EBay could skip expansion in Utah over lack of LGBT protections

EQFL NOTE: Like Utah, Florida does not currently have statewide non-discriminations protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. While it is difficult to quantify the financial impact of this lack of protections, we know that major employers consider a state's reputation when deciding to relocate or expand. He's an article in which officials at EBay explain their hesitation to expand in Utah, a state without these protections.

Panel discusses state discrimination bill

Posted by Bob Henline on Jan 27, 2012


Sen. Ben McAdams hosted a panel discussion Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Utah State Capitol to discuss his proposed law, which seeks to add gender identity and sexual orientation to Utah’s existing list of prohibited discrimination characteristics. The bill has received a wellspring of support from Utah’s business community, including the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.

The panel was composed of McAdams, Tim Sullivan (CEO of Ancestry), Brandon Pace (general counsel for eBay), Jay Magure (VP of 1-800-Contacts) and Cliff Rosky (Professor of Law, University of Utah). The bottom line, according to the panelists, is that discrimination isn’t just wrong, it’s bad for business.

Each panelist agreed that there is a perception problem outside of Utah, making it difficult for them to recruit and retain the best talent for their companies. That perception, said Magure, “is reality and it creates real harm.”

Pace indicated that his company is planning to add up to 3,000 workers this year and if they can’t bring workers to Utah because of the perception that Utah is intolerant of the LGBTQ community then they’ll be forced to fill those jobs in other places.

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