A gay advocacy group says Wal-Mart has a shameful record when it comes to protecting the rights of LGBT employees.
"With the expansion of Wal-Mart stores comes the expansion of antiquated employment policies that provide little to no protections for, and at times even hostility toward, their L.G.B.T. employees," a statement from the task force said.
From City Room:
The task force criticized Wal-Mart for denying employee benefits to same-sex partners and for failing to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. By comparison, the group said two other chain stores with a strong presence in New York, Costco and Walgreens, did much better.
A spokesman for Wal-Mart claimed the retail giant was sensitive to the rights and needs of gay employees.
"Diversity and inclusion are enduring values that are fundamental to our culture, which includes a focus on having respect for our colleagues and customers," Steven Restivo said.
Wal-Mart has been gearing up to expand into New York City since December.
The company is reportedly interested in a location in East New York, Brooklyn.
Public Advocate Bill De Blasio released a report indicating that, if Wal-Mart were to come to New York, the retailer would kill jobs by forcing small businesses to close.
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart funded a study that said New Yorkers overwhelmingly support the chain moving into the city.
Several public officials remain unconvinced, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is staunchly opposed to Wal-Mart's proposed expansion.
In February, the City Council held a hearing to discuss Wal-Mart's plans. New Yorkers adamantly for and against Wal-Mart showed up to angrily voice their opinions.