Business support for workplace equality on display the day before U.S. Senate committee takes up Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Washington– Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin is joining business leaders in Charlotte today to show the broad support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation that would provide workplace protections to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Currently, there is no federal law prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. At the event, Hilton Worldwide will officially become the 100th member of HRC’s Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness. The coalition is made up of leading U.S. employers that support ENDA.
The Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is set to consider ENDA tomorrow. Both of North Carolina’s Senators – Kay Hagan and Richard Burr – sit on the committee. Senator Hagan is an ENDA co-sponsor.
“Business leaders have long been pioneers for equality, and that continues to be the case in the wake of recent landmark marriage equality rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Employers know it’s just bad for business to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that’s why so many of the nation’s leading corporations are supporting ENDA. As the HELP Committee prepares to consider this critical legislation, we must turn our enthusiasm into action that can have a meaningful impact on the lives of LGBT people.”
A recent poll found that nearly 70 percent of small business owners in North Carolina support workplace protections for LGBT people. The same poll also found that 63 percent of small business owners felt such a law would help their bottom line by attracting better employees. Support for employment protection is even higher among the general public in North Carolina – with 71 percent of residents saying they thought gay and lesbian people should not be discriminated against in the workplace simply because of who they are, according to a June Public Policy Polling report. That same report found that nearly 60 percent of Republicans in the state backed such protections.
Other companies participating in today’s press event include Self-Help Credit Union, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, and Replacements Ltd.
The coalition’s 100th member, Hilton Worldwide, is one of the world’s largest hospitality corporations. Among some of the coalition’s other members, leaders from Bank of America and Wells Fargo to Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Replacements Ltd., have long been among the top businesses for LGBT workplace equality.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.