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Workplace discrimination costs $64 billion a year: Analysis


Replacing the more than 2 million U.S. workers who leave their jobs each year due to workplace discrimination costs an estimated $64 billion annually, according to a report by the Center for American Progress.

“A significant number of those workers are gay and transgender individuals who have been treated unfairly simply because of their sexual orientation and gender identity,” the Washington-based group said in the report released Thursday. Citing a 2011 survey by the Los Angeles-based Williams Institute, the think tank noted that 42% of gays and 90% of transgendered workers have experienced some form of employment discrimination.

It says only 21 states and the District of Columbia have outlawed employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and only 16 states and the District of Columbia have done so on the basis of gender identity.

The report calls for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would protect against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The report says 85% of Fortune 500 companies have nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation and 49% include gender identity. This increases to the 96% of Fortune 50 companies that have nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation and 74% that include gender identity.

“Employers can and should do more than institute inclusive nondiscrimination policies to realize the significant financial benefits of gay and transgender-friendly workplace,” according to the Center for American Progress. “Employers should also take proactive steps to promote a positive and inclusive workplace for all their employees, which…will bring a substantial amount of cash into company coffers.”

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    A long-standing principle governing workers compensation cases provides access to an attorney who will help the injured worker litigate the case efficiently and capably. To give attorneys incentive to take on such cases and to ease the burden on an injured worker to find a capable attorney, attorneys receive their fees from the worker's damage award. Jim Woods and Jeyshree Ramachandran of Mayer Brown L.L.P. discuss states' attorney fee schedules and their effect on these comp cases.