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Sexual orientation included in some Colorado businesses' non-discrimination policies

Workplace discrimination can be a serious concern for both employees and employers. Employers on the highest level sometimes cannot control the behavior of lower-level supervisory staff who may be in a position to, and may be inclined towards, discriminating against the workers they are responsible for. And employees can be made to feel powerless in the face of discrimination, especially in today's economic climate where many who are employed are just thankful that they have a job. A recent report provides some hope that America's workplaces, and Colorado's in particular, may be moving toward a more inclusive environment for all workers.

Most private and public employers have non-discrimination policies on paper. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or potential employees based on factors such as race, gender or religion. But, a recent report by the Equity Forum has found that 479 companies nationwide go an extra step by including sexual orientation into their non-discrimination policies. Of those 479 companies, seven are based in Colorado.

The movement toward greater protection from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation is growing in America. And while most workers would like to believe that advancement and recognition in employment is based on merit, there are still plenty of companies who may not practice that type of inclusion. The report found that there are 21 other companies, two in Colorado, that do not include sexual orientation within their non-discrimination policies.

Any employee in Colorado who believes they have been subjected to employment discrimination needs to act fast. The law requires that a complaint be filed with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Colorado Civil Rights Division within 300 days of the alleged act of discrimination.

Source: Public News Service, "CO Companies Practice Workplace Inclusion, Compliance by Choice," Kathleen Ryan, Aug. 22, 2012

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