Study: LGBT Supportive Policies Lead to Economic Gains
A new study released by the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA’s School of Law, claims that workplaces that have LGBT-friendly inclusive policies are having better business-related results.
If LBGT-supportive policies are put into effect at a work place, there is greater job commitment, improved workplace relationships, more job satisfaction, and better health outcomes for LBGT employees, according to the 36 studies compiled for the research.
Specifically in the LGBT community, the study says that if policies protecting LBGT members are in place, LBGT employees will work without fretting about having to conceal their orientation or identity in fear of discrimination. Research from the study also shows that LBGT employees who can be open at work will tend to be psychologically healthier.
According to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, there are 31 states and Washington D.C. that have non-discrimination laws in place for sexual orientation and only 23 states and D.C. with non-discrimination laws for gender identity. A few of these states do have religious exemptions however, meaning that LBGT members can still be turned down for jobs due to their sexual orientation or identity. There are currently no federal laws that give any non-discrimination protection to LBGT members in the workplace.
Not only does the study suggest that policies pushing for LBGT equality in the work place help those who identify as such, but could also prove to be wise to support for many kinds of businesses. The Williams Institute study goes on to say that if LBGT non-discrimination protections are used, than businesses will benefit with happier employees and potentially positive economic outcomes.
Though a marginal increase in health insurance costs are associated with expanding policies to include sexual minorities, The study found the impact to be “well under than 1% of an increase in health care cost for the typical firm.” Some expenditure can be curtailed as well if companies voluntarily make their own LBGT non-discrimination rules. If company guidelines are in place to be non-discriminatory, they can avoid litigation cost if they are found to be in non-compliance with any kind of state or federal laws.
Other economic gains found in the study vary. Greater access to new customer bases and a possible increased demand for company stocks could occur thanks to the new inclusive policies these businesses could adopt.
While the new report shows a lot of promise in the battle for LBGT equality in the work place, there have been other recent ups and downs for LBGT members and its supporters.
Virginia currently has no protections for LBGT individuals in public, state-employment, let alone in the private sector. SB 701, a bill that would have prohibited discrimination in state employment based on sexual orientation, was the most recent attempt to provide these protections in VA. The bill failed to make it out of a House Committee earlier this year.
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