I will never shop or spend a Dime at Public Super Market, until they free their employees from the cages of fear, shame, and guilt or stigma within the white men's policies of   leadership which is  instilling and fueling the hate and discuss into their employees spirit, hence spreading like a virus in Jacksonville, Florida like the old Jim Crows Laws of the past.


A boycott of Public Super Market for me is starting now and invite more to join in with GNP+USA, in demanding Public's Leadership  to wake up and come to the table for Human Rights, for All of of Jacksonville and surrounding areas..


Sincerely,


Frederick Wright-Stafford

GNP+USA network

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

All of the Publix stores I've ever been to, everyone wears a Publix shirt, has an apron and does whatever specialty they were hired for. I'm not certain where anyone's lifestyle ever comes up as discussion, are they supposed to go beyond the law and show favoritism towards any group ? Does FL recognize same sex marriages ? Until it does, Publix operates in a law abiding manner and I'm certain they will comply with the laws. Is the participation in a survey mandatory or required by law ? If not, then it isn't in anyone's job description to sit down and answer survey questions. Citing payouts, it was probably cheaper to settle than to drag it thru the courts in a legal battle ? A settlement is exactly that, not an admission of wrong doing ?

Exiliado
Exiliado

Not a single testimony from a Publix employee, gay or not.

Not a scintilla of reliable data on the topic. 

Instead, the complaint is based on lack of data, because Publix does not participate in the survey of these people's choice.


This is B.S. 


Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman

I worked @ Publix & there were many gay employees there

Aaron Matthews
Aaron Matthews

They are a goo company to work for. How would they know?

John DeFaro
John DeFaro

George. you lost the argument before u finished writing. Happy Holidays. Walk in others shoes for at least five seconds.

George Slafko
George Slafko

LBGT & GLAAD just pissed because Publix won't bow before them!! How many gay organizations are feeding the poor, out in the communities raising money for the poor? None!!! Just a bunch of intolerant bigots that say "Believe As We Believe!"!!!!

Mar To
Mar To

Not only Publix... the whole Florida is behind!!!!

j.pollo
j.pollo

I commend Publix for not bowing down and continuing their philosophy. I like the place, I admire how the place is run. Over the years I've seen a bunch of gay employees (flaming, otherwise I wouldn't know, but that's another story) who don't seem to have any problems.

YNOW
YNOW

Publix is a clean and friendly place to shop... Hope that doesn't change.

Cary Jorge
Cary Jorge

Publix is the only grocer in town that was closed Thanksgiving and will br closed on Christmas. Publix is the only company I have seen so far to say "Merry Christmas" at the end of their commercial instead of the p.c "Happy Holidays" and own it.. Publix gets my money all day everyday. I don't believe these accusations. . We live in a crappy world where no one can have an opinion in fear of getting some ones feelings hurt. Get.over.it.

Vince Witty
Vince Witty

Look at these people defending publix as if publix was their mother. You'd think they just finished suckling off of publixs teet of prosperity.

Arlene Delice
Arlene Delice

It's beginning to feel like America the trap, because things are being forced upon us, if someone or company doesn't agree so what, move on? No one will ever agree on same things, belief etc etc... Boycott whatever other will still shop there. I love when ppl think that they're group is the supreme group GTFOH

Xavier Hinojosa
Xavier Hinojosa

Just be glad you live in a country that even allows you to have options. There are still some areas in America that has a strong community of Racism. So I stay my Latin butt away from those places. That's why I live in Forida☀️... Plenty of sunshine & sandy beaches!

Vanessa Castro
Vanessa Castro

oh come on really?? LGBT can give a shit about publix lol

Al Newman
Al Newman

Those LGBT need to leave Publix alone and seek God for help

Carl Snyder
Carl Snyder

good for them. its a privately held company that pays mega taxes. its a free country. pedophiles will be making the same argument soon. whether you agree with it or not its their perogative - government needs to myob.

Nancy Nawaz
Nancy Nawaz

The Reversal of DOMA and changes apply only to couples that have been legally wed in a state, territory or foreign country that permits same-sex marriage, meaning employers will remain at liberty to decide for themselves whether to offer health care coverage and other benefits to their employees' domestic partners. Once the law changes in Florida I am pretty sure an Employee Centered Company like Publix will offer the benefit. So people put down the picket signs and go eat a sub...geez

Dave Pazos
Dave Pazos

Guess gay people will have to choose between Winn Dixie and Walmart for groceries. That's like choosing between Duck Dynasty and the Westboro Baptist Church.

Luisa Erika Patroni
Luisa Erika Patroni

I'll have the chicken tender sub thanks! And my gay friends will just have the pickles. Dilled please.

Kristina Villaverde
Kristina Villaverde

Publix is a great company to work for! They offer bonus' and raises every 6 months, they give employees stock options, they work with the elderly and disable, the road to management is reachable and pays well, they have health insurance options. Instead of the LGBT community shaming them they should try to partner with them. If the state the business is in doesn't have legal gay marriage then why would offering those insurance options be an issue. They're a smart company I'm sure when the law changes so will their coverage plans.

Joseph Perez
Joseph Perez

I go there for great food and because they hire the handicapped, no organization is perfect.

