• Archives

  • LGBT Community Lacking Workplace Protections

    New legal research shows that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals face high levels of employment discrimination and lack adequate workplace protections. This research was conducted by the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA Law School that advances gender identity and sexual orientation public policy and legislation, and was published in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review.

    The study analyzed over four decades of research into employment discrimination against LGBT workers. The researchers found that LGBT individuals, along with their heterosexual coworkers, had consistently reported either witnessing or being the victims of sexual orientation related discrimination.

    The researchers noted that 37 percent of homosexual individuals reported experiencing some form of harassment in the workplace within the last five years. Approximately 12 percent of homosexual workers had even lost their job as a result of their sexual orientation.  A large survey of transgender individuals also found that 90 percent of participants had experienced mistreatment or harassment while at work or had to take measures in order to avoid harassment. Of these participants, 47 percent had been the subject of discrimination during job retention, promotion, and hiring processes.

    The researchers also discovered numerous accounts of LGBT employment discrimination that had been found in media, books, newspapers, academic journals, local and state administrative complaints, court cases, and complaints made to community-based organizations. In fact, they found that both local and state courts and government bodies had acknowledged widespread employment discrimination of LGBT people. The researchers found that workplace harassment and discrimination can even lead to a negative impact on the physical and mental health of LGBT people in addition to negatively impacting their wages.

    In general, researchers found that existing workplace policies and existing antidiscrimination laws leave LGBT workers vulnerable because they are incomplete and non-inclusive. The federal government has made efforts in recent years which have resulted in greater protections for LGBT workers. However, state governments are still doing an inadequate job. In fact, only 21 states ban sexual orientation discrimination and only 16 of those states ban gender identity discrimination as well.

    As a result of these disappointing findings, researchers argue that considerable reform must be made in order for existing employment law to adequately protect LGBT employees. The researchers believe that changes to the policies of private companies and corporations would not go far enough. Rather, reforms to state and federal employment law would also have to be made in order to give LGBT proper redress if they face workplace discrimination.

    According to the study’s authors, a federal law like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) could help extend workplace protections to workers of all sexual orientations. ENDA is a proposed federal bill in that would make it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Such a clearly defined and widely accepted law would also help simplify the legal landscape for both employers and employees alike.

    Contact a sexual harassment lawyer in Orange County if you or someone you know has faced workplace discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The fact that so much LGBT discrimination persists unnoticed makes it even more important for victims of such discrimination to obtain expert help. Sexual harassment lawyers have the experience and expertise necessary to obtain proper redress for those who have suffered workplace discrimination. If you’re looking for a sexual harassment lawyer in Orange County, visit http://www.employmentlawlawyers.com/sexual-harassment-lawyer-orange-county/ to find one near you!