Discrimination and harassment in the workforce are never beneficial to workers. When we notice how some workplaces support unfair employment practices, we should consider ways to improve these working conditions for all employees.
Understanding the issue
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is facing adverse workforce issues that immobilize employees. A great number of LGBT workers are finding it difficult to do their jobs in an atmosphere of fear, prejudice, and discrimination. Consequently, many LGBT individuals choose to stay in the closet rather than deal with the pressures of being outed. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recently reported that 28 percent of LGBT workers are being discriminated against in their workplaces. This is a major concern when we consider the fact that 4 percent of the American workforce is made up of LGBT individuals.
Prevalence of workplace discrimination
We can understand the severity of workplace discrimination in the LGBT community when we look at the kinds of incidents that frequently occur. First of all, many LGBT employees experience discrimination in the form of missed promotions, firings, and negative performance evaluations. Due to these unpleasant on-the-job experiences, many LGBT employees are dissatisfied by their work environment. One statistic shows that one out of every ten LGBT employees believe that working conditions are unbearable. This fact indicates unfair treatment in the workplace-a place where all workers, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity, should feel comfortable.
When we think of the LGBT workforce, we must be aware that not only employers but also coworkers participate in discriminatory practices. For example, many straight coworkers tend to look down on their LGBT counterparts, increasing tension in the workplace. Further, adding to workplace disharmony, some employers pass over LGBT applicants and use other antigay employment tactics. Transgendered people endure more discrimination than LGB individuals; 90 percent of transgendered workers are mistreated by their employers and straight colleagues. Fear and frustration cause the LGBT workforce to stay and hide their status or leave their jobs.
In addition to being aware of workforce discrimination among LGBT employees, we must understand how we can ameliorate this unfortunate situation. If we are being discriminated against, we should get the advice of an experienced employment law attorney who can guide and support our needs. It is never too late to take action against any mistreatment on the job, which is motivated by prejudice and discrimination. We should always be able to do our best work without fear of unfair workplace practices.