Governor Whitmer Signs Nondiscrimination Directive, Visits Ferndale for Signing

Governor Whitmer Signs Nondiscrimination Directive, Visits Ferndale for Signing  

Ferndale, MI – Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited Ferndale Monday morning to sign

Directive 2019-9 focused on assuring equal opportunity in state employment, contracting and grant and loan programs, and the provision of state services.

The signing took place at Affirmations, an LGBT community center in Downtown Ferndale. Ferndale has led the way in LGBT equality efforts in Michigan, recently scored 100% along with Detroit on the Human Rights Campaign Equality Index and is home to the ever-growing Ferndale Pride Festival.

Executive Directive 2019-9 strengthens non-discrimination protections in four important ways by:

~Clarifying that employment protections cover all state employees, including classified and unclassified employees.

~Requiring all recipients of state contracts, grants and loans to extend protections to their employees.

~Prohibiting discrimination in state services.

~Extending prohibitions on discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression – which will now be consistent with the action taken by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission in May, 2018.

Under the directive, each director of a principal state department and head of an autonomous agency subject to supervision by the Governor must designate an individual within the department or agency as an Equity and Inclusion Officer to educate employees about the directive and ensure compliance. Each Equity and Inclusion Officer will receive complaints about noncompliance and make recommendations on how to remedy the issue to the department director or agency head – and they will report to the Governor’s Chief Compliance Officer.

With Executive Directive 2019-9, Michigan joins other states such as Montana, Louisiana, Virginia, and Pennsylvania in extending these protections.

“If we’re going to attract the talented workforce our businesses need to create jobs and grow our economy, then we’ve got to get on the right side of history,” said Whitmer. “That’s what this executive directive is all about. By strengthening non-discrimination protections in state government employment, contracting, and services, we will make Michigan a model of equal opportunity and build a more welcoming and inclusive state that works for everyone.”

State Senator Jeremy Moss was among those present for the signing. “Michigan lags behind the rest of the country in protecting our LGBT community from discrimination. While many gay and trans people in other states have held onto the hope that equality will continue to progress, Michigan residents have questioned whether our state would start progressing at all,” Moss said. “Today is an encouraging step forward….Today’s executive directive is not only a moral document; it is a tool to ensure Michigan remains competitive in recruiting talent to invest, live and thrive here.”

Moss, the first openly gay candidate elected to the State Senate, said that beyond this directive, the Legislature still has work to do to ensure full equality for the entire LGBT community. “No Michigander should be fired or denied housing due to who they love or who they are. We must amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect all Michiganders who face discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” he said. “I’m ready to push this work forward in the State Senate.”

To view the full executive directive, click here.

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