Fast food outlet Wendy’s has implemented protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

The move came after the restaurant chain was put under pressure from gay civil rights group, the Equality Project, and the companies biggest shareholder, the New York City Employees (NCYERS) Retirement Fund.

Grant Lukenbill, managing director of the Equality Project said: “The good news from Wendy’s proves once again that building coalitions around the Equality Principles is a strategy that works for shareholders and policy advocates alike, and deserves support by more institutions.”

The group is looking to build on this success to persuade energy company, ExxonMobil, to include sexual orientation in its anti discrimination policy.

Tom Smith, an Equality Project founding board member, said: “ExxonMobil simply does not have a written policy banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Companies that mean what they say put it in writing. That’s the great fact behind the official employment policies of the majority of the Fortune 500,”

He called on ExxonMobil shareholders to vote in favour of the NYCERS shareholder resolution calling on the company to reinstate sexual orientation into its written employment non-discrimination policy.

The gay group’s equality principles are:

1.The company will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression or gender identity as part of its written employment policy statement.

2. The company will disseminate its written employment policy statement company-wide.

3. The company will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of any employee’s actual or perceived health condition, status or disability.

4. The company will offer equal health insurance and other benefits to employees to cover their domestic partners regardless of the employee’s marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.

5. The company will include discussions of sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity as part of its official employee diversity and sensitivity training communications.

6. The company will give employee groups equal standing, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

7. The company advertising policy will avoid the use of negative stereotypes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

8. The company will not discriminate against advertising, marketing or promoting events on the basis of sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.

9. The company will not discriminate in the sale of its goods or services based on sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.

10. The company will not bar charitable contributions to groups and organizations on the basis of sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.