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Study: LGBTQ workers continue to face discrimination, harassment

On Behalf of | May 5, 2022 | Employment Law

U.S. companies still have a long way to go when it comes to stamping out workplace discrimination and harassment. One only has to look at the results of a recent survey that revealed nearly 10% of Americans who identify as LGBTQ have faced workplace discrimination in the past year. In addition, nearly half experienced employment-related bias during some part of their careers.

Respondents to the survey and report – titled LGBT People’s Experiences of Workplace Discrimination and Harassment – described incidents of managers striking them, coworkers inappropriately touching and taunting them as well as receiving bad shifts and having work hours reduced. A regular pattern of mistreatment that, sometimes, led to demotions and termination.

Denied promotions, harassed and fired

Published in September by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, the study was the result of surveys conducted in May 2021 of more than 900 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer adults.

Among the findings included:

  • A total of 46% of LGBTQ workers said that at some point in their working life they experienced unfair treatment from an employer due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. The mistreatment included workplace harassment, denial of a raise, promotion or additional work hours, exclusion from company events, being passed over for jobs as well as termination.
  • Roughly 9% in the past year said that they suffered a work-related layoff or denied a position because of their identity as an LGBTQ person.
  • Nearly 26% reported they were victims of sexual harassment at work.
  • A total of 21% cited that they were victims of physical harassment such as beatings.
  • Racism continues. LGBTQ people of color reported higher incidents of workplace discrimination compared with their white counterparts. A total of 29% of queer people of color said they had been denied jobs, while 18% of queer white people said the same. Also, 36% of LGBTQ people of color reported incidents of verbal harassment, compared with 26% of the white workers.

The report’s findings do not look promising. But awareness is crucial.

Stand up for yourself

If you face any type of workplace harassment and discrimination because you identify as LGBTQ, you need to stand up for yourself. We can remain hopeful that the tide will continue to gradually turn in the acceptance of LGBTQ Americans. But, in the meantime, seek guidance from a skilled attorney because no one should face such mistreatment.