Despite progress, LGBT employment discrimination is still present
Over the last few years in particular, New York and the rest of the country have made strides in terms of advancing laws designed to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. For example, same-sex marriage is now legal in our state.
Despite these moves, problems appear to persist. Currently, there is no federal protection against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, New York law does make this accommodation.
Changes to the law can be made, but it’s going to take larger changes in attitude to work toward making truly fair and equitable professional environments.
A study conducted by the Equal Rights Center and Freedom to Work determined that being openly LGBT — or even tied to LGBT causes — can harm a job applicant’s chances of being offered an interview. In fact, the cooperating organizations found that LGBT job candidates were 23 percent less likely to get an interview than those didn’t identify in this way.
In an article on our firm’s site, we covered another revealing study. According to this research, workplace discrimination may frequently be the result of friendliness toward similar people, rather than being openly hostile to protected classes. As it relates to discrimination based on sexual orientation, the findings of the research could very well apply.
Perhaps employers look at resumes and applications and see that they relate to heterosexual candidates more than those who identify as LGBT. This attitude, though it may not intentionally be hateful, has consequences. No matter the reason behind it, workplace discrimination hurts qualified employees and job applicants.
For those who are subjected to discrimination on the job or during the application process, it may be necessary to determine what legal rights and options are available. After all, it may require a close examination of the unique details of a case in order to determine what next steps can and should be taken.
Source: TakePart.com, “Fake Job Applications Prove There’s Real LGBT Discrimination in Hiring,” Hayley Fox, July 4, 2014