LGBT Employment Discrimination

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“LGBT Employment Discrimination”

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The workplace is one of diversity, but in the United States, approximately 4.5% identify themselves as lesbian, gay. bisexual, and transgender in the wokrplace (Hariton, 2020, p.2). In the past decades it has evolved to include those with the most unique upbringings, and while this diversity is essential, the discrimination towards certain employees is not. Many people through out their years of employment face a form of prejudice whether that being sex, race, gender, or religion. As a method to combat this in the workplace, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prevented any form of bigotry towards the previously mentioned characteristics. And while this form of protection was adopted nationally and did make a difference in the workplace to a certain extent, there was still a flaw, the protection of those who identify in the LGBTQ spectrum. As a method to combat this in the workplace, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prevented any form of bigotry towards the previously mentioned characteristics (U.S. Department of Labor, 2016, p.5). And while this form of protection was adopted nationally and did make a difference in the workplace to a certain extent, there was still a flaw, the protection of those who identify in the LGBTQ spectrum.

In 2012, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was changed so that it could include protection in the workplace towards LGBTQ members, and while this was a nationally issued bill, each individual state was entitled to accommodate protection in their own manner. However, the constitutionality that was being violated was the first amendment. Texas being on the more conservative side of the spectrum, offered no form of protection for these workers, meaning that companies were legally allowed to discriminate towards LGBTQ workers if the situation ever arouse, and since there was no way of preventing a company from firing them, there was also little to no help in taking legal retaliation towards these discriminatory acts. For 48 years, there was no form of protection for this community, and when it was finally offered there were mandated rights that only a few in select states were privileged to attain (Exploring Constitutional Conflict, 2018, p.3). In the past decade, while some form of assurance was present, these discriminatory cases are a dime a dozen, such as the Supreme Court Case of Altitude Express Inc. V. Zarda, an employee, Don Zarda, while instructing a tandem skydiving lesson informed a female customer that he was in fact gay as a method to ease her opposition to having a male stranger grab her during the lesson (American Civil Liberties Union, 2019, p.3). After Zarda’s employer came to the realization that he ‘came out’ to an employee, he was immediately fired, thus leaving him in financial ruins, and such filing a lawsuit for LGBTQ discrimination. Similarly, there is the case of R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes V. EEOC And Aimee Stephens, in which Aimee Stephens informed her employer that she is in fact transgender woman and as such would identify as one at work, in a form of retaliation, she was fired within two weeks leaving her in financial ruins; however, the ACLU assisted Aimee with the filing of a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Employment Discrimination against LGBT People, 2015, p.1). This enabled her to sue the funeral home for sex discrimination and as such entitled her to financial and emotional compensation.

Texas is heavily conservative republican state offers little to none protection towards those of the LGBTQ community, and such would rank poorly in the 2017 State Equality Index, in which it revealed that most find themselves in unfavorable disadvantages when it comes to legal protection which is very similar to the legal equality that is offered in the state of Arizona, which offers slightly more inclusive laws (Exploring Constitutional Conflict, 2018, p.4). While in contrast, California is one of the most tolerant states when it comes to LGBTQ members whether that being marriage or legal equity, and as such has such a high population of those of identify in the LGBTQ spectrum; moreover, California statewide recognized these sexualities and legalized same-sex sexual activity in 1976, thus offering a greater employment protection (Exploring Constitutional Conflict, 2018, p.5).

The LGBTQ community, being considered as a minority is left vulnerable when it comes to employment security. In many cases, they are low income, thus resulting in a dangerous situation that can affect almost every factor of life. Lower Socio-economic groups are heavily affected by job insecurity but, in a scenario, where unemployment can be determined by sexuality rather than job performance leaves these groups of people feeling like they have no voice. Public opinion, nationwide at least, agrees that there is some form of discrimination towards members of the LGBTQ Community when it comes to employment, such as in the military when only recently the “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell” (De la Garza, 2018, p.1). Policy was abolished for in discrimination towards LGBTQ Soldiers that caused to have a dishonorable discharge. When it comes to politics, Democratic Legislators realize that discrimination is a serious issue but those of the Republican party do no acknowledge their struggles and see it as a method of promoting democratic ideologies to the public, rather than seeing it a fundamental human right to have equality for all, in this case being job security and legal protection; moreover, these debates inevitably leads to a deadlock in which there is no winner, but leaves the LGBTQ community as the undeniable losers (De la Garza, 2018, p.4).

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, or disability. While the federal government plays an important role in employment equality, while the executive branch of government plays a huge role due to enforcing legality of employment laws, the legislative branch of government has a moderate role in these situations since it can promote equal rights and opportunity for all (The Worst (and Best) Places to Be Gay in America, 2017, pg.4). However, it has little to no power when it comes to ensuring whether or not legal action will proceed. Similarly, the judicial branch of government only gets involved when these cases reach a standstill in which state judicial courts can not determine an outcome. While there are no other government agencies that have authority in these matters, a branch agency can be formed that can enforce and support minorities, specifically, LGBTQ members. This is done in a manner in which they are more predominantly supported in these legal cases at a state level, in order to close the gap of legal support that is present in the heavily conservative states that offer no protection (The Worst (and Best) Places to Be Gay in America, 2017, pg.5).

While there is no present solution to this troubling matter, there are methods to combat this social and economic injustice. One being that the EEOC takes these types of cases more seriously and opens a department in which each individual case is personally reviewed by an expert and helps those in need and as such, offering a form of financial and legal action towards states that condone this form of discrimination (ACLU 100 Years, 2019, p.2). While the government is not perfect and the wheels of justice may move more slowly, there are more creative ways in which LGBTQ members can be helped. There can be a legislative nationwide bill that forces states to accommodate to a bare minimum of equal opportunity and protection when it comes to employment; this being a more radical and swift method of solving this issue would inevitably lead to great federal and state chaotic turmoil between the political parties.

Respectfully, discrimination is not something new according to history, small group communities and minorities always receive the short end of the stick and end up suffering when it comes to any aspect. In this case the LGBTQ is an oppressed minority, they receive almost no legal support whether that being on state or federal level, and as such it’s time for representatives to stop falsely supporting minority groups in order to receive false votes. The only way the voice of the forgotten may be heard is if they vote and elect those who will bring real change. Elections should not be some form of talent show where the best performance gets the most votes. Rather than these are people’s lives that are directly affected by the people that are elected for office, and it’s time for drastic change.

The Fight for change has not and will not slow down, there are more than 858,000 people in the state of Texas alone demanding change and compensation for unjust laws and regulations (The Texas Tribune, 2020, p.1). Currently, there are no pending legislations in any government level since this issue is not seen as a ‘real’ issue and thus is heavily ignored. While groups do demand and wish for some semblance of effort when it comes to this issue, there are still no drastic changes. While it may seem pointless, the government is for the people, by the people, meaning that anybody can make a change with the smallest of efforts. Some of the greatest changes in history have come from peaceful protests and petitions! Any local citizen can organize a community program throughout the city that would go house to house asking for signatures that could persuade local city government into changing policies regarding LGBTQ employment discrimination. And with the power that is social media, the power of change is at one’s fingertips, all it takes is a will to make the world a better place.

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LGBT Employment Discrimination. (2022, Apr 25). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from

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