• Lauren Bloom is an interfaith minister and attorney who focuses on professional and personal integrity. Her career has been devoted to helping business professionals earn and maintain the trust of their clients, cutomers, colleagues and associates. An internationally-recognized expert on business and professional ethics, Lauren has appeared as a keynote speaker across North America and in Europe.

    Lauren lives in Springfield, Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.

  • Executive Order Protecting LGBT Workers Was Great – But It Shouldn’t Be Necessary

    Posted on by smartauthorsites

    President Obama made history this week when he signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination against federal workers and government contract employees who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual.  This executive order fills in gaps left by the one President Clinton signed in 1998, which prohibited discrimination against LGBT federal employees based on sexual orientation.  The new order restates that prohibition and goes further, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity as well.  It’s an important next step in the fight to grant equal employment rights to the LGBT community, and President Obama deserves praise for taking it.

    I’m just sorry that the order was necessary.

    Employers discriminate among their employees for lots of reasons.  Some are sensible – top performers should be treated better than the folks who barely warm a desk chair every day – but many of them are downright dumb. Gender, skin tone, age, or ethnicity, for example, are utterly irrelevant to most jobs, so discriminating against employees because of those attributes is stupid and, quite rightly, illegal.  If there’s anything dumber an employer can do than discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity, however, it’s hard to say what that might be. Discrimination on those bases usually comes from ignorance and hostility, which makes it bad enough.  But the simple reason it’s especially stupid is that sex is irrelevant at work.

    Don’t let the sitcoms persuade you otherwise.  Employees come to their place of business to work.  Not to hook up, not to flirt, to work.  If employers waste time wondering what their employees are doing with whom on their private time, it means they’ve lost track of their own responsibilities.  If Taylor is doing a great job, Taylor’s personal life is none of the boss’ business.  Better the boss should focus on keeping the trains running than on wondering who Taylor will be meeting for cocktails after hours.

    Again, I applaud President Obama for taking this important step.  Here’s hoping, though, that someday employers will recognize that the personal lives of their employees are not company property.

    This entry was posted in Business Ethics, corporate responsibility, ethics, Legal Ethics, Social Ethics. Bookmark the permalink.

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    • “This splendid little book not only contains much of practical value (I was personally helped by it), it will encourage the development of such virtues as honesty and humility and that is no small gift.”

      --Rabbi Harold Kushner, author,
      When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

    © 2014 Lauren Bloom, J.D., LL.M. All Rights Reserved.

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