Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced Thursday that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees in his office will now be protected under the office’s nondiscrimination policy.
Sexual orientation and gender identity will be added to the list of other identifiers protected from discrimination and harassment.
“This is the right thing to do. Hiring and advancement decisions should be about an employee’s performance and their potential, and I think we can all agree on that,” Kander said. “An employee’s sexual orientation should have no bearing on those types of decisions.”
When he was a member of the Missouri House in 2011, the Democrat supported the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, which did not pass the legislature. Kander says such legislation would not only benefit LGBT employees but also companies and employers.
“They’re good for any organization,” Kander said. “They boost morale, increase retention, and allow us, as an employer, to better compete for talent.”
He believes employees should be evaluated on competence, merit, and qualifications.
“It’s my hope that by extending these protections in my office, not only will employees at the Secretary of State’s office benefit, but we’ll also be able to lead by example across the state,” Kander said.
The updated policy in Kander’s office will take effect immediately.