Businesses Must Adopt Nondiscrimination Policies

Businesses Must Adopt Nondiscrimination Policies

Originally printed in The Indianapolis Star on February 21, 2016

As a native Hoosier currently running a mid-size, growing business in Indianapolis, LUNA Language Services, I’ve watched the city of Indianapolis and my business thrive, much in part to the incredible diversity of our great city. I am proud to say that LUNA Language Services currently employees 30 full-time staff and over 700 contract employees throughout Indiana. We service every major hospital, all of the courts in Marion County, IPS, the state of Indiana, and hundreds of other businesses, courts, schools, municipalities and individuals across the state to provide interpretation and translation services in over 90 languages.

I was disappointed that when our state lawmakers had a recent opportunity to discuss equal rights for the LGBT community, they did not take action and rejected an amendment providing commonsense employment protection. LUNA as a business is open to people of all backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities. When developing the culture and policies of our business, we thought carefully on the best ways to ensure that in our hiring and in our staff’s treatment of one another, discrimination of any sort would never be tolerated. In our handbook, we developed language that far exceeds minimally protective non- discrimination standards by making explicit mention of sexual orientation and gender identity. In order to be certain that each new staff member understands the importance of this to us, we explicitly talk about it in each and every interview. Furthermore, we train each and every employee on our policy once they are hired, as well as on tolerance and non-discrimination practices in general.

To be absolutely clear on the matter, LUNA does not and will not discriminate against LGBT Hoosiers or guests. Furthermore, we want to encourage other businesses to follow suit. With a collective quorum of non-discriminatory policy and practice unfolding around the state, our representatives will be forced to pay attention and again, face this issue and not avoid the controversy that might arise from a minority of their constituents.

It is vital for my business that all visitors to our community feel welcome in Indiana. Recruiting and maintaining the best talent in the field is difficult enough without the perception that a significant number of individuals aren’t welcome in our state. As a business owner who employs people with a wide variety of differences, I will not stand silently and watch our great state fall behind on this matter.

Christopher Waters
President, LUNA Language
Member of Indiana Competes

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