ENDA: Small Biz to Boehner – You’re Wrong

ENDA: Small Biz to Boehner – You’re Wrong
By Cental Voice

Make no mistake about it, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) opposesthe
Employment Non-discrimination Act passed by the Senate yesterday. The bill now goes to the House where Boehner says the measure would put a financial burden on businesses.

“The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement.

Although it is good to be King, the facts don’t always acknowledge your crown.

Last July, the Government Accountability Office issued a report concluding that in states with LGBT workplace protections, “there were relatively few employment discrimination complaints based on sexual orientation and gender identity filed.”

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said,”The Speaker, of all people, should certainly know what it’s like to go to work every day afraid of being fired. Instead of letting the far right trample him again, it’s time for Speaker Boehner to stand with the majority of everyday Republican voters and support ENDA.”

Despite Boehner’s fears of “frivolous litigation” and job loss, Small Business Majority, a national, non-partisan small business organization representing America’s 28 million small businesses, feels differently. Scientific public opinion polling released earlier this year by Small Business Majority about the views of business owners on ENDA protections shows support for ENDA.

John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, said, “The Senate’s passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 is good news for small business owners, their workers and the economy. Small employers support policies that maximize their ability to attract and retain quality workers and help them grow their businesses. This legislation would do just that by leveling the playing field for small employers and workers and eliminating inefficiencies and costs that cut into profits and undermine small businesses’ bottom lines.”

Highlights from the national, scientific opinion poll, include:

* Small business owners strongly favor federal and state laws protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination in employment: More than two-thirds of entrepreneurs (67%) believe federal law should prohibit employment discrimination against gay and transgender people. Seven in 10 owners in states without such policies also agree their state should have a law prohibiting this type of discrimination, and 40% strongly agree.

* Small businesses strongly believe an employer should not be able to fire or refuse to hire someone who is gay or transgender based on their (the employer’s) religious beliefs: A 63% majority believes an employer should not be able to fire or refuse to hire someone who is gay or transgender if working with a gay or transgender employee conflicts with their (the employer’s) religious beliefs. What’s more, 70% believe a business should not be legally allowed to refuse services to some customers but not others based on religious beliefs.

* The vast majority of small business owners didn’t know it is legal under federal and/or state law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay or lesbian: When asked if, to the best of their knowledge, it is legal or illegal under federal law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay or transgender, a striking 81% of small business owners said it is illegal. Merely 9% knew it is legal. In terms of state law, 78% of entrepreneurs were unaware that it is legal in their state to refuse to hire someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Implementing non-discrimination laws that allow employers to treat all people equally regardless of sexual orientation will help small businesses retain more quality employees and free them from extra administrative burdens. We urge the House to build upon today’s Senate vote by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013. It’s the smart and right thing to do for small businesses, their employees and our country,” Arensmeyer said.


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