National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Celebrates EEOC Decision That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Barred By Existing Law

Washington, D.C. — The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, applauds the ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that discrimination based on sexual orientation violates existing civil rights regulations based on gender.
“The EEOC’s ruling put a federal stamp of approval on a long-held corporate best practice of including sexual orientation and gender expression in non-discrimination policies. By allowing workers to feel protected in the workplace, they are empowered to bring their best selves to the workplace, which increases productivity, raises performance levels, and retains top LGBT talent,” says NGLCC co-founder and president, Justin Nelson. “We hope to see state and local governments apply the same principles of inclusion to their workplace protection codes, resulting in a national Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) that would ensure the well-being of America’s diverse and innovative workforce.”

The NGLCC has been the nation’s leader on creating opportunities in the marketplace for hardworking LGBT business owners to contribute to the national economy. A recently passed California law championed by the NGLCC recognizes the critical importance of intentional inclusion of Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) companies in public utility contracts. This aligns California with over 50% of the Fortune 500 which currently recognizes LGBTBE certification in their diverse supply chains alongside Women, Minority, and Service Disable Veteran businesses. The NGLCC is aware that several more states are working to add this level of inclusion to their existing business codes and hopes this EEOC decision is a catalyst for more rapid change on the issue.

“While we’re aware that the Supreme Court could issue a definitive ruling on the interpretation, EEOC decisions have historically been given deference by federal courts. We hope this is a sign that we are a major step closer to protections for America’s LGBT employees, business owners, and job creators,” says NGLCC co-founder & CEO Chance Mitchell. “Just as we saw a patchwork of marriage laws ultimately evolve into a unified protection of the freedom to marry, these important steps toward a more-inclusive workplace and business environment are essential to ensuring all LGBT workers and business owners have equal access to the American Dream.”
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global not-for-profit advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses.
Adam Shapiro
Download the Press Release as a PDF here.

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