August 5, 2014
A Bullseye View “Perspectives” is a forum for Target’s top executives to share their point of view on everything from industry trends to best business practices. In the story below, Jodee Kozlak, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, details Target’s decision to sign the amicus brief on marriage equality.
“At Target, we are committed to creating an environment where team members and guests feel welcome, valued and respected.”
If you’ve been a fan or follower of Target for some time, you’ve likely heard us say those words. You may have heard us talk about our long-standing commitment to inclusivity and diversity. Those aren’t just words. They are how we conduct ourselves – as a business and as a team. And as a part of that belief, we continually evaluate where we are as a company to ensure we are taking steps that balance doing what is right for our business, guests and for our team.
It is in that same spirit that, this week, Target joined several other national companies to sign on to an amicus brief in support of marriage equality. The brief is currently pending in the Seventh Circuit.
As our leadership team discussed signing on, we took time to consider the bigger questions at hand. This brief is important, as the issues it addresses have significant impact on businesses. But it is more than that and we agreed that now is the right time to more directly share our views on this issue.
It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage.
Without getting into the specifics of a court case, this brief evaluates the issues created by states that both prohibit same-sex marriage and also refuse to recognize marriages that were conducted legally in other states. This position is particularly challenging for a large organization that operates nationally, such as Target. At Target, we have long offered comprehensive, competitive benefits to our LGBT team members and their families, often above what is legally required. We continue to do so today because we believe doing so is right for our team and for our business. But current laws — in places like Wisconsin and Indiana that are addressed in this brief – make it difficult to attract and retain talent. These disparate laws also create confusing and complicated benefits challenges across multiple states.
We believe that everyone – all of our team members and our guests – deserve to be treated equally. And at Target we are proud to support the LGBT community.
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