LGBTQ Workers’ Protection – All You Need To Know

The figures regarding discrimination in the workplace for the LGBTQ community are shocking! This article sheds light on LGBTQ Workers’ protection.

The world is changing rapidly, and inclusivity has always been a topic of discussion. The LGBTQ community has been struggling to get the same treatment as everyone else for quite some time. 

But in the eyes of the law, every person is equal. Everyone deserves the same rights and opportunities regardless of their sexual orientation. 

LGBTQ Workers' Protection - All You Need To Know

The civil rights law protects the members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination at their workplaces. In this segment, we will discuss in detail LGBTQ workers’ protection. 

LGBTQ Worker’s Protection

According to the law, if a person is fired from their job for belonging to the LGBTQ community, it is against the law. A person subjected to this kind of treatment can sue the offender and take them to court. 

Before passing this law, till recently, it was legal to fire gay and transgender employees just because of their sexual orientation, the new laws prohibit people from discriminating based on race, color, nationality, origin, sex, and sexual orientation. 

The constitution grants every citizen the right to choose their sexual preference, and we don’t hold any right to question them or judge them in this regard. Unfortunately, the truth is very different from the law. Even as recently as last year, one in three LGBTQ members suffered from some form of discrimination. 

According to research, about 3.8 percent of American adults identify themselves as a part of the LGBTQ community. They form 5.9% of the workforce of corporate America

However, when it comes to representation in managerial roles of higher importance, the likelihood of LGBTQ is 11% lower than others. They also get 4% lower pay than non-LGBTQ. Society has a stigma that does not let them get good jobs and opportunities. 

Other surveys, such as the one by Mckinsey, also support the fact that openly LGBTQ women are discriminated against more than openly LGBTQ men.

LGBTQ Workers' Protection - All You Need To Know

Problems Faced By LGBTQ Workers

One of the significant problems these workers face is that they belong to a minority. Due to this minority, even at their workplace, most of these people cannot connect with someone who understands their feelings. 

This leads to the workers feeling isolated at their work. This term is also related to “onlyness,” and work “onlyness” is experienced by workers when they are unable to connect to other people. These people are the only ones like themselves in meetings or events. 

There are high chances that these people develop mental and stress issues due to this loneliness. When a person cannot identify themselves with others, they also end up feeling more performance pressure. 

Then there are constant comparisons that these people have to face every day. Comparisons are very common to bisexual people as they are compared to both straight men and straight women. 

We know that women have and face difficulties while working in a corporate environment. On top of this, LGBTQ women face almost double the pressure and challenges while working in a corporate setup. Here are some common issues that people of the LGBTQ community face:

Jokes about their personal preferences. 

They are the center of many jokes and boorish behavior. Most of the time, non-LGBTQ people are unaware of the hardships that these people face, and they target them inadvertently for jokes.LGBTQ communities are targeted for sexual and offensive jokes. They are targeted for sexist jokes and sexual assaults. People start making assumptions about them without even confronting or talking to them. 

LGBTQ Workers' Protection - All You Need To Know

Discrimination

In some ways, the sexual preferences of the people also hinder their career growth, even though it should not affect this. People believe that since they belong to a specific community, they are denied promotion, raise, or miss out on a better opportunity.

Gender Diverse People are worse off.

Gender diverse people are the people that do not identify themselves with the gender they are born with. These people can identify themselves with the opposite gender, multiple genders, or no genders. Figuring out your gender identity is very different from your sexual preferences. About 1.4 million people in America identify themselves as trans people. 

The working experience of trans people is very different from the working experience of other members of the LGBTQ community. Due to the barriers, they face while working, trans people are more likely to think about quitting their jobs. 

Recently there has been growing acceptance of trans people in the corporate environment. They are also getting promoted and getting senior positions in the companies. 

You might like to read: How To Fight Ageism In Your Job Application

How Can We Create an LGBTQ-friendly Workplace?

