Employers who discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity put themselves at a competitive disadvantage to companies that treat their gay and transgender employees fairly and equally on the job.Given that fact, you might think that businesses would recognize the incentive to treat us fairly even in the absence of government mandates, and you'd be right:
Unfortunately it remains perfectly legal in a majority of states to fire someone because they are gay or transgender. Only 21 states and the District of Columbia have outlawed employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and only 16 states and the District of Columbia have done so on the basis of gender identity.That is, the Fortune 500 is well ahead of the states. Yet again, what "everyone knows" to be true and what is true differ radically.
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In fact companies that don’t protect and support gay and transgender workers are increasingly out of step with most of corporate America. Fully 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies have nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and 49 percent include gender identity. Higher up on the Fortune ladder, 96 percent of Fortune 50 companies have nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and 74 percent include gender identity.