As the U.S. Senate considers symbolic, if ultimately futile federal legislation that would ban discrimination against gay workers, Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar has commissioned a report taking a bottom-line business look at the issue.
“Discriminating against LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] workers is not only morally wrong, it’s also bad for business and hurts our economy,” Klobuchar said as part of the rollout of a four-page report on the economic impact of workplace discrimination.
The report was prepared by the Democratic staff of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, of which Klobuchar is vice-chair. Although the committee’s name gives it a vaguely bicameral and bipartisan air, Republicans on the panel, including U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., had nothing to do with it.
The Democratic-led Senate is expected to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) this week with some Republican help. But House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he will not bring the bill to the House floor.
The report appears to anticipate the arguments of House Republicans, some of whom have pivoted from traditional moral objections to homosexuality to opposition based on states’ rights or ENDA’s potential for bad-for-business litigation.
Though ostensibly “Klobuchar’s report,” the document is a compilation of existing research, including a 2013 Pew Research Center survey finding that one in five LGBT employees say they have experienced some form of workplace discrimination.
The report also cites a 2007 Level Playing Field survey finding that employee turnover due to various forms of workplace discrimination costs U.S. companies about $64 billion a year.
Gov. Mark Dayton, speaking to a mostly Republican audience at the annual Minnesota Business Partnership dinner, repeated his familiar attack on the House GOP, blaming them for a legislative impasse on transportation.
In a relentlessly antagonistic debate, Clinton denounced Trump Monday night for keeping his business dealings secret and peddling a "racist lie" about Obama. Trump cast Clinton as a "typical politician" as he sought to capitalize on Americans' frustration with Washington.
THE ISSUE: More than 60 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses and children rely on monthly Social Security benefits. That's nearly one in five Americans. The trustees who oversee Social Security say the program has enough money to pay full benefits until 2034. But at that point, Social Security will collect only enough taxes to pay 79 percent of benefits. Unless Congress acts, millions of people on fixed incomes would get an automatic 21 percent cut in benefits.
Six of the seven Democrats in Minnesota's congressional delegation are among the House and Senate members pressuring President Obama to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans from workplace discrimination.