On December 15, Small Business Majority released a new scientific opinion poll that found a majority of Colorado small businesses believe business owners should not be allowed to deny services to LGBT individuals based on the owner’s religious beliefs, including for wedding-related services.
Small business owners nationwide are doing all they can to strengthen their businesses and put the Great Recession’s effects behind them. Now more than ever, it’s critical they have the help of smart employment laws allowing them to attract and retain the best talent. National scientific opinion polling shows the vast majority of small business owners believe we’re long overdue for federal and state policies protecting all workers from discrimination, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The topic of religious liberty and how it relates to business practices has been front and center in the media. And once again, small businesses are in the middle of the debate. A national scientific opinion poll conducted for Small Business Majority by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research found entrepreneurs strongly believe small business owners should not be able to refuse goods or services to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals, or to deny services related to the wedding of a same-sex couple, based on an owner’s religious beliefs.
New scientific polling in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and New Mexico shows small business hiring of lower-level employees is diverse, but more can be done to increase diversity in the hiring of upper-management employees. Additionally, some small employers plan to hire or promote in order to increase the diversity of their high-level workforce within the next few years.
Small businesses make up 99 percent of businesses in the United States and employ about 56 million of the nation’s private sector workers. New scientific polling shows small business hiring of lower-level employees is diverse and varies geographically, but more can be done to increase diversity in the hiring of upper-management employees.
While LGBT individuals won the right to marry last June, battles are still being fought in state legislatures around the country about a different right for LGBT people — particularly, their right to work and patronize businesses without facing legalized discrimination. Many states are considering or have passed broad religious exemption measures, also known as Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), which allow businesses, like bakeries, florists or wedding photographers, to deny service to individuals based on the owner’s religious beliefs.
There are many complex policy issues that have a major impact on the small business community. Each week, we’re going to help break one of those issues down so small business owners can stay in the know and remain aware of their stake in these national issues. This week’s Issue Q&A is on workplace nondiscrimination.