General News

Study: 1 in 4 LGBTQ+ people have faced discrimination at work

Rachel Badham September 13, 2021

A new study published by The Williams Institute at the University of California found over a quarter (29.8%) of LGBTQ+ people working in the US have been fired from their job or denied a work opportunity because of their identity. The study, which interviewed 935 LGBTQ+ adults, analysed the experiences of queer people in the workplace, finding that out of the 29.8% who had faced discrimination, 9% of these incidents occurred during the past year.

Trans respondents were most likely to have experienced workplace discrimination, with 48.8% saying they had been fired or not hired due to their gender identity. An additional 22% of trans respondents reported experiencing sexual harassment at work, compared to 12% of cisgender participants. Due to fear of discrimination, half of transgender respondents said they are not out to their supervisors, while 25.8% said they are not out to any of their co-workers.

The study is the first to examine LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination since the US Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in the Bostock v. Clayton County case, in which judges decided that it is illegal for employers to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity under federal civil rights laws. Brad Sears, the study’s lead author, told NBC News that researchers were “surprised” at the high prevalence of discrimination in spite of the 2020 ruling.