The corporate community has come out in the support of gay workers. On Monday, a group of fifty companies comprising big names like Google and Microsoft signed papers in the second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan supporting the petition filed by advocacy group Freedom For All Americans to ban discrimination at workplace based on the sexual orientation of the worker.

In a historical development, a large number of companies have come together to protect the workplace rights of gays, Reuters reported. A group of fifty companies including biggies like Google and Microsoft requested a Manhattan court to make discrimination against gay workers an offense. The group said that gay workers are discriminated on a widespread level and above 40 percent gay workers have complained about harassment at workplace and other types of unfair treatment.

The group contended that the absence of a federal law banning discrimination not only leads to harassment but also creates blockades in the path of recruitment in those states that do not have their own laws. The group made it clear that having a federal law on this front is in the interest of the entire economy as it will eliminate the artificial barriers in the path of recruitment, retention and unhindered flow of talent.

The companies also requested the court to reconsider a past lawsuit that was filed by the estate of Donald Zarda. Zarda had complained that his company fired him from his position as skydiving instructor after he revealed his gay status to a customer. Zarda died following the filing and judges dismissed his case. However, last month the court agreed to revive the case.

It is worth mentioning here that of late, companies have been showing support for gay rights at the workplace. However, this is the first time that such a big group has moved a court to enforce laws that protect the rights of LGBT community at the workplace.