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Opinion Poll: Small Businesses Support Workplace Nondiscrimination Policies

Publisher: 
Small Business Majority
Date: 
Tuesday, 4 June, 2013

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. It’s good for business, it helps companies attract and retain talent, and it’s the right thing to do, according to our nation’s leading job creators.

Main Findings

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.

Two-thirds believe federal law should prohibit employment discrimination against gay and transgender people; 7 in 10 say state law should

As you may know, federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, sex, age, race, and color. However, federal law does NOT protect gay and transgender people from discrimination in employment. Would you favor or oppose such a federal law?

In addition state law does NOT protect gay and transgender people from discrimination in employment. Would you favor or oppose such a state law?

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. 

Vast majority of small employers didn’t know it is legal to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay or lesbian

To the best of your knowledge, is it legal or illegal under state or federal law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay or lesbian?

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.

Majority agrees an employer shouldn’t be able to fire or refuse to hire someone who is gay or transgender, based on their religious beliefs

Do you believe that an employer should be able to fire or refuse to hire someone who is gay or transgender if working with a gay or transgender employee conflicts with the employer's religious beliefs?

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State(s): 
National
MI
MO
NC
OH
PA