Rand Paul Swings Libertarian on Workplace Discrimination

Senator Rand Paul channeled his inner libertarian Wednesday at a campaign stop in Drake University.  When asked his opinion on federal protections for gay employees, Paul said that expanding the federal government’s role in hiring/firing choices would only create another reason for people to litigate, and make it harder for companies to fire unproductive employees.  Paul also suggested that personal decisions at home shouldn’t be brought into the workplace in the first place:

I think that really the things you do in your house, just leave those in your house and they wouldn’t have to be part of the workplace, to tell you the truth.  These are very difficult decisions on what you decide will be the employer’s decisions or not.

And it really isn’t so much about that question as it is about it sets up a classification or class of people that can then sue.  See what I mean?  So what happens is it creates a whole industry of people who want to sue.  So if you happen to be gay and you get fired, well now you have a reason you can’t fire them.  But it’s almost impossible sometimes to put up a sign that says, “I’m firing you because you’re gay.”  It’s something that’s very much disputed.

I don’t know that we need to keep adding different classifications to say that the government needs to be involved in the hiring and firing.  I think society is rapidly changing, and that if you are gay there are plenty of places that will hire you.  And I would say the vast majority of corporations already privately have manuals or work manuals that say don’t discriminate in any way, and I think that to be the fact. So I’m really for the government not to be more involved in this situation.

Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.