Sensitivity and diversity are two hallmarks of a well-run, properly-managed business. Across the nation, many have denounced policies drafted to exclude certain groups, most notably the recent outcry over transgender bathroom policies. Earlier this year, lawmakers in North Carolina enacted legislation prohibiting transgender individuals from using lavatory facilities congruent with their self-identified gender. In response, many businesses, entertainers and sporting events criticized the policy and vowed to take their talents elsewhere. Now, a similar measure is meandering through the Texas General Assembly, and hundreds of Texas businesses have likewise condemned the policy as exclusionary and unnecessary.
In an open letter penned by hundreds of small businesses across the Lone Star state, entrepreneurs expressed their disdain over HB 2, which would disallow patrons from accessing the bathroom facilities aligned with the gender with which they identify. At the heart of the message was the economic toll that results from legislative discrimination – which has been estimated at nearly $400 million in North Carolina as a result of a similar policy. More specifically, the business owners stated “we oppose any Texas legislation – broad or narrow – that would legalize discrimination against any group. That kind of legislation doesn’t just go against our values to be welcoming to everyone, it jeopardizes the businesses we’ve worked so hard to create, and it threatens the jobs and livelihoods of everyday Texans.”
As a business owner, strict adherence to anti-discrimination laws is not only ethical and moral, but can help insulate against costly lawsuits and claims. Not only can a discriminatory business policy cost thousands (or more) to litigate, but the long-term economic toll on the business’s reputation within the community is often difficult to undo. As a business owner, we encourage everyone to regularly meet with an experienced attorney to review proper compliance measures to make sure all management and HR employees are keenly aware of the proper (and legal) ways to treat employees.
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To work with an experienced business law attorney in Austin, please contact the Kumar Law Firm today: 512-960-3808.