Despite laws in California and other states that make discrimination against an employee due to their gender or sexual orientation, statistics indicate that LGBTQ employees face regular discrimination in the workplace. LGBTQ members who are of color report extensive discrimination by their employer.
According to a study conducted by Oxford Economics, 45 percent of LGBTQ professionals report that they have faced workplace discrimination. Only four percent of white LGBTQ members report that the discrimination is extensive, 24 percent of Native American, 20 percent of Hispanic, 19 percent of African American and 17 percent of Pan-Asian LGBTQ workers reported extensive discrimination.
Types of discrimination
There are several ways that LGBTQ members face discrimination in the workplace. Many have been fired for their sexual orientation while others were denied jobs or promotions based on their LGBTQ status. In addition to being higher among people of color, transgender employees also have a higher percentage of discrimination than other LGBTQ members. More than half report hearing derogatory comments about their orientation at work and many report unsafe or inaccessible bathroom facilities.
Health care and other benefits
Because LGBTQ employees have different health needs than coworkers who are not part of the community, health care plans may need to be adjusted to meet their specific needs. This may include coverage of gender transition care to support for those who are HIV positive. Same-sex marriage is now legal throughout the United States, yet many LGBTQ members claim their benefits are based on the traditional family, making them ineligible for family coverage. Failure to provide the same coverage for LGBTQ couples as provided for traditional couples could result in a workplace discrimination claim.