Numbers have been released that state four out of 10 LGBT workers report feeling bullied at their place of employment because of their sexual orientation. This is 11 percentage points higher than the national average of all workers combined, according to a Harris Poll for CareerBuilder., which surveyed 3,420 employees, including 238 LGBT workers.
The findings state that the LGBT workers say that they were picked on for their personal attributes, such as their appearance or gender, while 47 percent said they were gossiped about. LGBT workers also said they were ignored, falsely accused of mistakes or judged on different standards than other workers.
The number of LGBT workplace bullying has grown since the 2016 election, said David Kilmnick, CEO of The LGBT Network.
“It has such a negative impact, not only to the LGBT person, which is a given. If you’re being bullied for who you are, it will impact how one feels safe in one’s workplace. Taking the issue to HR might not always solve the problem because not all employers are prepared to handle workplace bullying, Kilmnick said. He added that his group is stepping up workplace training to help businesses build a more inclusive workplace.”
The impact on workers can be long-lasting, CareerBuilder said. About one out of five LGBT workers who said they were bullied at work had health-related problems because of it, while 15 percent said they had called in sick because of the bullying.
Workers who are experiencing bullying should take notes to document their interactions with the bully and keep them in a safe place, CareerBuilder said. Sometimes standing up to the bully can work, with about 20 percent of bullied workers saying the behavior stopped after they confronted their aggressor.
32 states currently DO NOT have LGBT non-discrimination and work place protection laws in place
The Cuban parliament has just passed an historic change to the island’s labor codes and have expanded the codes with language that explicitly protects the LGBT community and bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and received support from Christian and intellectual parliamentary leaders.
Blogger Francisco Rodriguez who is better known by his nom de plumePaquito El De Cuba broke the news on Friday evening with a series of tweets in Spanish that read as follows:
“Experienced a countless number of emotions today at the Parliament. We now have the 1st law that protects gays, in this case at the workplace. The intense parliamentary debate left it almost for certain that the labor law will also ban discrimination based on gender identity. [President Raul Castro‘s daughter] Mariela Castro proposed banning discrimination based on gender identity and obtained the support of Christian and intellectual parliamentary leaders.”
riting before the vote took place blogger Camilo Garcia – better known as k1000g – wrote that, if passed, it would “be the first time in the history of Cuba when there is a bill explicitly protecting the rights –specifically at their working environment– of the people who have decided to live openly in contrast with heterosexual norms” (“On the eve of a significant step“).
Camilo ends by writing the following:
It also constitutes a valuable step, because it was the citizenship participation that brought this issue to the legislation. It happened without any public action, because –as expected– the national media did not say a word about it during the numerous press reports they have published in the last few months during this process… Something like this makes us think in two things: It may be a demonstration that the perception of the Cuban people about sexual orientation is changing, slightly for good, and that people have lost their fear to talk about it and to defend openly their rights openly. Then we are also talking about an important step against patriarchal power in Cuba… It will also be an action of historic fairness ¿How many people we know that haven’t had access to a job, or have left their profession, due to homophobic actions? ¿How many we know who has suffered in silence all their lives, or have taken more radical decisions –emigration or even suicide– as a result of homophobia? It is clear that this step brings more challenges. Among them, the necessary changes in regulations not to leave the new Working Code to fall on deaf ears. The subject of “gender identity” is still pending because –although people don’t understand it– trans people may not be homosexuals… and they still remain excluded from this piece of legislation. Besides, there’s still an urgent need of a wide and effective education campaign among the general population that addresses respect to sexual rights. In May 2013 the ILGA map recognized that 66 countries have adopted explicit protection rules over these peoples. Cuba might be number 67 and keep taking new significant steps… because it is important to work out on policies that protect the rights of all people – and including sexual orientation as it was done at the 2012 Party Conference – but it is more important to make those commitments real by making them the law.
Meanwhile the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would protect America’s LGBT workers in one form or another hasn’t been able to be pass and be signed into law since 1974.
A new report released by the Center for American Progress and AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees entitled “Gay and Transgender Discrimination in the Public Sector: shows that a majority of state government employees are currently working in states that fail to offer legal protections to LGBT public sector workers. With approximately one million LGBT individuals in America working in state, local, or municipal government, only 21 states and the District of Columbia have any laws specifically protecting gay workers.
57 percent of state employees work in a state where no legal protections are afforded to gay individuals.
69 percent live in state where no legal protections are afforded to transgender individuals.
Only a minority of state employees (just over four in ten, or 42.6 percent) work in a state with a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Only three in ten (31.8 percent) work in a state with a law also prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.
55 percent of of state government employees do not have equal access to health insurance for them and their partners
And this is just State employees. Not the private sector and small business employees where LGBT workers number in the hundreds of millions.
As of this Labor Day in 34 states, it is still perfectly legal for lesbian and gay employees to be fired simply because their employers discover, and disapprove of, their sexual orientation while the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
For over 20 years the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, EDNA, making discrimination against a worker based on their sexual orientation or gender identity a crime in all 50 states has sat stalled in Congress.
It is far past time to renew the push for basic LGBT employment protection in the United States and to take the focus off same-sex marriage.
LGBT employment discrimination is something that touches everyone in the LGBT community and keeps us second class citizens in the eyes of the United States and the world.