“Lincoln has to compete with other communities for talented workers and many of those cities have protections in place based on sexual orientation.”
– Beatty Brasch, Executive Director of Center for People In Need
Nebraskans Support Fairness
An overwhelming majority of Nebraskans — 73% — believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people should be protected from discrimination in employment.
Discrimination Hurts People in Lincoln
These protections are necessary to ensure that all productive workers have the same opportunities. A June, 2011, local study by the University of Nebraska Medical Center recommended that community leaders reduce barriers that prevented gay and transgender residents of Lincoln from being out in order to improve public health and workplace performance. This study showed that discrimination against gay and transgender people exist, even in Lincoln.
Fairness is a Tradition
The Fairness Ordinance would continue Lincoln’s tradition of ensuring that everyone has access to the same opportunities, benefits and protections. This ordinance simply adjusts existing policy regarding employment to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, just as it currently protects people based on characteristics like race, sex, religion, national origin, and disability.
Businesses Support Fairness
Small businesses and Corporate America have already begun voluntarily implementing this type of protection—97 of the Fortune 100 largest companies in America have policies banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation—but the Fairness Ordinance is necessary to make sure everyone in Lincoln is entitled to fair treatment.
Faith Leaders Support Fairness
More than twenty clergy from several congregations have voiced support of fairness for the LGBT community. This ordinance will continue its existing standard of balancing the need for people of faith to hold their values while also treating people fairly.
Business Won’t Have to Change
Business owners have existing processes in place for following the existing ordinance. This simply expands the list of protected classes and does not require any other changes on the part of an employer.
Our City Will Grow - Without Costly Claims
The ordinance allows gay and transgender people to file claims of discrimination with the city using the process that currently exists for other, similar claims. The many cities, companies and states that have implemented employment discrimination protections have not seen any
significant surge in litigation. The Williams Institute found that complaints of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation were filed at an average rate of three to four per year for every ten thousand employees.
Our Businesses Will Grow - Without Costly Claims
An October, 2011, poll of small business owners by the Center for American Progress found that: 67% of small business owners report absolutely no costs associated with non-discrimination policies. The few companies that did cite costs noted that those costs were negligible, representing less that 1% of annual operating costs; 7 out of 10 small business owners nationwide already have such policies in place.
Already, all but 2 of the top 50 “Fortune 500” companies include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies; 7 out of 10 companies also include gender identity. Companies with these workplace policies report the following economic benefits: Recruitment and retention of the best talent; Ideas and innovation drawn from a diverse work force; Increased employee productivity and lower costs for business.
Lincoln Can Remain Competitive
As of March 2012, 163 other municipalities in the United States — including Omaha — have adopted an ordinance similar to the Fairness Ordinance. With some city ordinances in effect since the 1970’s, both large cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and smaller, regional cities such as Kansas City, Minneapolis, Denver and even Council Bluffs have determined that fairness in the workplace will help build successful communities.