Ohio small businesses support equality in the workplace

Michaela Hahn-Burriss, Small Business Majority's Ohio Outreach Manager

In workplaces around the country, and right here in the Buckeye State, laws protect employees against discrimination based on a whole host of things—including race, religion, sex, age, nationality and more. But in the 29 states that don’t explicitly ban it, Ohio included, people can still be legally fired or harassed just for being gay or transgender. Many small business owners in the state believe that needs to change now. This is why it’s crucial for the legislature to implement a uniform, statewide workplace non-discrimination policy that protects all Ohioans, and many small business owners agree.

Small Business Majority’s opinion polling found seven in 10 Ohio small business owners believe state law should prohibit discrimination against LGBT employees in the workplace, and the majority agree laws that protect against discrimination are good for their bottom lines. Many small business owners are surprised to learn that this kind of law is not already on the books in Ohio. In fact, 79 percent thought it was already illegal under state law to fire or refuse to hire someone for being gay or transgender.

Ohio small business owners believe laws that protect against discrimination can improve their bottom line and that these kinds of laws help employers attract the best and brightest employees, regardless of whether an employee is gay or transgender. Additionally, Ohio entrepreneurs strongly believe implementing a nondiscrimination policy is the right thing to do. Of employers who have a nondiscrimination policy in place for their businesses, the vast majority says it’s because they believe all employees should be treated fairly and equally.

Ohio small employers believe we’re long overdue for state policies protecting all workers from discrimination, and state lawmakers should take note. That’s why Small Business Majority is working with small business owners across the state to have their voices heard on this issue.

If you’re a small business owner in Ohio and believe it’s time for state lawmakers to pass a law banning discrimination in the workplace, we’d love to hear your comments on this issue. Contact Michaela Hahn Burriss at [email protected].