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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Cost of Employment Discrimination against Transgender Residents of Massachusetts

  • Author(s): Herman, Jody L.
  • et al.

Transgender residents of Massachusetts have reported experiencing discrimination in employment. Loss of employment due to anti-transgender bias often means lost wages, lost health insurance coverage, and housing instability. Therefore, employment discrimination might affect the budget of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in several ways: reduced income tax revenues, higher public assistance expenditures, and other costs. For instance, if a worker is fired for being transgender and loses wages as a result, the Commonwealth loses the income tax revenue it would have gained from those lost wages. Furthermore, that worker may need to participate in a public health insurance program to replace lost employer-provided coverage. Those health insurance costs are then transferred from that worker’s former employer to the Commonwealth. This study estimates that the impact of discrimination is likely to cost the Commonwealth millions of dollars each year. The added cost to the Commonwealth for public health insurance coverage alone is $3 million annually due to employment discrimination.

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