New Report Finds Workplace Discrimination, Wage and Health Disparities for Transgender Workers
September 6, 2013 | Atlanta, GA — A new report released today offers the most comprehensive analysis to date of the inequities facing transgender workers in the American workforce—from finding and keeping good jobs, to having equal access to job-related benefits, to obtaining adequate health insurance coverage. Out and Equal Workplace Advocates have acted as partners in producing A Broken Bargain for Transgender Workers, which is a companion to the recently released report, A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits, and More Taxes for LGBT Workers.
The report also offers specific recommendations for policymakers and employers to reduce and eliminate inequities for transgender workers and help restore America’s basic workplace bargain of fairness and equality. A Broken Bargain for Transgender Workers, with Out and Equal Workplace Advocates as key partners for the transgender voice in business, is co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), the Center for American Progress (CAP), and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in partnership with Freedom to Work, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and SEIU.
"From our beginning, Out & Equal has been committed to creating more equitable work environments and more employment opportunities for the Transgender community. We are proud to partner in releasing this report at such an important time in our movement’s history,” said Selisse Berry, Founder and CEO, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. "An ENDA inclusive of both sexual orientation and gender identity, when passed, will be the prelude to our greatest work and our greatest challenge – creating cultures of inclusion that permeate all our workplaces."
TRANSGENDER WORKERS ARE AT A HIGH RISK OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY
Recent CAP polling shows that 73% of voters support protecting transgender people from discrimination in employment. Despite this strong public support, no federal law provides explicit legal protections for transgender workers based on gender identity/expression—and only 17 states and the District of Columbia offer these protections. As a result, transgender workers face higher rates of unemployment and are at greater risk of poverty.
“Transgender people face among the highest unemployment rates of any population in the United States," said Maggie Stumpp, Senior Managing Director, Prudential Financial, Inc., in the anthology Out & Equal at Work: From Closet to Corner Office. "To make change in this area it's imperative to find ways to overcome the hurdles that transgender people face during the hiring process."
A Broken Bargain for Transgender Workers reveals that:
“This new report underscores the harsh reality of what it means to live and work as a transgender person in this country,” said Mara Keisling, Executive Director of NCTE. “Like other workers, transgender Americans deserve to be judged by our work and contributions and not by one aspect of who we are.”
HOW AMERICANS’ BASIC BARGAIN IS BROKEN FOR TRANSGENDER WORKERS
“Unfair laws and policies impose real, everyday burdens on transgender workers across the country,” said Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director of MAP. “It’s shocking that in this day and age, federal non-discrimination law still does not explicitly protect a high-performing worker from being fired just because he or she is transgender.”
Among the burdens and inequities faced by transgender workers:
“Far too often, employers offer health benefits that do not provide the coverage and medical leave that are crucial to the wellbeing and security of transgender workers and their families,” said Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President of External Affairs at CAP. “Workplace fairness means more than freedom from harassment; it means equal access to the benefits that transgender employees need to live healthy and productive lives.”
“Despite the progress made at the local, state, and federal levels, transgender Americans face workplace discrimination at alarming rates,” said Jeff Krehely, Vice President and Chief Foundation Officer at the Human Rights Campaign. “The EEOC’s recent decision in Holder v. Macy, which found that discrimination against transgender workers is prohibited since it is a form of sex-based discrimination, was important; however we have a ways to go until we are able to end the cycle of discrimination, unemployment, and underemployment of qualified workers who are willing and able to contribute to society in meaningful and productive ways.”
The complete report is available online at www.lgbtmap.org/transgender-workers
ABOUT OUT & EQUAL
Founded in 1996 by Chief Executive Officer, Selisse Berry, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (commonly known as “Out & Equal”) is the world's leading organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality and inclusion. Out & Equal believes that people should be judged by the work they do, not by their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Out & Equal mobilizes tens of thousands of employees, managers and executives via a network of regional affiliates and the world's largest Employee Resource Group Registry. Through LGBTCareerLink, an online job search and career development service, Out & Equal serves diversity-friendly employers and LGBT job seekers. Through trainings and webinars, Out & Equal educates diversity friendly employers on both the basics and best practices in the field. Out & Equal is best known for the hallmark annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit that convenes over 3,000 LGBT, HR and diversity professionals to advance this movement. The 15th anniversary Workplace Summit will be held in Minneapolis, MN from October 28-31, 2013. More information is available online at www.OutandEqual.org.
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” www.americanprogress.org
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. www.hrc.org
The Movement Advancement Project is an independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. www.lgbtmap.org
The National Center for Transgender Equality is a social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment.www.transequality.org
Freedom to Work: www.freedomtowork.org
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: www.thetaskforce.org