A group of the top CEOs in the state of Michigan is telling the state that they should add sexual orientation to the list of prohibited bases for discrimination, arguing that it will be good for business by helping them attract the best employees.
A group of the state’s top CEOs says Michigan should ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Business Leaders for Michigan made that suggestion and many others in its 2014 plan to improve the economy and make the state a top 10 economic competitor nationwide.
The recommendation is listed along with attracting skilled immigrants and expanding cultural exchange programs as ways to “make Michigan an aspirational destination by being a welcoming place to all.”
“We just think that to be attracting population, we looked at it from a talent perspective, and most of our employers already have policies in place that deal with this, so we just felt it was a natural to put in in the plan,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of BLM, a group of more than 80 Michigan CEOs and executives representing nearly a quarter of the state’s economy…The Michigan Department of Civil Rights last year released a study that found Michigan’s economy would benefit from an anti-discrimination law that includes protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.
The study found that the “current state of discrimination” compels some professionals and college graduates to leave Michigan in favor of more welcoming states. It also impacts businesses’ competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce, ability to attract a diverse customer base and employee productivity and morale, according to the report.
But since both houses of the state legislature are controlled by Republicans, and many of them from the far-right fringe, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of this happening any time soon.