Discrimination in the New Jersey workplace and elsewhere comes in many ugly forms. In previous times, the social focus on combatting workplace discrimination fell squarely on the unfair treatment of racial minorities and women.
In the modern era, though, the new frontier in the fight for equal treatment in the workplace is gender identity.
The prevalence of workplace discrimination against transgender workers
The rate of workplace discrimination against LGBT workers is startlingly high.
In recent times, thanks to the hard work of sociologists and psychologists who study the issue, we have come to understand that gender is a social construct, not a biological reality. This means that many people are “assigned” genders in the social context that don’t match how they feel on the inside.
The human rights campaign estimates that over 2 million Americans have a gender identity that does not match the gender they were born with. Of those two million, a sizeable proportion participates in the US labor market.
In addition to a number of other social and personal hurdles that transgender individuals must face, workplace discrimination based on their gender identity continues to hold them back.
How widespread is workplace discrimination against members of the LGBT community?
The SF LGBT Center conducted a survey of transgender workers about their experiences. One-half reported being either fired or denied employment based on their identity, and a full 75% reported being bullied or harassed on the job.
The signs of workplace discrimination can be subtle and hard to detect. That’s why we should all be working harder to identify and root out discrimination in any form, including the type directed at LGBT community members.
Unfortunately, the battle to eliminate workplace discrimination against transgender workers will likely take more time to win. Working together, though, we can do our part to make the workplace a safer, more tolerant, more welcoming environment for our trans peers.