The Impact of Workplace Non-Discrimination Policies on Ohio Small Businesses: Focal Point of Roundtable

The event is open to all small businesses; it is a chance for entrepreneurs to learn about current workplace discrimination laws and the importance of implementing a statewide workplace non-discrimination policy 

Columbus, Ohio—The Franklinton Board of Trade, along with the small business organization – Small Business Majority – and the office of State Representative Michael Stinziano, will host a roundtable on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 on Ohio’s current workplace non-discrimination laws. The focus of the roundtable is on ways small businesses can benefit from more robust non-discrimination laws and policies.

Scientific opinion polling from Small Business Majority shows more than two-thirds of entrepreneurs believe federal and state laws should prohibit employment discrimination against gay and transgender people. This legislation would ensure that employers cannot fire or refuse to hire someone who is gay, lesbian or transgender based on the employer’s religious beliefs. What’s more, the poll also revealed seven in 10 small employers already thought such laws existed.

“We need small business owners to engage in candid conversations with policymakers and fellow small business owners about the importance of workplace non-discrimination laws and policies,” said State Representative Michael Stinziano. “Promoting an open and safe environment for employees makes good business sense, and we need to implement non-discrimination laws that allow employers to treat all people equally, regardless of sexual orientation. This will help small businesses retain quality employees and create a happier, healthier workforce.”

The free event, which is open to all small business owners, will feature Small Business Majority’s Midwest Outreach Manager, Michaela Hahn Burriss, who will help facilitate a discussion with policymakers and fellow small business owners about Ohio’s workplace non-discrimination laws. The discussion aims to show how such policies can help boost small business and the economy.

A question and answer period will follow the discussion.

“Our polling shows a sweeping 81 percent of small business owners didn't realize it’s currently legal under federal law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay, lesbian or transgender,” said Burriss. “But, entrepreneurs support workforce non-discrimination policies because laws that protect against discrimination can help employers attract the best and brightest employees, regardless of whether an employee is gay or transgender, and improve their bottom lines.”

The roundtable will take place on Wednesday, April 1, beginning at 10:30 am (EST). Small business owners can register for the interactive roundtable online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/workplace-non-discrimination-and-your-ohio-small-business-tickets-16146318072 

For more information, please contact Michaela Hahn Burriss at mhahnburriss@smallbusinessmajority.org .  or Austin Bailey at Austin.Bailey@ohiohouse.gov