Cracker Barrel Makes Great Strides: It's Now Only the Third Worst Place for Gays to Work

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The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain is rated the country's third worst workplace for gay people by the Human Rights Campaign, the GLBT lobbying group and political action committee. It's an annual survey assessing corporate treatment of GLBT employees at hundreds of the largest and most successful American companies. The Lebanon-based Cracker Barrel earned its place in the survey because the company doesn't prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, provide partner benefits, or require diversity training that includes sexual orientation. For years, Cracker Barrel had a policy of firing workers for being gay. The company actually issued a memo stating that people who did not demonstrate "normal heterosexual values" could not work for Cracker Barrel. On employee pink slips, managers would write this reason for the termination: "Employee is gay." In 2003, Cracker Barrel managers promised to stop discriminating based on sexual orientation, but they did that only under pressure from shareholders. For Cracker Barrel, it's progress when you're only the third worst place for gay people to work.

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