Michigan Biz Leaders Call for Equal Labor Protection for LGBT Community

By Amanda Lewan on May 29th, 2014 / Comments

In the State of Michigan today a business can fire someone simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

A group of Michigan leaders and CEOs are calling for an update to the Elliott-Larson Civil Rights Act to include protection against sexual identity and gender identity for Michigan residents. The group leading the movement is called the Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition, and is led by President Jim Murray of AT&T Michigan, CEO Brian Walker of Herman Miller, and Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan Kary Moss.

The group believes that amending this act will help position Michigan to have a more competitive workforce.

“The LGBT community is interesting. It is the most educated, wealthiest, and technologically savvy demographic in the country,” says Michael Ramirez, Senior Vice President, Herman Miller. “They are also in tune with those businesses that support them and make very strong economic choices that support them and those who don’t.”

So what message are Michigan businesses sending to this community? Today during the 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference, many new companies officially announced that they are joining the movement. Companies supporting this initiative now include Chrysler, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber, and more.

According to the group an estimated 60% of business owners in Michigan support this change, and an estimated 75% of Michigan residents are also in favor.

“Michigan’s business community is sending a very clear message about the importance of workforce diversity to our state’s future,” said Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah earlier today in a press release. “We are in a global war for talent, and need the best and brightest workforce to compete in the 21st century economy, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. We are committed to a Michigan where all are free and welcome to contribute to our economic comeback.”

For entrepreneurs and growing businesses, amending this law may help attract this talented and tech savvy workforce to your company. Learn more about the Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition.

Do you want to see it amended? Share with us your thoughts on what this change might do for your business.

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.