Protections for the LGBT Workforce

Several cities, including Kansas City, Anchorage, Austin, and Atlanta are passing legislation that increases protections for the LGBT community in the workplace.

The new regulations include expanded anti-discrimination policies that protect workers based on not just gender, but sexual orientation or gender identification as well.

In Kansas City, the city’s nondiscrimination oridance was expanded to prohibit “discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”.

As more cities consider similar expansions, Bloomberg BNA recommends that employers be proactive by adding anti-discrimination cluases to their employee handbooks.

Coffman said state civil rights employment laws protect against discrimination based on age, disability, or religion. However, he said, many state laws do not extend to bias based on sexual orientation or gender identification.

Many employers add the protection clause because it is the right thing to do but they are not required to do so, he said.

Bloomberg BNA notes that a recent survey by Propeller Insights found that 55 percent of Americans have no preference whom they work with.

This could be considered a “turning point” in acceptance of the LGBT community in the workplace, as not only more laws are passed, but fewer workers show preference to the sexual orientation of their coworkers.

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