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Sterling Employment Law

Work discrimination facts: Sexual orientation and gender identity

According to a 2015 report, over percent of Americans in the workforce identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Michigan is home to a prominent LGBT community, with over 180,000 of these citizens in the state's workforce. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination against these residents is a problem in Michigan, just as it is in many other states.

The report uncovered some disturbing facts about workplace discrimination against gender identity and sexual orientation in Michigan. In the interests of keeping the working public informed, here are a few facts culled from the report.

-- In a 2010 nationwide survey, 84 percent of transgender Michigan respondents reported workplace discrimination.

-- Data from census surveys show that males in Michigan reported to be in a same-sex relationship are paid 32 percent less than men in opposite sex marriages.

-- Non-discrimination laws protect only 16 percent of the LGBT workers in Michigan.

-- There is currently no statewide law prohibiting workplace discrimination against the LGBT workforce.

-- Sixty-five percent of the public say they would support a non-discrimination law to protect the LGBT community.

-- Each year, the non-governmental organization, Equality Michigan, tracks approximately 50 cases of workplace discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

-- Between April 2009 and May 2012, the ACLU LGBT Project of Michigan handled 40 reports of workplace discrimination centered on gender identity and sexual orientation.

The data revealed in this report indicates an unacceptable volume of discrimination against the LGBT workforce in Michigan. The best way all residents of the state can fight back is by increasing awareness about discrimination. Consider talking with an employment lawyer for assistance in taking a stand against discrimination in the workplace.

Source: The Williams Institute, "Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Michigan," Christy Mallory and Brad Sears, accessed April 21, 2017

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