As a manager, there are simple steps that you can follow to create a friendly work environment for the members of the LGBTQ community. You can start by talking to your employees. 

Even if some employees have a different opinion or view on this matter, you can try and discuss it with them to change their thought process. Some of the essential steps that you can follow to improve the workplace environment are such as:-

Start by forming strict non-discrimination policies.

This is one of the most critical steps that you can follow to avoid LGBTQ worker discrimination. To protect every employee from facing discrimination on various grounds, most organizations already have non-discrimination policies regarding gender, sex, race, religion, etc.

But in many places, there are no restrictions on the accounts of sexual orientation (even though this is against the law)

It is up to you to decide whether to consult your employees while forming these guidelines. Or you can form these guidelines on your own and inform the employees about them. 

LGBTQ Workers' Protection - All You Need To Know

You can form LGBTQ resource groups.

These are the types of groups formed for the support of LGBTQ employees. These groups’ main objective or purpose is to promote social networking with the employees, especially with the employees belonging to the LGBTQ community. Employees will interact with one another; this will give them a better perspective about each other. 

It will help you to set a mission statement for your group. This statement will define the goals of forming this group. Discussion with the members before starting this group will give you great insights. 

It will also tell you whether the employees are comfortable interacting in this way or not. What will help you further is to decide the format or structure of your group. If your group has no leaders, you will have to assign duties. A leader might be necessary to delegate the responsibilities. 

Companies can also form special trans support groups.

These support groups can help trans people in the transition phase. They can get extra emotional and mental support from these groups. If the employee has already transformed, the company can provide them with additional health coverage. 

They can also get support leaves for the transition phase. Firms should also have extra bathrooms for transgender members. They should be very inclusive regarding the pronouns, gender, documents, and all the employees. HR should also remember that they have to consider all employees of varying sexual orientations. 

Any microaggression or demeaning behavior should not be tolerated or promoted within the organization. People should have a secure reporting channel for all the offenses they face while working. Highlighting the steps taken to make the organization friendly for the LGBTQ members will help promote a safe environment for the employees. 

LGBTQ Workers' Protection - All You Need To Know

How To Implement A Non-Discrimination-Policy

Ideally, a good non-discrimination policy should include the following things:-

  • The language used in the policy should be pretty clear and distinct. It should clearly state that no form of discrimination will be tolerated within the organization, especially on the grounds of sexual orientation. 
  • Then ideally, the policy should list the types of prohibited things within the organization. You should also know what kind of behavior an employee must follow regarding interacting with other employees. 
  • Next, the discrimination policy should also state the penalty or repercussions if someone is found violating these laws and regulations. The language used to describe the penalties should be strict so that all the employees take these policies seriously. 
  • Then the policy should talk about the offender and consider and talk about the victims. Your policy should clearly explain the grievance procedure for the victims who face this discrimination. 
  • Your responsibility is to ensure the employees that proper investigation will be conducted for any discrimination complaints. 
  • It is the primary responsibility of the organization to protect its employees from retaliation. The person who has a complaint lodged against them can take revenge. The best methodology to approach such situations is to try and keep most of the details as anonymous as possible. 

To Sum Up

The global workplace is seeing a significant shift. Inclusivity of all the communities has been a popular topic as well. The LGBTQ community has been active for a very long time. They have been struggling to get fundamental civil rights. Workplace protection is one of the significant rights they have also been fighting for. 

Since the government has passed laws regarding the protection of the LGBTQ community at their workplaces, it is now illegal to discriminate and fire someone just based on their sexual preferences. 

LGBTQ Workers' Protection - All You Need To Know

We hope this article will serve to shed light on the kind of discrimination faced by the LGBTQ community in the workplace and what can be done regarding this. If you have comments to make or personal experiences to share regarding these observations, please do write in the comments section.

Lastly, please share this article with others on your social media pages and groups. If nothing else, this single action will help spread awareness about the discrimination against the LGBTQ.