David Vranicar
David Vranicar

Besides they are a private company they may do what they wish to protect their interests.

Josh Colletta
Josh Colletta

I'm not buying it. Publix has a long history of being an excellent employer, and just because they aren't offering certain benefits or won't respond to certain surveys doesn't change that. Could they change some things? I'm sure they could. But does that make them discriminatory? Hardly.

Stephen Stephan
Stephen Stephan

This sucks! I love publix. Looks like we need to start writing letters along with receipts and telling them we will no longer spend money there!

Dee Hablo
Dee Hablo

Emily London another place for u to boycott

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

@jgcamp99  


Dear jgcamp99,

The "lifestyle" issue which you refer "comes up" behind the scenes in areas hidden from the public.  It's referred to as treating employees fairly, something you may not be familiar with if you are republican, a tea-bagger or a CONservative.  Regardless,  employers who operate in states that do not "recognize" same sex marriage are permitted to treat all their employees fairly, regardless of what you may think.   Moreover, the article does not state, imply or suggest Publix is operating outside the law, but rather that Publix has not caught up with the reality of the times.  Eventually marriage equality will come to Florida and Publix will have to adjust.  In the meantime, equality has come to other states requiring employers to stop discriminating against a select demographic.  Forward thinking companies, even those in Florida, already do recognize the value of all employees and offer equality in their compensation and benefits packages.  Your pathetic, ignorant and and pernicious arguments do nothing to veil your homophobia, bigotry and desire to treat others with contempt.  I will not patronize Publix, or any company, that discriminates against its employees.  The public gets it, but it's a shame you and Publix do not. 

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

@Exiliado 


An employee does not have to testify to verify Publix discriminates in their compensation package.  Moreover, can you prove Publix treats all employees with parity?   It is your argument that is B.S..

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

AND, Andrew, gay employees did not receive the same compensatory packages compared to their non-gay counterparts while you worked at Publix. The question is not whether gay  people work at Publix, but why Publix discriminates against a specific segment of the public. 

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

Internal information pertaining to compensation and benefits are easily deciphered.  It's no secret. 

stan_mute
stan_mute

A "goo company"? No wonder the gays are so excited about it.

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

The internal culture created by Publix normalizes discrimination and gullible people line up like sheep in accord with these pernicious policies.  The essence of discrimination is merely planted in a corporate hegemonic soil.  

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

Ariene, I'm sorry you don't get it.  People are being discriminated against  because of who they are, not what they've done.  How would you like it if companies said not to you because of the way you looked or what religion you are?  Since Publix blatantly treats employees unfairly, laws need to be changed.  Every American has the right to be treated equally in terms of employment, that's the American way.  If ignorant hateful people like you don't like it,  then y'all need to GTFOH!

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

EXCEPT, Xavier, not all employees at Publix don't have options!  They are singled out and treated differently because of who they are, not because of what they've done.  That's hardly something to be "glad" about. 

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

Considering there is no such thing as "god," your comment is moot.  Perhaps non-LGBT people of so called "faith" need to stop hating so much and wake up.  Faith merely makes a virtue out of non-thinking.  It is nothing to be proud about, considering religion is man made. Pernicious gullible sheep like you, Al Newman, have destroyed this country.  ALL AMERICANS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS, PERIOD.   

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

Considering most pedophiles are heterosexuals, your argument is moot. Privately held companies should treat all employees equally, period.  Many forward thinking companies that operate in states where discrimination is still permitted, offer the same compensation packages to all employees.  Regardless, marriage equality is coming to Florida and Publix will be required by law to comply, just as they must treat Black employees the same and ignorant pernicious people like you Carl Synder.  Shameful. 

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

Kristina, if discriminating against specific employees is your idea of a "great company," than I feel very sorry for you.  The LGBT community must continue to fight injustice in court, regardless of what you think.  Regardless, companies should provide the same benefits to all employees because it is ethical, that's why Kristina.  I'm sorry you have no compunctions about spewing hatred towards people by paying them less money because of who they are.  It's shameful.  Publix is not a smart company, but a cheap one that does not recognize the value of all workers.  The laws will change and Publix will be forced to comply, but until then I won't shop there.  

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

If Publix discriminated against the handicapped and Blacks and women, then would still be a great place to shop Joseph?  What if they discriminated against only people named Joseph?   The point is, ALL Americans should be treated equally, period.   Every Publix employee deserves the same compensation based on what they do, not who they are. Any company that lacks ethics and treats a certain group of people differently is indeed far from perfect. 

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

David, I fail to see how discriminating against a certain demographic protects the interests of anyone, private or not.  Bigotry is bigotry, period. What if Publix discriminated against Blacks, Women or people named David?  Would that make it acceptable? 

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

Josh, as an employee at Publix, I can tell you they are NOT an excellent employer!  They patently discriminate against GLTB employees, because they don't compensate these people the same.  Publix needs to change not some things, but a lot of things.   So do you!

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

I have stopped shopping at Publix because of their discrimination.   If they don't treat employees equally, then laws need to be changed. Until then, no way Publix! 

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

When aren't conservative plutocrats not discriminating? 

chrisnyc12
chrisnyc12

I hate them even more now.  Won't shop there.

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...