American businesses lose an estimated $64 billion annually because of turnover that comes from discriminating against LGBT workers and others who are often subject to biased treatment, according to a study released Tuesday by Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
According to the report, one in five LGBT workers said they have been discriminated against at work, while 27 percent of all workers said they would "not be happy to have a homosexual manager at work." Because of those and other factors, people who are often discriminated against also tend to be paid less, and are hired less frequently. Klobuchar's report also reiterates the wage gap between gay and straight employees, and says that discrimination could be a basis for depressed wages and underemployment for LGBT people as a whole.
Companies spend, on average, $4,000 to replace LGBT employees and others, resulting in the estimated $64 billion figure. Conversely, most of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies have policies to protect LGBT employees, and many of them cite the fostering of diversity as helping to increase profitability.
"Discriminating against LGBT workers is not only morally wrong, it's also bad for business and hurts our economy," Klobuchar, the vice chair of the U.S. Senate's joint economic committee, said in a statement. "Our country was built on equal rights and the idea that every person deserves the same fair shot at a good job, and passing ENDA would ensure that every LBGT American has an equal opportunity to support themselves and their families."