Carlson Achieves Perfect Score on Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for Second Year in a Row

Minneapolis, MN | September 17, 2007

Carlson has earned a perfect score on the 2008 Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index. The index is the only nationally recognized measure of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) workplace equality. This is the second consecutive year that Carlson has achieved a perfect score.

Carlson has implemented more comprehensive workplace policies and benefits to include GLBT employees, and shares the perfect score with 195 major U.S. companies, including seven others in the hospitality industry.

"We believe that embracing diversity has a very real and tangible value for the modern corporation," said Carlson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marilyn Carlson Nelson. "It better prepares us to serve our customers and colleagues in what has truly become a global marketplace."

With the perfect score, Carlson will be included in the HRC's "Best Places to Work for GLBT Equality," an online feature published each January. In addition, Carlson will be included in the HRC's annual "Buying for Equality" guide, which references companies that support GLBT equality and is distributed to more than one million people each year.

"Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is foundational to our work ethic at Carlson," said Carmen Baker, Carlson's vice president of enterprise diversity. "This recognition proves our efforts in creating a healthier workplace for our GLBT employees have been consistent, and that they continue to make a difference."

"We will continue to work on employee programs and offerings based on inclusiveness," added Susan MacHolda, Carlson's senior director of work life & diversity. "We are leading by example, and inspiring other companies to adopt GLBT inclusive policies and benefits."

The HRC Foundation Corporate Equality Index is intended to serve as a benchmark to assist corporate diversity and work/life leaders in the evolving field of GLBT workplace policies. Each year, the HRC Foundation's Workplace Project sends a survey to all Fortune 1000, AmLaw 200, and Forbes 200 largest privately owned firms. Additionally, any private-sector, for-profit employer with 500 or more full-time employees can participate.

The Corporate Equality Index, which this year rated 519 businesses, measures the extent to which employers protect their GLBT employees. Ratings are based on factors like non-discrimination policies, diversity training, and benefits for domestic partners and transgender employees.

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