WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, today released a new report outlining the economic consequences of anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace. The report shows that more than one in five LGBT employees have experienced workplace discrimination, and that turnover due to various kinds of workplace discrimination costs employers $64 billion every year. Klobuchar called for swift passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would make it illegal for employers to base hiring and firing decisions on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Discriminating against LGBT workers is not only morally wrong, it’s also bad for business and hurts our economy,” Klobuchar said. “Our country was built on equal rights and the idea that every person deserves the same fair shot at a good job, and passing ENDA would ensure that every LBGT American has an equal opportunity to support themselves and their families.”
Klobuchar’s report notes that people who are being discriminated against frequently get paid less money and are hired less often. In organizations where anti-LGBT discrimination exists, wage gaps can occur between some gay employees and their heterosexual counterparts.
Discrimination can also eat into a business’s bottom line, as hostile work environments due to discrimination impact office morale and productivity, while leading to increased employee turnover. The average cost of replacing a worker in the United States is $4,000.
Klobuchar’s report also notes that many companies, including the majority of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies, have found that pro-diversity policies increase profitability and have enacted pro-diversity policies.
A former prosecutor, Klobuchar has been a champion for equal protection under the law. She cosponsored legislation repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and fought to pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, legislation expanding federal hate crimes to include those motivated by sexual orientation. In December of 2010, Klobuchar was part of a small group of senators that refused to go home for Christmas until the Senate voted on a bill repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.