Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Workplace Discrimination at a Glance:
- One in four LGBT employees report experiencing employment discrimination in the last five years.
- The Transgender unemployment rate is three times higher than the national average.
- Over one quarter (27%) of transgender people who held or applied for a job in the last year reported being fired, not hired, or denied a promotion due to their gender identity.
- More than three-quarters of transgender employees take steps to avoid mistreatment in the workplace.
- Nearly one in 10 LGBT employees have left a job because the environment was unwelcoming.
- 52.8 percent of LGBT employees report that discrimination negatively affected their work environment.
- LGBT employees who make it into senior management are much more likely to be out than closeted: 71 percent compared to 28 percent of their closeted counterparts.
- In 2014, more than one in four LGBT adults (2.2 million people) struggled to put food on the table.
Federal and State Policy Landscape:
- There is no federal law barring employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- State laws vary widely:
- In 28 states, you can get fired just for being lesbian, bisexual, or gay.
- In 30 states, you can be fired for being transgender.
- Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity by statute.
- The majority of Americans (67%) support federal laws protecting transgender people from employment discrimination.
- 71% of Americans support federal laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination in housing, public accommodations and jobs.
Why Businesses and Agencies Should Care:
- Being out at work and welcomed by your boss and co-workers is good for employee morale and the bottom line:
- LGBT-supportive policies and workplace climates are linked to less discrimination against LGBT employees and more openness about being LGBT. Less discrimination and more openness, in turn, are also linked to greater job commitment, improved workplace relationships, increased job satisfaction, improved health outcomes, and increased productivity among LGBT employees.
- According to one study, LGBT people in the closet at work are 73 percent more likely to say they’ll leave their companies within the next three years.
- Seventy-eight percent of transgender people felt more comfortable at work after transition, and believe their workplace performance improved.
Progress on Workplace LGBT Equality
For lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees:
- In 1996, only four percent of Fortune 500 companies included sexual orientation in their nondiscrimination policies.
- Today, 92 percent of Fortune 500 companies welcome lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees with inclusive policies (that protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation).
For transgender employees:
- In 2002, just three percent of Fortune 500 companies had nondiscrimination protections that included gender identity.
- Today, 82 percent of Fortune 500 companies include gender identity in nondiscrimination policies.
- 72 UN-member States protect against discrimination in employment.
- Seventy-two countries in the world still criminalize same-sex sexual acts, and more countries criminalize ‘homosexuality’ in other ways, subjecting individuals to dangers, abuses, harassment, and violations on the basis of their gender and sexuality.