Washington, D.C; May 28, 2014—Today, as Exxon Mobil’s shareholders are expected to vote again to deny workplace protections to its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees, and the city of Houston, Texas votes on whether to extend such protections to LGBT workers, a newly released report paints a sobering portrait of widespread discrimination faced by LGBT people in the workplace. A Broken Bargain: Unchecked Discrimination Against LGBT Workers documents how LGBT workers continue to face unfair treatment, harassment, and discrimination, yet no federal law provides explicit legal protections.
“An executive order by President Obama would force Exxon Mobil to adopt LGBT workplace protections in order to continue profiting from hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded contracts,” said Tico Almeida, President of Freedom to Work. “Exxon’s leadership has rejected these commonsense nondiscrimination policies year after year, even though their competitors at Chevron and BP understand that banning discrimination is good for business. It’s time for presidential leadership to move Exxon to accept the American value that everybody deserves a fair shot in the workplace.”
A Broken Bargain: Unchecked Discrimination Against LGBT Workers is available online at www.lgbtmap.org/unchecked-discrimination-against-lgbt-workers.
LGBT workers face discrimination that makes it harder for them to find and keep good jobs, earn a living, and provide for themselves and their families. This discrimination includes:
“Right now, 18 states plus Washington, D.C. ban discrimination against LGBT people, linking arms with roughly 9 out of 10 America’s largest employers that have found that fair and equal treatment also makes for good business,” said Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President of External Affairs at the Center for American Progress. “We must redouble our efforts to ensure that no American can lose their job simply because of who they are or whom they love.”
An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that LGBT workers should be treated fairly. According to a 2014 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, 72% of Americans support workplace nondiscrimination protections for LGBT workers. Yet the same poll revealed that 75% also erroneously believe such protections already exist under federal law. Amid overwhelming public support, policymakers and business leaders can take a number of important steps to protect LGBT workers, including:
“Fewer than half of states have laws protecting workers based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression,” said Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director of the Movement Advancement Project (MAP). “The states without employment protections are home to more than half of the nation’s LGBT population, including many who experience extreme discrimination and high rates of poverty. Policymakers from the municipal to federal level must address the critical need for employment protections.”
A Broken Bargain: Unchecked Discrimination Against LGBT Workers is co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the Center for American Progress (CAP), Freedom to Work, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in partnership with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.
The Movement Advancement Project is an independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.