Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

How Bad Is Transgender Discrimination in the Workplace?

By Dan Atkerson on November 27, 2015

Male Female SymbolsWorkplace discrimination affects all people, but few experience such vehement and blatant discrimination as those who identify as transgender. The recent repeal of HERO, Houston’s equal rights bill, proves that transgender folk are widely misunderstood and hated, evidenced by the “bathroom” issue that served as the central platform for its opposition. Even with the support of local and national political leaders, the effort to save HERO failed.

Workplace Discrimination Against Transgender People

The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights released a report that showed just how bad transgender discrimination in particular really is. The OHR report revealed the following truths about transgender discrimination:
  • 48 percent of employers appeared to prefer at least one less-qualified applicant perceived as cisgender (meaning they do not identify as transgender or gender non-conforming) over a more-qualified applicant perceived as transgender.
  • 33 percent of employers offered interviews to one or more less-qualified applicants perceived as cisgender while not offering an interview to at least one of the more-qualified applicants perceived as transgender.
  • The applicant perceived as a transgender man with work experience at a transgender advocacy organization experienced the highest individual rate of discrimination.
  • The restaurant industry had the highest percentage of responses perceived as discriminatory among the employment sectors tested.

LGBT Employment Protections

Unfortunately, there are no national laws prohibiting employment discrimination against LGBT employees specifically. HOWEVER, there are other protections that may apply regardless of whether or not you work in a state or city with LGBT specific protections.

For example, a case may be made for same-sex sexual harassment, sexual stereotyping, or workplace retaliation against employees that file complaints for those actions.

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