Nearly all transgender workers in Indiana and across the United States have suffered on-the-job harassment or discrimination, according to a new report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. As a result, the organization is calling on Congress to pass legislation that explicitly protects LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace.
The commission’s report found that 90 percent of transgender workers experienced workplace discrimination. Of those, approximately 25 percent were not allowed to use bathrooms that matched their gender identity or were told to present as a different gender to avoid being fired. Around one-quarter of respondents also had information about their gender identity disclosed by a colleague or supervisor without their permission. More than 70 percent of transgender workers said they dealt with discrimination by hiding their gender identity, delaying their gender transition or quitting their job. The report also found that more than half of all LGBT employees earn less money, are denied promotions, are terminated from their jobs and experience difficulty finding work.
The USCCR wants Congress to an enact a federal law that bans workplace discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. It is also calling for individual federal agencies to create or reiterate guidance for federal and private employers regarding the treatment of LGBT employees. Transgender people are three times more likely to be unemployed than the general population, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission holds that transgender workers are protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Transgender workers who have experienced workplace harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination or other forms of gender-based discrimination may have the grounds to file a federal complaint. A transgender worker could learn more about legal options by discussing their case with an attorney.