Features » August 13, 2019
9 Reasons LGBTQ Workers Need Federal Protections
“Fired for being gay” is just the tip of the iceberg.
LGBTQ-identifying individuals who aren’t fired for their sexual orientation or gender identity may still face other types of discrimination at work.
Currently, there’s no federal law that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination at work. But this April, the Supreme Court agreed to hear three cases involving people who claim they were fired for being LGBTQ. Arguments are set to begin during the fall of this year, and decisions will likely be made next summer. The Court will decide whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin, also includes gender identity and sexual orientation. If the plaintiffs win their cases, it could become illegal in all states to fire someone for identifying as LGBTQ.
But LGBTQ-identifying individuals who aren’t fired for their sexual orientation or gender identity may still face other types of discrimination at work. These nine statistics show just how far we still have to go to make workplaces accepting and supportive for LGBTQ folks.
- 46% - LGBTQ people who were closeted at work in the U.S. in 2018
- 22% - LGBTQ people who had experienced discrimination in pay or in consideration for a promotion
- 20% - LGBTQ people who had felt pressured by coworkers to dress more feminine or masculine
- 53% - LGBTQ people who had heard jokes about lesbian or gay people on the job
- 10% - LGBTQ people who had left a job because the workplace was not accepting of them
- 32% - LGBTQ people of color who had experienced discrimination when applying for jobs as of 2017
- 73 - Countries that protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation (the U.S. is not among them)
- 26 - U.S. states that allow private employers to fire someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity
- 3 - States that explicitly ban local governments from passing nondiscrimination provisions: Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina
What do you want to see from our coverage of the 2020 presidential candidates?
As our editorial team maps our plan for how to cover the 2020 Democratic primary, we want to hear from you:
It only takes a minute to answer this short, three-question survey, but your input will help shape our coverage for months to come. That’s why we want to make sure you have a chance to share your thoughts.
Alex Schwartz is a 2019 editorial intern for In These Times.
if you like this, check out:
- On Trial in a Language You Don’t Speak
- Why We Always Cover Union Fights From the Perspective of Workers, Not Bosses
- The Answer To Burnout At Work Isn’t “Self-Care”—It’s Unionizing
- What Uber and the Koch Brothers Have in Common: A Plan to Destroy Public Transit
- We Talked with One of the Central Park Five About Netflix’s “When They See Us”