It is unlawful to discriminate against workers in Texas based on sexual orientation or gender expression. Both state and federal lawmakers have demonstrated their intent to protect LGBTQ workers from discrimination, but one recent survey shows clearly how much more work is still necessary.
The Trevor Project provides crisis and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ members under 25 years old. The organization’s research reveals that many companies have a long way to go before becoming able to boast of an inclusive workplace environment.
The organization says that workplace discrimination is much more common for members of the LGBTQ community. One example illustrating this point is that more than 60% of the transgender workers questioned for the study say they have experienced workplace discrimination. Less than 30% of cisgender workers reported similar problems with workplace discrimination.
Overall, one in three members of the LGBTQ workers surveyed had experienced workplace discrimination. However, the workplace is most uninviting to transgender employees. These employees experienced discrimination at three times the rate experienced by members of the gay and lesbian community.
Forms of discrimination
The discrimination faced by LGBTQ individuals in the workplace can take many forms. Teasing and bullying are the most noticeable, but other forms of discrimination can more negatively affect the lives of LGBTQ workers despite being more discreet. LGBTQ workers often complain about the barriers they face to workplace advancement. Many advocates express the belief that LGBTQ workers need to greatly outperform coworkers in many cases to earn an “equal” opportunity for the same raises and promotions. Other covert forms of workplace discrimination faced by LGBTQ workers include fewer benefits, lower starting pay and lack of access to training and mentorship.
American workers all have the right to fair treatment in the workplace. Unfortunately, there are times when companies fail to protect these rights. Individuals who have suffered discrimination in the workplace may benefit from speaking with a lawyer.