Advocating for LGBT Workplace Equality as a Consumer: Sample Letter to Businesses
Make sure to research a business’s policies and practices before using the sample language below. Language in brackets ("[" and "]") should be edited to reflect the business being targeted.
Take Action: Sample Letter
Dear [CEO/Board of Directors/Personal Representative or Account Manager],
As a concerned [consumer/investor/client] of [BUSINESS NAME], I believe employers have a responsibility to treat all employees equitably. Currently [BUSINESS NAME] does not afford the same workplace protections and benefits to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees as to their non-LGBT counterparts.
Specifically, [BUSINESS NAME] does not [
- include sexual orientation and gender identity in its equal employment opportunity policy
- does not provide health benefits to the same-sex partners of its employees
- has health insurance that discriminates against transgender employees.
This is unacceptable.
Ensuring equality for all is the right thing to do and good for the bottom line. Fortune magazine's 500 largest public corporations have recognized this fact. The vast majority of these companies prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, more than a third prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and the majority provide domestic partner health insurance benefits to their employees. These companies have found the advantages of LGBT inclusion in three key areas:
- Marketing & LGBT Consumers. The buying power of the LGBT community is growing at an enormous rate. According to Witeck-Combs Communications and Packaged Facts, the buying power of the LGBT community was $743 billion in 2010. [BUSINESS NAME] cannot afford to lose its business, and in order to remain competitive, inclusive policies are crucial as consumers support businesses that support workplace equality.
- Recruitment & Retention. Inclusion of LGBT employees in workplace policies impacts more than the LGBT population. Fair-minded employees, particularly those in other minority populations, see LGBT inclusion as an indicator of an environment that supports all employees and their contributions. Furthermore, recruitment and retention will only become a greater concern for [BUSINESS NAME] in the future with the anticipated short and long-term labor shortages faced by the U.S.
- Legal Vulnerability. Employers that have established diversity programs and management systems to address and resolve charges of discrimination and harassment may be less vulnerable to discrimination lawsuits. LGBT inclusive policies and practices will allow [BUSINESS NAME] to avoid the many negative consequences these lawsuits entail.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation works with employers, both large and small, and provides resources to help them implement LGBT-inclusive policies on its website.
As a longtime customer of [BUSINESS NAME], I look forward to seeing changes soon. In the meantime, I will take my business elsewhere and will encourage my friends, neighbors and family to do the same.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
[Your Address and Contact Information]
[Account #, if applicable]
If You Hear Back from the Business
Make sure to be gracious and civil. If the business apologizes or wishes to learn more about LGBT workplace equality, be sure to direct them to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and forward the communication to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation at email@example.com, or by fax to 866-369-3348.