Freedom at Work, a gay-rights group, has filed what it describes as a groundbreaking discrimination complaint against Exxon Corporation in Illinois. The complaint, which was filed with Illinois' Department of Human Rights says that Exxon was sent two nearly identical resumes for job openings at its office in Patoka. The only substantive differences were that one of the functional applicants was described as a gay-rights activist and had higher college and high school grades than the other applicant. Exxon confirmed receipt of both applications but only attempted to contact the applicant with lower grades to set up an interview. The applicant who indicated she was gay was ignored. According to Freedom to Work's President Tico Almeida: "Exxon has repeatedly claimed they do not discriminate . . . We are bringing forward proof they've broken the law, and we're hopeful this compelling case will move them over the tipping point."
Illinois is one of 21 states that prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. Under the New York City Human Rights Law, employees are protected because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.