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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 26, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Workplace discrimination

Tolerance creates a positive environment

If you were a manager of a company would you fire someone because they are black, a woman or Christian? How about someone who is gay or lesbian?

In 34 states across America, it is completely legal to fire someone just for being lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identified. It’s sad something someone can’t control that has nothing to do with their job performance can get them fired.

Even if an employer has a policy “protecting” LGBT employees, it doesn’t mean employees of the company won’t hear degrading and homophobic remarks.

Workplace discrimination should not be tolerated and legal action needs to be taken. There needs to be a federal law protecting LGBT Americans from being fired for their sexual orientation. Some large companies don’t even have workplace-discrimination policies. Out of all the Fortune 500 companies, only 328 have a nondiscrimination policy in place.

Nondiscrimination training should also be required by companies with a focus on LGBT tolerance. Some say this is a hindrance to freedom of personal beliefs, but I believe tolerance doesn’t cause anyone to have to think a certain way; it causes a positive work environment for all employees.

— Henk Meyers, Tacoma

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