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BRIEFLY / BEVERAGES

Coca-Cola to Offer Same-Sex-Partner Benefits

June 23, 2000|Reuters

Coca-Cola Co., struggling to improve the diversity of its corporate culture amid accusations of discriminating against minorities, said it plans to extend health-care benefits to same-sex domestic partners of its U.S.-based employees. Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, the world's largest soft-drink company, said the policy will take effect Jan. 1. The move to extend same-sex benefits came about a week after Coca-Cola reached a tentative settlement of a lawsuit filed by a group of black former and current workers alleging that the company tolerated a pattern of discrimination in pay, promotions and performance reviews. A separate $1.5-billion racial discrimination lawsuit was filed against the company last week. The company has consistently denied the charges. Coca-Cola shares rose $2.63 to close at $56.13 on the NYSE.

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