Equality Means Business released a new report saying more than $362 million is spent a year in discriminating against LGBT workers in Florida. The costs are due to lost productivity and employee turnover.

Equality Means Business is a coalition of employers statewide working on passing the Florida Competitive Workforce Act and making sure full equality and inclusiveness is provided to LGBTs across the state of Florida.

The report says more than 60 percent of LGBT employees have experienced some type of discrimination in the workplace, while more than 80 percent of transgender employees have.

The report also found, through interviews with a variety of top executives from various companies in Florida, a link between business leaders’ concerns with their ability to compete with hard dollar losses in productivity and employee turnover. The interviews show a connection between hostility to diversity in the workplace with a challenge in attracting and retaining top talent.

The report covered several themes of discrimination in the workplace. Florida executives interviewed for the report said the themes/trends included, but were not limited to: damaged state reputation, economic development imperative, millennial workers demanding diversity and inclusion, supporting discrimination protections is status quo for business, nondiscrimination demanded throughout supply chains, nondiscrimination a prerequisite for business, inconsistencies in local government counterproductive, and competitiveness as a state interest.

“The travel industry is one of the biggest drivers in the Florida economy, and the promotion of non-discrimination in the workplace really matters when trying to project a welcoming image to every potential tourist — our state leaders should be concerned about this,” said Marriott employee and interview participant Thomas Maloney.

The report also mentions that in the HRC’s “Corporate Equality Index 2015” at least 70 companies headquartered in Florida prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and 23 companies headquartered in Florida also include gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies.

The report concluded that “sexual orientation and transgender discrimination presents the latest case in the nation’s path toward equal protections,” and that “state-wide efforts to address business competitiveness are precedented and that legislation providing LGBT discrimination protection can be expected to have both instrumental and symbolic impact on discrimination in the workplace.”

From our media partner Watermark


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