Business Pushes Back Against Discrimination Laws

Apr 4, 2016 4:45 PM ET

Business Pushes Back Against Discrimination Laws

Bank of America is at the center of an unusual business coalition. Joined by American Airlines, Lowe’s, Facebook, and PayPal and some 90 other national corporations doing business in North Carolina, it is publicly leading corporate arguments for repeal of that state’s new law that forbids municipal ordinances protecting people against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Bank of America is based in Charlotte, the city targeted by the new state law. It’s the largest corporate employer in North Carolina and also a major donor to state political campaigns. The company’s argument is simple and direct: “such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business.” This collective public corporate protest follows similar efforts in socially conservative states like Arkansas, Indiana, South Dakota, Arizona, and Georgia where pushback by businesses led to successful repeals and/or major modifications of such laws.

Business has bottom-line reasons for objecting publicly to discriminatory laws. From potential employee lawsuits to consumer blowback, from workplace policies to workforce recruitment, a free society is essential to efficient corporate practices—and profits.

I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.

Episode Sources: