Monday, October 16, 2017

There is no *good* reason to be anti-LGBTQ rights

Last week I presented a webinar entitled, “The Top 10 Employee Handbook Mistakes.”

I discussed, among other policies, missing at-will disclaimers, salary discussion bans, failing to define the FMLA leave-year, inflexible leave of absence policies, and omitted or ineffective harassment policies.

I also discussed anti-discrimination policies that ignore LGBTQ employment rights.

During the LGBTQ section of the webinar, I provided the legal background on the issue (Title VII is silent, some states and municipalities have acted, and the EEOC and federal courts have stepped up to otherwise fill in Title VII’s gap).

I then issued this challenge to the attendees—
“Be on the right side of history.”

When LGBTQ discrimination becomes universally illegal (and it will), and history looks back on this time during which this brand of discrimination was still legal, on what side of history do you want to be as an employer? The side that condoned (or, worse yet, participated in) this discrimination, or the side that took a stand against it?

Following the webinar, I received audience feedback. One attendee criticized me for advocating in favor of LGBTQ employment rights. I don’t think he was very happy with me.

Let me make this very clear. There is no good reason to justify anyone being in favor of LGBTQ discrimination, or against protecting LGBTQ civil rights. Your best case scenario? You don’t like LGBTQ people, period. Even if I give you every benefit of every doubt, that’s as good as it’s going to get for you. Worst case? You’re an evil, hate-mongering bigot.

Do me a favor. In place of “LGBTQ”, substitute “African-American”, or “women”, or “Jews”. How does your denial of equal rights sound now? Still comfortable with your position?

So, I ask again, on what side of history do you want to be? I know my answer.