Should an entrepreneur be free to hire only gay employees if he believes them to be more productive?
Reader MV passed along this story of how non-discrimination laws might prevent an employer from choosing to hire only gay people:
A gay man in Manhattan contends he was fired because he objected to his boss’s biased hiring: The boss, he alleges, had a bias against hiring straight people.
Jamie Ardigo, 32, of Hoboken, is suing investor and entrepreneur J. Christopher Burch of New York for sex-discrimination and wrongful termination. Ardigo, who had been hired as HR director for J. Christopher Capital, Burch’s company, contends he was fired when he sought to change what he claims was Burch’s and the company’s discriminatory practices.
. . . .
[Fewer than four weeks after Ardgo “went to work for the company in early November 2011”] he says, he was seated in a meeting where Burch announced the fact that he hired only gay men because they were productive, and because he trusted them. Burch said the same thing, Ardigo asserts, on other occasions: “I witnessed it in meetings with the executive management team, where he’d blatantly state the fact that he only likes to hire gay men and beautiful women.”
And the problem is?
It is Mr. Burch’s company; he should be free to determines which individuals make the most productive and trustworthy employees. And if he believes gay men to be more productive (and given some gay men I know it the field of finance, I have seen some grounds for that belief), the he should be free to hire them.
If he, however, chooses to hire only gay people, he gives his competitors an advantage — as they will be selecting from a much wider pool of potential employees. That’s said, it’s his money he’s risking (not the government’s).
Now, Burch’s lawyer denies the allegations; this issue may never come before a judge. That said, were Mr. Burch to prefer gay men in his office, well, bully for him. The state should not be in the business of deciding how an entrepreneur selects his workforce.
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