Knowing Your Rights as an LGBTQ+ Worker

One of the unfortunate realities that LGBTQ+ people have to contend with is the potential for bias and discrimination in the workplace. While many more companies and organizations are becoming affirming and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ workers, some job seekers find comfort in knowing what rights and protections they have in case things go wrong.

The resources listed here will help you with assessing the protections available to you and with seeking assistance in case you do experience bias, harassment, or discrimination at work.

  • Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
    The HRC has several resources on workplace and corporate climate surrounding sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. This page includes links to information about employee groups, organizations and companies offering domestic partnership benefits, and legal protections. The HRC is also the publisher of the Corporate Equality Index. This index “provides a simple way to evaluate whether America’s biggest employers are treating their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and consumers equitably.” Corporate Equality Index lists available at the HRC website include top businesses and law firms for LGBT equality.
  • National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)
    The NCTE is an advocacy organization for trans people. Their website includes resources on navigating policies, name changes, and employment discrimination, and can be a particularly useful resource for individuals who are job seeking during their transition or with questions about applying to jobs and internships during or after a name change.
  • Movement Advancement Project
    In June 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that LGBTQ+ workers are protected from discrimination in the workplace under federal law. But there is still a patchwork of protections and rights across the United States, and the policy tallies compiled by the Movement Advancement Project show which states/local governments include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in their non-discrimination policies and other laws across a variety of issues. This is important to consult if you are looking at jobs or graduate schools in a variety of states.
  • Transgender Law Center
    The Transgender Law Center is a legal advocacy organization for trans people. Their website includes resources for those who have experienced discrimination as well as resources for workers seeking to advocate within their organization for benefits and policies. Trans people who have experienced discrimination can contact the Transgender Law Center Legal Helpdesk for information and resources.

Image source: Flickr

By Kyle Inselman
Kyle Inselman Assistant Director