fbpx

1 in 4 LGBTQ state and local employees has experienced discrimination at work

8

Over 600,000 LGBTQ employees are currently employed by state and local governments. One in five LGBTQ employees has worked in state or local government at some point in their careers, including 9% who have worked solely in state and local government jobs.

A new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds more than one in four (28%) LGBTQ state and local government employees have experienced discrimination or harassment at work. This includes being fired, not hired, or harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Using survey data collected in May 2021, researchers examined experiences of employment discrimination and harassment against LGBTQ people working for state and local governments.

Results indicate that religious beliefs often underlie discrimination and harassment even in government jobs. Among LGBTQ employees who have experienced mistreatment in the workplace, 85% of state and local government employees said that it was motivated by the employer’s religious beliefs. In contrast, 53% of LGBTQ employees who have worked only in private sector jobs said that religious beliefs motivated the unfair treatment against them.     

“Despite stronger legal protections for LGBTQ public sector employees, patterns of discrimination and harassment in state and local government workplaces mirror those observed in private sector employment,” said lead author Christy Mallory, legal director at the Williams Institute. “As in the private sector, discrimination and harassment of LGBTQ state and local government workers is widespread and pervasive.”

ADDITIONAL FINDINGS:

Discrimination and Harassment

  • 28% of LGBTQ employees who have ever worked in state or local government reported experiencing discrimination or harassment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity at some point in their lives.
    • About one in ten LGBTQ employees reported being fired (11%) and/or not hired (9%) by a state or local government employer because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Nearly one-fifth (19%) of LGBTQ state or local government employees reported verbal harassment at work, 9% reported sexual harassment, and 8% reported physical harassment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • One-third (35%) of LGBTQ employees who work for state or local government employers have looked for other jobs because of how they were treated based on their LGBTQ status and/or because the workplace was uncomfortable for LGBTQ people. 

Religious Motivation

  • Among those who have experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace, a majority (85%) of LGBTQ employees who have worked only in state or local government jobs said the unfair treatment they experienced was motivated by religious beliefs.

Avoiding Discrimination

  • 63% of LGBTQ employees currently employed by state or local governments are not open about being LGBT to their supervisor and 30% are not out to any of their co-workers.
  • About half of LGBTQ people who have ever worked in K-12 education (49%), higher education (55%), or law enforcement (54%) are not out to their current supervisor.
  • About one-quarter of LGBTQ employees who have ever worked in K-12 education (25%), higher education (22%), or law enforcement (26%) are not out to any of their co-workers.
  • 42% of LGBTQ state and local government employees reported taking steps to change how they present themselves at work to avoid discrimination and harassment.

Read the report

Comments

comments

Comments are closed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy