Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Business doesn't really have a problem with Metro Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance

This piece in today's Tennessean indicates that some people THINK business will have a problem with the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance, but it's pretty clear that business really doesn't. Some business advocates perceive a problem, though.

*The piece quotes a representative of the Nashville Chamber who says that the bill would add cost to business. Why? It didn't cost Metro anything to update its policy in 2009. Is the cost printing new employee handbooks? There's no reason given.

*One pro-business Council Member is concerned about the bill's effect on small business' ability to compete if the provision is added to Metro contracting. But as our list of supportive organizations shows, many in Nashville's business community like the bill.

*Look at what actual businesses quoted in the piece say and you'll see they don't have a problem with the bill. They'll adapt:

Some major Metro contractors already have their own nondiscrimination policies in place. The Nashville Predators, which contract with the Metro Sports Authority to operate Bridgestone Arena, have a policy that forbids discrimination for any reason, according to Chief Operating Officer Sean Henry.

An executive for Messer Construction, which built the new Howard School Building office complex on Second Avenue South, said the company would not have an issue with adding protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

"We wouldn't have a problem amending ours to agree with what the city would want," Messer Vice President Dan France said.

A spokeswoman for Bell/Clark Construction, which is building the new convention center, said the company takes its cues from the council and Dean and would review its policies if the legislation were to pass.

-Chris Sanders

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