Mountain View, California-based corporation and search engine giant Google recently announced a considerable increase in health care coverage for their U.S. transgender employees. Effective immediately, trans employees are now entitled to a full range of procedures and treatment in accordance with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care. This includes transitioning procedures such as gender reassignment surgery, facial feminization, pectoral implants, and more, if determined to be medically necessary by a doctor. Google has also increased the maximum dollar amount for transgender health care benefits from $35,000 to $75,000.
Masen Davis, whose law organization consulted with Google about the additional health benefits, said,
We’ve never worked with a company so clearly dedicated to doing the best they can with transgender employees . . . I would anticipate that what they’ve adopted will become the gold standard in the United States.
The increased benefits come just in time for the Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index, which analyzes and rates large U.S. employers and their policies regarding LGBT employees. Google was rated 100%, placing them on the Best Places to Work 2012 list. The Corporate Equality Index has proved a motivating force for many companies, according to Todd Solomon, a Chicago attorney who specializes in LGBT employee benefits issues. It has provided the extra push necessary for employers to begin implementing inclusive benefits.
This is not the first awesome thing Google has done for its LGBT employees this year. In June, they fought back against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act by offering reimbursement to gay employees whose domestic-partner health insurance benefits are taxed as income by the federal government. Google also has active LGBT employee groups — called “Gayglers” — all around the world.