Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Clock in for Equality: Speaking Up

Today is Clock in for Equality, a day of education about workplace fairness. Did you know that there is no federal law that bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people? And in many states (33) it is entirely legal to fire someone for being sexual orientation or gender identity.

Consider being an ally. Here's one technique from Lambda Legal that I use periodically:

Demand a respectful work culture for all of your co-workers from all of your co-workers. Train yourself to "interrupt" homophobic, racist, and sexist statements and actions.

Similarly, don't participate in or condone speculation or comments about co-workers HIV status or negative comments about people living with HIV.

Look people in the eye and make simple statements such as "Please don't use that language around me" or "I don't agree with that." If you do not feel comfortable interrupting bad behavior as it is happening, you can talk to participants afterwards to tell them how you feel.

And here's a list of events, one of which might be in your area. I'm a bit late with the list, but I just saw it on Lamba Legal's site.