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​Dollars and sense

| Letters to the Editor | March 18th, 2015

While state law continues to allow businesses to fire an employee because they are gay or transgender, many large and small North Dakota organizations have taken the smart approach and included sexual orientation and gender identity in their corporate nondiscrimination policies. I want to thank the many North Dakota businesses for the work they do to create healthy work environments.

Employers such as Wells Fargo, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Montana-Dakota Utilities, Target, U.S. Bank and Microsoft understand that by creating a safe environment for all employees, they attract and retain qualified, hard-working and skilled employees. Successful, healthy, functional organizations anticipate and address issues.

Please publicly support Senate Bill 2279. Even with good company policy, the fact is, as soon as an employee steps outside their workplace they’re no longer protected against antiquated and unfair discrimination.

Also, under current law any LGBT person can come home to an eviction notice on the door. What this says to the individual, and the burden it puts on them, community and businesses, is ludicrous.

If a recent graduate in engineering from Wyoming is offered a great position at a North Dakota firm, they need to include in their decision-making the fact that they can immediately lose their job and home at any time. North Dakota's current law says it’s OK to fire and evict them because of who they are and whom they love. It’s not OK.

As a business owner, I understand attrition rates – the investment required in training, attracting and maintaining a successful team. Passing SB 2279 will save time and energy for North Dakota’s business community and make it easier to recruit the work force we need.

As a human being, I understand the current law is wrong. Go to www.legis.nd.gov or call 1-888-NDLEGIS and contact your representative. Tell them to pass SB 2279. If sound business economics isn't enough, then last, but not least, it’s the right thing to do.

-Karen Stoker
Owner, Hotel Donaldson
Fargo

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